The cooler the air and surface water temperatures become, the better the fishing will be in November. That’s why the days following the Thanksgiving holiday are so popular with Lake Norman fishermen. Not only are anglers off for a few days, but 60-degree water temperatures energize the fish and cause them to bite feverishly. Any given day in November can produce outstanding results, so don’t wait until the end of the month to wet a line.
The catch-whatever-is-biting crowd will find a smorgasbord of fish. Those fishing from shore at the Marshall and McGuire hot water discharge canals will see plenty of action from white perch, spotted bass and an occasional striper. Those fishing from private docks can expect to catch crappie on minnows, catfish on stink baits and carp on dough balls.
Bass fishermen should find Lake Norman’s spotted bass population quite productive. This junior member of the black bass family has been tearing up almost every lure that’s hit the water in recent weeks. Soft plastics, including; flukes, swim-baits and worm look-alikes are best baits. November is a month when spotted bass are found in a variety places, but typically boat docks, river humps and shallow points are preferred places to cast.
Large crappie, some measuring 18 inches in length, have been bending poles and stretching lines since mid-October. The bite is expected to continue throughout November. Look for crappie schools near sunken brush piles and bridge pilings in water to 20 feet deep. These tasty members of the sunfish family are not considered scrappers, but when the water cools, they are more aggressive and fight harder than at other times of the year.
Fishing for crappie and white perch is a great way to introduce youngsters to the sport. White perch are so plentiful that anglers fishing multiple hook rigs brag of catching three or four at a time. Vertical jigging and suspending small minnows a foot or two off the bottom are the methods of choice on Lake Norman. White perch and spotted bass feed on the same baitfish, so when you find one species, the other is not far away.
Tip from Capt. Gus
Look for shad and herring schools on the surface at dawn and dusk. Their presence is a good indicator that bass, perch and other predator fish are feeding in the general area.
Hot Spots of the Week
Anglers fishing above the N.C. 150 bridge are catching limits of crappie around submerged brush piles and the deep water attractors placed in the lake by Lake Norman conservationists. Below the bridge, fishing is excellent for spotted bass and white perch in Reed, Davidson and Mountain creeks. Best bets are coves, points and along deep water drops 50 feet of water –all typical fall fishing patterns.
Lake Norman’s lake level is about 4.2 feet below full pond and 3.8 feet below full on Mountain Island Lake. The surface water temperature is in 60s in water not affected by power generation.