• Lake Norman Fishing Report

    Fishin' With Gus
    (704) 617-6812 http://www.fishingwithgus.com/index.php Gus@LakeNorman.com
  • With Capt. Gus you will learn fishing techniques that will improve your fishing and allow you to catch more fish on you own boat. Light tackle is used to maximize the excitement of lake fishing. Guide boats can accommodate from one to six anglers. Fishing guides are available year round. They fish daily, including weekends and holidays.

  • Lake Norman Fishing Report

    Readers frequently ask, “What is the best bait to use when fishing for catfish?”

    Choosing a single best bait is difficult, since channel and blue catfish are not only scavengers, but also opportunistic feeders causing their diets to vary. Regardless of your bait choice, it is typically the smell that lures “Mr. Whiskers” to the hook. Prepared baits, commonly called “stink” or “dip” baits are popular for channel catfish along with a variety of refrigerator foods,worms and chicken livers. Blue cats delight in eating fresh cut bream, perch,shad, clams and mussels.

    Kevin Smith of Troutman, NC holding a flathead catfish

    To be more specific, the smells of cheese, garlic, shrimp, beef blood, night crawlers or chicken will attract catfish from long distances. Better yet, a combination of odors will have channels finning around a bait ball made of cheese, or try a small piece of sponge soaked in a mixture of semi-liquefied baits.

    Experimenting with different types of baits is half the fun. But if you only want to catch fish, ask the kids who fish off banks or boat docks what they are using. They have fished with everything cooked and uncooked, plus worms, strawberries, and even grasshoppers. One might say they are as opportunistic as the catfish.

    Some of the more popular baits by species are:

    Channel Catfish:
    * Chicken livers
    * Night crawlers
    * Shrimp
    * Stink and dip baits

    Arkansas Blue Catfish:
    * Fresh cut bream, perch, shad, and river herring
    * Chicken breasts
    * Crayfish, clams, mussels, frogs

    Flathead Catfish:
    * Live, bream, perch, shad, river herring, goldfish and even small catfish
    * Fresh cut fish
    * Live crayfish
    * Jigging spoons

    Lake Norman is heavily populated with channel cats. Most are less than five pounds and are generally taken in shallow water. The Arkansas blue catfish is the lake’s largest species. It can weigh up to eighty-five pounds, but most are in the five to ten pound range. Flatheads are predators, and feed primarily on fish. They’re not as large as the blue cats, but occasionally they top fifty pounds.

    Capt. Gus with a flathead catfish

    Tips from Capt. Gus! Small catfish have very sharp spines. Channel cats have barbed spines at the end of their dorsal and pectoral fins. These fins can puncture the skin and cause pain and infection if not handled properly.

    Fishing Report: The fall fishing season is in full swing, and spotted bass are leading the way. Those who get an early start can catch quick limits using buzz baits, Zara Spooks and white flukes on points and channel markers.

    Crappie fishing improves with the passing of each cold front. Anglers using live minnows are getting good results. White perch are shallower than normal for this time of year. Best bets Sabiki rigs tipped with worms or minnows and fished in twenty to thirty feet of water.

    The water level on Lake Norman is approximately 2.2' below full pond. Mountain Island Lake is 3.9' below full. Surface water temperatures are in the high seventies and low eighties, depending on time of day, location or proximity to a power plant.

    Capt. Gus Gustafson of Lake Norman Ventures, Inc. is an Outdoor Columnist and a full time Professional Fishing Guide on Lake Norman, NC. Visit his website, www.fishingwithgus.com or call 704-617-6812. For additional information, e-mail Gus@LakeNorman.com.
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