The time of year Cape Fear-area anglers wait for through a seemingly endless winter is here when the calendar indicates May has arrived.
Warm fronts, longer days and the swollen Gulf Stream have warmed the Atlantic Oceans waters at the North Carolina coast this month. The heat from the sun promotes the growth of microscopic organisms, which fuel the food chain. Baitfish and shrimp begin multiplying and gather at North Carolinas inshore waters.
The air was heavy and hot as the inside of a Turkish steam bath, typical summer weather at Southports waterfront.
The only way to defend against copious sweating was to sit in air conditioning or blow-dry it away with a fast boat ride. Yet despite the summer weather, for some anglers, it was about to become Christmas.
Lake Gaston is arguably one of the best lakes in North Carolina on which to fish for spawning bass. Its big, full of fish, the kinds of little pockets and coves with stumps that attract spawners, and the water level is stable, which keeps fish on the beds for a longer period of time.
So is Gaston also one of the states best postspawn lakes?
Tar Heels get more excited about spotted sea trout, probably because anglers catch lots of them from the grass beds of Pamlico Sound during the warm season and get runs of big specks at Cape Point each winter.
Jason Quinn, a Lake Wylie resident and a highly successful professional bass angler, called his wife last year to get information about North Carolinas drought during a break at an Arkansas conference .
My wife said all the boat ramps at Lake Wylie were closed, he said, all but one.
Lake Gaston's shallow structure provides great habitat for post-spawn bass.