The Zara Spook from Heddon Lures, www.HeddonLures.com.
May is considered by many to be the best month of the year to fish on area lakes. The biggest reason is that the fish are in shallow water and easy to catch. Great fishing aside, the weather is usually so beautiful that just being on the water is enjoyable.
Spring fishing peaks in May, particularly for bass and crappie. It’s a time when bass limits of five per angler can be caught early in the day. As the sun gets higher in the sky, anglers find ample time to seek out bedding bass.
Unlike bass fishermen who practice catch and release, those who target crappie usually keep what they catch, up to the creel limit of twenty (eight inches or larger) fish per day. Those fishing for white perch enjoy catching two, three or more at a time of this popular pan fish.
Shallow water fishing for bass using top water lures is exciting. Most anglers agree that there isn’t anything more thrilling than to see a bass explode on a top water lure. Favorites with Lake Norman fishermen are Zara Spooks, buzz baits, flukes and any bait that pops, gurgles or spins.
Crappie can be found early in the month swimming close to relatively shallow (10’ – 20’) submerged brush piles. Those fishing with small minnows or crappie jigs (1/32 to 1/8th ounce) should expect lots of action. While both bass and perch are aggressive by nature, the passive crappie is often slow to make up its mind to bite. So take your time, fish each brush pile thoroughly, and allow plenty of time for the fish to eat the bait.
White perch begin leaving the shorelines in mid-May to form rather large schools that feast on shad and other small baitfish. Perch are easily located if your boat is equipped with a depth finder. If not, they can be found while slow trolling or drifting crappie minnows. Once located, toss a marker buoy over the side, and fish the general area thoroughly.
Tip from Capt. Gus:
Spring is a good time to fish near the poles that support Lake Norman’s channel, shoal and rock markers. Since most are positioned in shallow water, they are excellent hangouts for bass and other game fish.
Capt. Gus Gustafson of Lake Norman Ventures is an outdoor columnist and a full-time professional fishing guide. For more information, visit www.FishingWithGus.com or call 704-617-6812.