Anglers mine ‘funnels’ for Lake Norman spots, largemouths, crappie, perch
Jigging spoons primary bait to target deep fish
Spotted bass have become Lake Norman’s primary gamefish, and they’ve had on their feed bags lately.
“I haven’t heard much about (fish) being in the hot holes,” said guide Gus Gustafson of Lake Norman Ventures “Most of the action has been deep jigging off points near the creek channels and in the turns of creek channels.”
Gustafson and his clients have been taking advantage of the extremely aggressive nature of spotted bass that have become the dominant gamefish species in the 32,510-acre impoundment north of Charlotte.
“We recently caught 45 spotted bass in three hours while deep jigging with spoons and 3/8-ounce bucktails at one spot,” he said.
His main technique to find fish is to look for sea gulls.
“You go where the birds are, then use your electronics to see how deep the fish are beneath them,” he said. “Then you drop down your lures to the right depths.”
Gustafson (704-617-6812) said his clients have been catching other types of fish at such spots in addition to spotted bass.
“We’ve also been landing big white perch, scattered stripers (and) largemouth bass, and the other day a guy landed a 5-pound, 7-ounce (white bass/striper) hybrid,” he said.
Fish suspended at the ends of points can be 40- to 50-feet deep, and Gustafson targets them with a locally made Tackletown jigging spoon in 3/8- to 1-ounce sizes, depending upon their depth.
“But when fish are actively feeding, people also are catching them on topwater lures as well as jigging spoons,” he said. “The fish can be at many depths when they’re feeding.”
Most of the spotted bass anglers catch weigh between 1 to 1 ½ pounds, Gustafson said, with 2 ½-pounders showing up at times.
“The best place to be catch fish of any kind now at Lake Norman is to set up over a deep point by a creek or where the river channel pinches down like a funnel,” Gustafson said. “The fish have to go through those places when they’re coming and going, migrating or on a feeding pattern.”
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