Fishermen have a language all their own. Those unfamiliar with the lingo could have difficulty enjoying certain fishing discussions.
To help you, I'm going to define some common terms.
Shoal – A bottom area beneath the water's surface that is much shallower than the area surrounding it. A shoal can present an unsafe or challenging navigation situation. Numerous shallow areas on Lake Norman are identified by white diamond-shaped markers with the word “SHOAL” on them. While shoals can be perils to boaters, they often harbor bass, catfish and stripers.
Hook set/hookup – The term “hook set” is used when a fish takes the bait and the angler tightens the line to hook the fish. Once the hook is set, the fish is considered a “hookup.” That's when the “reel” excitement begins!
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Shallow water/deep water – Relative terms used to describe the depth at which fish are being caught. A depth of less than 5 feet might be considered shallow water in a lake that's 20 feet deep. A marlin fisherman might say the fish are shallow in 300 feet of ocean.
Live bait – Various types of small fish or other creatures used to lure larger ones. Most freshwater live baits are shad, herring, minnows, shiners, insects, worms and small animals such as frogs or lizards. It's best to ask which type and size is the best to use.
Trolling motor – A small motor used to propel a boat while fishing. The motor is usually quiet and maneuverable.
Hot spot/hot hole – A hot spot is a place or general area where fish are being caught regularly in significant numbers. A hot hole is a place where warm water is being discharged. Lake Norman has two hot holes: one east of the McGuire Nuclear Plant, the other at the Marshall Steam Plant between markers 15 and 15A. The warm water attracts schools of bait, which, in turn, lure game fish to the area.
Jake Bussolini will lead a free fishing seminar, “How to Read and Interpret a Fish Finder to Catch Perch, Stripers and Bass,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Gander Mountain, Exit 36, Mooresville. Call 704-658-0822 for more information. Bussolini is the author of two books on the specifics of fishing Lake Norman.
Fishing for bass and stripers has been good to very good over underwater islands (humps) and off long points that jut into the lake. Anglers fishing Mountain Creek (east of Slanting Bridge) are finding nice catches of spotted bass and stripers mixed in the same feeding areas.