Summer is winding down, kids are back in school, and cooler weather is just around the corner. Each fall brings an epidemic that spreads throughout the fishing community like a plague. The disease, known as “fishing pox,” is not fatal and does not require a doctor's care, but it will cause many to miss work.
It usually targets male adults with a high propensity to spend their leisure time fishing. It spreads rapidly when weather conditions are extremely cold and winds are blustery with extended periods of rain, sleet or snow. The more time a person spends indoors, the higher the likelihood of contracting the disease. To get rid of the disease, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on new fishing tackle, lures, marine electronics and numerous useless gadgets, all for naught. In more advanced stages, “fishing pox” will cause the unwary to buy luxury bass boats and 10-day trips to far-off fishing destinations. Fishing pox is not covered by group medical plans, Medicare or Medicaid.
A quick and relatively inexpensive cure for the disease is to go fishing. The sooner you go, the sooner the disease will disappear. Bigger is better; catching a big fish seems to eliminate the disease almost immediately.
The Norman Fishery Alliance Annual Meeting and Fish Fry will be 10 a.m-2 p.m. Oct. 11 at Gander Mountain, Exit 36, Mooresville.
Hot spots of the week
Cooler water temperatures have stripers and bass feeding on the surface, particularly in the early morning. Best bets are the south hot hole, near the McGuire nuclear power plant, and boat basins for bass. For stripers, look for long, shallow points that extend to river and creek channels. White perch fishing has been particularly good for anglers who are deep jigging Sabiki rigs in water to 40 feet. Catfish are being taken on both live and cut baits. Flatheads seem to prefer live baits, and blues like cut baits, so fish with both.
Lake Norman's water level is near normal for September. Surface water temperatures are in the low to mid-80s.
Tips from Gus
Many times, the first throw with a cast net is the most important one. The quicker the bait can be caught, the quicker you can begin fishing. If you use a cast net frequently, store it in a few inches of water. A wet net will cast easier and open wider.