The transition from summer to fall is almost complete, and with it comes the color change, cooling air and water temperatures and excellent fishing on Lake Norman and other local lakes.Some say it’s the cool weather and low humidity that makes fishing so good in October, while others suggest it’s because there is less boat traffic.A better explanation is that fish are hungry after spending much of the summer in deep water, where food is hard to find. History shows that when surface water temperatures dip into the 70s, the fish go on a feeding frenzy.How long this heightened feeding activity will last depends on how fast the fish gain body weight for the winter. In the meantime, grab your tackle and enjoy some of the finest fishing of the year. If it’s bass that you’re targeting, look for bait schools swimming on the surface, particularly in protected coves and backs of creek runs. The more bait present, the higher the probability of largemouth and spotted bass feeding in the area. Since baitfish are small, it’s best to cast lures that replicate their size. Lightweight lures can be difficult to cast with bait-casting tackle. That is why spinning outfits, loaded with 6- to 10-pound test line, are used for long casts. Not all bass will be feeding on the surface or swimming the shallows.Anglers fishing deep docks, points and submerged brush will find that soft plastic lures bumped along the bottom will entice lots of strikes from tournament-size bass. In fall, perch will continue to please fishermen. As a rule, they are larger than during the spring and summer months. While shiny jigging spoons, Sabiki rigs and small minnows catch a large number of perch, small pieces of worms will also tempt these feisty swimmers. Since perch swim in schools, stay put once a fish or two are caught, and wait for others to swim under the boat. Chumming with small pieces of cut white perch will help keep them feeding for long periods. October also marks the beginning of the cool-weather crappie fishing season. To everyone’s pleasure, crappies are making a comeback on Lake Norman. Not only are they more plentiful than in years past, but they’re considerably larger. Manmade habitat, such as submerged brush, bridge pilings, boat houses and deep-water attractors made of PVC are great places to drop crappie minnows. While schools of crappie can be found throughout Lake Norman, some of the most popular places to catch them are the creek arms of Mountain, Beaver Dam, Reed and Hicks creeks.Tip from Capt. GusWant to catch more white perch? Anchor in a likely spot and pour a drink cup full of soggy dog food into the water at regular intervals. Known as chumming, it will bring the main body of fish within casting range and improve the likelihood of multiple hookups.Hot Spots of the WeekNight fishing for bass is excellent. Not only are they more active after dark, but they’re larger, as evidenced by tournament results. On most nights, it takes a five-fish stringer, weighing between 12 and 15 pounds, to win. Those who fish during daylight hours are also catching nice stringers. Best bets are near channel and shoal markers and under boat docks. White perch are biting along deep drop-offs. Fishing for channel, blues and flathead catfish has also been very good. Lake Norman’s lake level is about 4.3 feet below full pond and 3.0 feet below full on Mountain Island Lake. The surface water temperature is in the 70s in water not affected by power generation.