2020 Preview & Fish Guides

2020 Preview & Fish Guides

With temps trying to climb into the 60’s in early February, it’s the perfect time to think ahead of warm temps, cool water, and great times on High Rock Lake.

Every month there are organized activities from fishing tournaments to large-scale spectator events. Check out what’s hot on my #LakeLiving list for the 2020 recreation season.


Take a ride with us! Photo Credits: Shane Walser



  • March: Opening of Water’s Edge Dock and Grill
  • March – April: Hill’s Minnow Farm Crappie Round UP
  • April: Earth Day (look for organized river and cove cleanups)
  • July 4th: Holiday HRLA annual dock decorating competition
  • July 25th: Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival at the Shrine Club
  • September 19th: HRLCleanSweep with collection site at Second Dutch Creek
  • And I hear there may be a few new Poker Runs scheduled on Rowan County side of HRL


Of course, there is ongoing weekly fun to be had on the lake and nearby, including karaoke at Tamarac Marina every weekend. Always check out their Facebook page for lunch and dinner specials!

Speaking of ongoing fun, there is fishing 24/7 on High Rock Lake. But how can you fish like the experienced fishermen?



If you read my fishing blog last year, you know that I am NOT the authority with fishing on High Rock Lake. Since I get to see the lake everyday and still don’t have a clue how to snag catfish, bass, or crappie, I decided to get with an expert – I reached out to Yadkin Lakes Crappie Guides. Shane Walser grew up nearby and visited High Rock Lake a ton as a child since his uncle had a place on the lake. Shane spent countless hours fishing off the pier before he got his first johnboat. He eventually moved up to a bass boat. Fishing became a hobby, that turned into a passion and soon a business with a focus on crappie fishing.


It’s a “crappie” harvest! Photo Credits: Shane Walser


Over the years, Shane learned the tricks of the trade from more experienced tournament participants. “I’ve been tournament fishing now for 10 years. Fishing High Rock is different from Tuckertown, Badin, and even Tillery. High Rock is a free-flowing lake and can be muddy in coves. Badin for instance, although a smaller lake, is deeper and a bit clearer, because of the Tuckertown dam,” said Walser. “Crappie fishing and tutoring is fun for me and it’s a good way of introducing the sport of fishing to a younger generation. I love teaching people new things and its great to see some of my customers ‘graduate’ to tournament fishing down the road.”

The fishing guide business is busy year-round. Walser has a full-time job and now a partner with the service so that they can accommodate the requests coming in.  Walser continued to say, “We don’t advertise our guide service in traditional media, although social media and word of mouth are our best way of getting the word out. We also meet lots of folks at N.C. Wildlife ramps or at Hill’s Minnow Farm and just start talking. We offer full day, half day, and even night fishing. Normally it’s two fishermen in the boat so it’s cost effective for everyone to enjoy the service.”


One of the guides for crappie fishing on High Rock Lake! Photo Credits: Shane Walser


“Our service has a few different boats for customers so that they have a better feel for reading electronic gauges and learning how to maneuver boats in and around the fish habitats. It’s all about getting an advantage or edge over the tournament competition. Our customers come from all over the region; I have one guy from Charlotte who has hired me three to four times, as he is looking for an edge for the upcoming tournaments. There are even a few ongoing customers who prefer to use their own boats during our guide trips.”

There are a few other fishing guides that know their way around the Yadkin River lakes and the other bodies of water in N.C. Some specialize in bass fishing, or even fly fishing, and on the coast, deep-sea fishing may be your thing, depending what your fishing pleasure is and what part of the state you are in.


For more information on Yadkin Lakes Crappie Guide, check out their Facebook page or call Shane at 336-978-3737.


Yadkin River Crappie Banner on High Rock Lake. Photo Credits: Shane Walser


Check out http://www.fishingguide365.com/ for another fishing guide service found here on High Rock Lake!

And for more information on crappie fishing around the country, check out WWW.Crappie.com



Shane created the Yadkin Crappie Trail after participating in the American Crappie Trail Tournament, in Alabama. “This event was great to see firsthand, with 70 boats and the winner taking a $30,000 prize and a Ranger fishing boat! Events like that make the sport grow. I enjoy watching major league fishing events, as your skills are on the line – literally,” commented Walser.


Rowan County residents and Yadkin River guides showing off their catches! Photo Credits: Shane Walser


“The goal of the Yadkin Crappie Trail is to keep it local and stay on the Yadkin River chain. The events are one day shows, without making it a traveling tournament. We are kid friendly – many of our teams are comprised of two adults and one child. The Yadkin River Crappie Trail membership fee is $10 and pays for the organization to maintain the rules, get the tournaments properly scheduled on the four Yadkin River lakes, and have a money prize for the winner,” said Walser. “When we fish at HRL we launch at Tamarac Marina with weigh-ins either at Tamarac or Hill’s. We normally have 16 to 22 boats participating.”

I hope to see you all out on the lake!




I would love to hear from you on what your favorite lake activity is, or someone that you would like me to feature in 2020. Please email me at highrock@YourRowan.com

#itsaROCOthing         #lakeliving      #YourRowan    #BeAnOriginal     #HighRockLake

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About The Author

Joyce Caron-Mercier

After three decades of working in the motorsports industry from track and team management to public relations, and overseeing sponsorship and driver contracts within NASCAR, NHRA, IndyCar and World of Outlaws competition, Joyce wanted more. She came to ACS Charlotte in February 2020 as the staff lead for the annual Taste of Hope Charlotte gala. Joyce’s role encompasses event production, sponsorship cultivation and implementation, public awareness, and interaction with the Charlotte gala Board of Ambassadors, and launched the Young Professionals CLT ABOA in 2022. Joyce and her husband Paul of 32 years discovered High Rock Lake, situated between Rowan and Davidson Counties, and quickly became full-time lake residents on North Carolina’s second largest lake with their two Great Danes, Max and Molly. Joyce writes a monthly blog for Your Rowan, a county marketing initiative to share the positive attributes of Rowan County with its residents and visitors. Joyce’s blog and social handles are called ‘Joyce on the Lake’. Being community minded is important and I serve as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the High Rock Lake Association, High Rock Lake Clean Sweep, and assist the Rowan Chamber with their annual Dragon Boat Festival.