This summer has surely started off hot. And I recall summers were hot 50 years ago when I was a little boy, too. Last Monday my grandson John II and I spent the afternoon on Belews Lake near Winston-Salem. Swimming there is kind of like taking a warm bath, except there’s no soap and the water heater didn’t quite have enough hot water left. By the water temperature gauge in the boat the water was around 95 degrees in some places. Belews supports a steam power plant that uses the lake water thru the plant to make steam so it’s warm all year.

We got out around 2 p.m. after John finished his reading camp, and fishing was slow. Our plan was to swim for a while, then fish for a while, and then repeat. About 5 p.m. we’d done two cycles of this and both decided it was time to head home because it was just too hot to swim. I told John that this was a first for me. A large group of fish we’d found the Friday before around some rocks were nowhere to be found, and with only one small largemouth to show for our efforts we headed home and made a new plan.

Now here we sit in the air-conditioned truck camper at Henderson Point campground on Kerr Lake. John and I set up camp here Thursday afternoon and Susan joined us Friday. It’s supposed to be hot as blazes this weekend but the water is cool here, especially near the dam where it’s deepest. We’ll try the same fish and swim pattern here and see how we like that.

Area fishing reports and tournament information / updates — Ryan Roller and Gary Coldwell won the CATT Kerr Lake Final last Saturday with five bass weighing 18.56 pounds. They also weighed the second biggest fish at 5.36 pounds for total cash winnings of $3,551. There’s a Shenandoah division BFL bass tournament next Saturday on Kerr Lake out of the New Nutbush ramp.

Next week’s report — Striper and bass fishing update from Henderson Point on Kerr Lake plus a camping and cooking report as well. So far we’ve grilled burgers and had a delicious fish fry. This park and the other Kerr Lake park facilities are all very well maintained and we were glad to find a campsite available.

Tip of the week – Take care of your W.E.C. crank baits if you own any. Not only do they sell for big money online now, especially following the passing of their maker, Ed Chambers, but the bass love them in the summertime. This morning I’d landed two bass over 3 pounds on back–to-back casts. Fishing a Zoom W.E.C. Tapp in the Dolphin color across a clay point with brush piles about 13 feet deep I’d hooked an even bigger one and fight it to the boat. Right beside the boat another huge bass came up and tried to take the lure away from the first one and both were on. After fighting them both a while the bigger one got off and took the front set of hooks with it. If you’ve got any Tapps you don’t need please let me know and I will make good use of them for you.

Contact the writer by email at waltbowen@yahoo.com