On any given day, fishermen line the banks of the fishing area at the McGuire Nuclear Plant, where there is plenty of room to fish. Sometimes, they catch lots of them.
Since the water from the power station is very warm, fish feed actively there throughout the day. First-timers to the area should plan to spend some time watching and talking to those who are catching fish. Most anglers enjoy sharing their fishing techniques and success stories with you.
A wide variety of fish frequent the warm discharge channel, including bass, stripers, white perch, sunfish and catfish. Depending on the season, every angler has a special way to fish, but bottom fishing with worms, minnows, cut baits and chicken livers is a popular method.
Since the current is swift, sinkers and rigs, similar to those used for surf fishing at the coast, are used to help hold the bait on the bottom.
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Bottom fishing isn't the only way to catch fish. At times, baitfish are driven to the surface by schools of bass or stripers. That's a good time to cast artificial lures. Best bets are Zara Spooks, Rat-L Traps and Red Fins.
It seems the larger the lure, the farther it will cast. Smaller baits, however, such as buck tails and spoons, are often used when bass are striking on the surface.
Fish bite best when the current is swift. The faster the current, the more active the fish will be. Again, remember: A strong current requires a heavier weight. When water is moving briskly, it's best to cast upcurrent and allow the bait to bump along the bottom as it drifts back toward you. Fish face into the current while waiting to ambush a meal floating their way.
The McGuire Fishing Area is beside the Energy Explorium at 13339 Hager's Ferry Road, Huntersville (800-777-0003). It has a wheelchair-accessible fishing pier, restrooms and paved parking. Fishing is allowed 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends.
Since the water is swift, both children and adults who don't swim should wear personal floatation devices while fishing at the McGuire Fishing Area.
Lake Norman fishing guide Mac Byrum and I will lead a free, two-hour seminar, "How to Catch Trophy Flathead and Arkansas Blue Catfish While Fishing for White Perch," at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Gander Mountain, off Exit 36 of I-77. Details: 704-658-0822.
Light House Marine Services will offer an eight-hour class in boater and personal watercraft safety starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at North Point Watersports, off Exit 36 of I-77, Mooresville. The course meets the requirements for anyone age 25 or younger who wishes to operate a boat on N.C. waters. The registration fee is $49. To register or for information call Scott Spivey, 704-587-0325, or visit www.lmservice.org.
The 31st annual Lake Norman Shrine Club Dogwood Bass Tournament is scheduled for 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Midway Marina. First prize for the charity event is $2,500. Details: www.lakenormanshrineclub.org.