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Lockwood's Folly River

    During a recent family vacation, we crossed over a nice looking little river near the coast in southeastern North Carolina. I had a few hours to kill one morning and my youngest son, Mitchell (age 3), and I decided to paddle around a bit and make a few casts. I lashed a small beach chair to the back of my kayak and pretty soon we were paddling upstream. We didn't have to paddle, however, as the incoming tide was actually moving the current gently in an upstream direction (The tides up here are 3-4 hours behind the tides at the inlet). Ideally, you want to catch the end of the outgoing tide and the beginning of the incoming tide, but Mitchell and I were just doing a little exploring more than anything else. If we caught a fish it would just be icing on the cake.

Mitchell and Daddy smile for the camera

    Since we were only 10 miles or so from Lockwood's Folly Inlet, I wasn't even certain whether I was fishing fresh water, salt water, or something in between. I tied on a spinnerbait, but wasn't sure if this section of the river even harbored any bass. Within a few minutes I would have my answer as a healthy bass slammed the spinnerbait near a brushpile. I don't know how Lockwood's Folly looks at low tide, but there is no shortage of tasty-looking places to cast at high tide. The water inundates the grassbeds and cypress knees and every place looks fishy (which I guess is what makes fishing the high tide trickier).

"Nice goin', Dad!"

    Lockwood's Folly River is only floatable for about 15 miles and I'm not certain how far downstream freshwater fish species can be caught. There are reportedly a few logjams on the section of river upstream from where I was fishing, but the river was clear from obstructions in the section I fished and varied from 50 to 80 feet in width (this was at high tide). There were a couple river houses and small docks, but this section of river appeared pretty primitive for the most part. The section of river I fished seemed big enough to accommodate a jon boat and there was a pontoon boat docked about a mile upstream from the bridge.

    The river gets it's name from one of the two Lockwood brothers (Thomas, I think) who became famous as blockade runners for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Thomas ran the Elizabeth and a cargo worth $1 million (in Civil War dollars!) aground in the inlet, hence the river's name. It is often referred to as Lockwood Folly River locally (losing the apostrophe and the s).

    The river is really pretty too. We didn't see any alligators, but a local we talked to said they are seen occasionally closer to the ocean. All told, Mitchell and I caught four bass and a big bowfin in about three hours of paddling and fishing. Only one of the bass was under a pound and they were all very feisty.  Mitchell helped paddle a little and reeled in a couple of the smaller bass, but mostly sat behind me and ate snacks while we talked. As it turns out, we didn't even have to paddle back to the bridge because the tide turned while we were out and the river pushed us gently home. When a light drizzle started falling about thirty minutes from the bridge, I looked back and Mitchell was sound asleep.

Some days on the river I wish I could do this!

    Since I have never heard  Lockwood's Folly River mentioned as a premier freshwater fishing destination, chances are that it's not. There are some nice bass in the river, and I would imagine the bream and catfishing is pretty good also. I think it would be pretty fun to float the last section and see what type of saltwater fish show up farther downstream. I doubt that the freshwater fish get very much attention from anglers, especially the bass.

    I doubt I'd make a long trip just to fish Lockwood's Folly, but if you live in the area or find yourself vacationing on the southeast coast, there are definitely worse places to be than on this river!



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