Someone ring the dinner bell. The fourth of the five-part Carolina Yakfish series is done and in the history books. Thirty-five anglers gathered from near and far to fish Lake Michie, North of Durham and nearest to the quiet town of Bahama. Created in 1926 as a water and hydroelectric supply to Durham City, Lake Michie measures 480 acres and is fed by the Flat River.

If polled, I believe everyone, including the top three finishers, would describe the bite as tough. The water clarity ranged from heavy to medium stained, more so closer to the lake source. Many sub-twlelve inch fish were caught off the banks however large fish were more scarce. I followed a number of anglers South after photographing the launch. I don’t know if the area had already been picked over or not but it was almost one mile before I found my first fish on a carolina-rig, a 12.5″ Bass on a 12″ worm. At the last bend before the dam I hooked a nice feeling fish around a blowdown but ended up loosing it after first getting line wrapped, then broke off. On the way back to the launch I had approximately one and a half hours remaining before check-in time. I halfway considered throwing in the towel but decided to fish a new area. Almost immediately I landed a 16.25″ fish that renewed my optimism. Nearly twenty minutes later I threw my shakey-head trick worm into a blow down that nearly promised a hangup. As soon as the bait hit bottom a fish was on it. Setting the hook, the fish immediately wrapped me up on a limb. Equipped with the Propel drive on my Mariner I was able to keep tension on the fish by pedaling over top of the limb while winding to keep out slack line. A little yo-yoing the line and it was free and in my hands, the final third largest fish to close my day, at 15.5″.

If you’re unaware, the Carolina Yakfish series benefits North Carolina’s chapter of Heroes on the Water. For 2012, Native Watercraft is the title sponsor and is donating a kayak to the Angler of the Year, determined by an anglers top three finishes. It was fitting and good to see an active military individual place 1st, Jeff Lee of Fayetteville. Jeff is also a H.OW. guide at Ft. Bragg. When asked what he caught his fish on, he reaches in his truck bed and pulls up a rod, saying “this thing”, a Rapala Jointed Shad Rap. Jeff also won biggest Bass, with a 22.5 beauty. Applause to Mr. Lee and all the anglers who came out to help support H.O.W. This is the fun of fishing. You don’t have to necessarily know the name of your lure, or be familiar with the lakes the tourneys are held on, just come with a positive attitude and the knowledge that by participating you’re helping out a worthy cause and organization.

To date, $1822 has been raised for H.O.W.. The next and final tourney is scheduled for October 20, 2012 at Jordan Lake, Ebenezer boat ramp.

Results:

1st Place – Jeffery Lee – Fayetteville, NC – 54.75″

2nd Place – John Stokes – Asheville, NC – 44.5″ (checked in 1st)

3rd Place – Joey Sullivan – Cary, NC – 44.5

4th Place – Philip Ruckart – Mebane, NC – 44.25

5th Place – Bo Anders – Charlotte, NC – 43.75

6th Place – Shelly Efird – Albemarle, NC – 41″

7th Place – Steve Hurst – Raleigh, NC – 40.75″

The remaining field placings and AOY standing can be see at http://carolinayakfish.com