Fish attractors work best in lakes that have very little underwater structure or vegetation.
That is why the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists, a local chapter of the N.C. Wildlife Federation, is leading a project to strategically deploy hundreds of fish attractors 20-30 feet deep in Lake Norman.
The first phase of the project began in 2009. Ten sets of 20 Sputnik-like structures made of PVC pipe were placed in various locations north of the N.C. 150 bridge. Those weighted spheres measure about 5 feet in diameter. When dropped in clusters of 20, they form a complex underwater habitat.
The attractors provide shade and cover, and fish gather in very tight areas near them. Also, algae, an important food for feeder fish, forms on the surface of an attractor within days. Algae-eating minnows then lure larger fish.
When they think about fish attractors, some people think of crappie hanging around brush and sunken trees. But those aren't the only fish that frequent them.
Bream, largemouth bass, white perch, catfish and an occasional striped bass can be caught near them.Spotted bass, the newest entry to Lake Norman's fishery, also make frequent visits to the attractors.
Attractors alone cannot change the quality or quantity of the lake's fishery, but they add tremendous value. Attractors, combined with other initiatives begun by biologists and conservation groups, will help enhance the lake's fisheries management programs.
Phase two took place Sept. 15 with the deployment of 48 new attractors. This version has a cone-like body and dozens of PVC arms that form what looks something like a Christmas tree. A heavy metal ring surrounds the base, helping the cone stay upright on the bottom. And the metal ring makes the attractor easier to find with your boat's sonar unit.
If you haven't cast a lure around the fish attractors that are now positioned on both sides of the N.C. 150 bridge, give them a try. Anglers casting over them are catching lots of fish. The GPS coordinates for the attractor sites are at www.lakenormanwildlife.org/Deep_fish_attractor_project.htm.
If you're interested in helping with the fish habitat project, contact Mark Lancaster at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704-528-7400.
Everyone has a "go-to" lure, one that catches a fish every time you use it.
If you haven't replaced the hooks this season, you are probably missing more strikes than you should. Take time to replace them with laser-sharp trebles.
Bass fishing is good to very good. The best bet is at the south hot hole, where spotted bass are surface-feeding all day on small forage fish. Bass are striking a variety of lures on points and humps and around boat docks. White perch are hitting drifting baits in water to 30 feet deep. Flathead and blue catfish are hitting cut baits fished in coves and over shallow creek points.
The lake level is about 4.7 feet below full pond. The surface water temperature is in the low to mid-80s.