Insider Fishing Tips From Madison County North Carolina fishermen

To get the inside scoop on the best fishing, these fishermen were consulted and provided the tips on the best spots along the creeks and the bait that they use.

Charles Tolley is known throughout the county as the “go to guy” when you have a question about fishing. He has been fishing the Madison County rivers and creeks since he was about 10 years old and served as an at-large commissioner on the NC Wildlife Commission. He remembers in great detail the first time he caught a fish with his father and has loved the sport and the Madison County waters ever since.

Dyatt Smathers is a devout fly fisherman. “The more you hike, the better the fishing gets.” When he is not busy with his many community activities, his favorite spot is the Laurel River Trail. It is one of the favorite hiking trails in the county because it is such a beautiful trail. Dyatt says that you can enjoy the walk even if you don’t catch any fish.

Vernon Troutman fishes with live bait because if you use worms, “you can feel the tension.” He prefers creeks because there is more of a challenge in the small creeks and they are easy access. “You don’t have to walk a country mile to get to the fish.” Favorite spots are Puncheon Fork, Big Laurel Creek, and Shelton Laurel Creek because of the easy access. He has fished Madison County waters since 1990 and caught his biggest fish (a 19″ brown trout) back then. But there is never been a time when he came back without a fish, although sometimes it might take two hours. He considers fishing good therapy because of the peace and quiet.

Harry Culbertson is a bait fisherman who has been fishing the Madison County creeks all his life. He prefers a 2-way spinner tipped with a night crawler for bait because it’s easier for fish to see it. His favorite spots are Big Pine and Shelton Laurel because there is easy access. He has been fishing since the time when he could walk to a creek. The biggest fish he caught was a 16 1/2 ” brown trout in the Big Laurel and it’s mounted on the wall in his house. His advice: “When they stock, you have to take your own rock.”