New fishing trail opened in North Carolina

WAXHAW, N.C. — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with Union County Parks and Recreation, N.C. B.A.S.S. Nation and Riley's Catch, is hosting a festival on Aug. 5 to celebrate the opening of a new fishing trail on Cane Creek Reservoir.

The North Carolina Fishing Trail at Cane Creek Festival will run from 9 a.m. to noon at Cane Creek Park, located at 5213 Harkey Road in Waxhaw. During the festival, attendees can fish from the bank of the reservoir or a pond stocked with catfish and learn about the fishing trail. Other events include instruction on casting basics, advanced fishing techniques and lure testing. Prizes will be awarded for youth who participate in all the different events. Additionally, boat rentals will be offered at reduced rates for festival attendees.

The North Carolina Fishing Trail at Cane Creek is a joint effort between the Commission and N.C. B.A.S.S. Nation, Riley's Catch and Union County Parks and Recreation. It consists of nine fishing sites that are scattered around the 350-acre reservoir. Each site is enhanced with fish attractors to attract largemouth bass and other sport fish. The fishing trail is one of three the Commission has developed in cooperation with local governments and N.C. B.A.S.S. Nation to teach anglers how to catch largemouth bass and other sport fish during different times of the year.

"Largemouth bass and other sport fish use different habitats throughout the year," said Mark Fowlkes, the Commission's Piedmont Aquatic Habitat Coordinator. "These seasonal movements and habitat patterns are instinctive and triggered by changes in water temperature, daylight hours, spawning and feeding."

In the spring, prior to the spawning season, largemouth bass congregate in areas such as in river and creek channels near shallow flats. When fish begin to spawn they will move into shallow coves, onto flats and around points, in about 1 to 5 feet of water. They will spawn then slowly move into the open or deeper waters to spend the heat of the summer. As water temperatures decline in the fall, largemouth bass often move to the same creeks where they were found in the spring, searching for food. In the winter, they move to deeper water because of the short days and cold water temperatures.

"Teaching anglers about seasonal movements of fish can help increase their angling success and make fishing more enjoyable," said Bill Frazier, conservation director for N.C. B.A.S.S. Nation. "These principles can be used on other reservoirs, but it is important to remember that each reservoir is unique."

Youth members of N.C. B.A.S.S. Nation and Riley's Catch helped design, build and install the structures for each site using leftover materials from a previous Boy Scout fish attractor project. Additional materials were purchased with money youth members raised from hotdog sales at Bass Pro Shop. The Commission paid for buoy markers and anchors and designed a brochure with money from the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

"We appreciate the Commission's leadership in partnering with National and N.C. B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation and Youth programs," Frazier said. "Giving kids the opportunity to design and build the site structures was a great way to get them involved in learning about fish habitat while creating great fishing opportunities for the public — an experience we hope can be duplicated in other reservoirs."

For more information about freshwater fishing in North Carolina, including an interactive map of public fishing sites across the state, visit