Remember when families spent hours sitting on the den floor flipping through the pages of picture albums? When fishermen usually had two ragged photos in their wallet – one of the family and the other of the biggest bass they ever caught?
Today, smartphone picture galleries and YouTube action shots have all but replaced the albums and still photos of yesterday.
But, for anglers who want to be reminded of some great fishing from experiences way back, all one has to do is find that dusty tackle box hidden somewhere in the attic or garage. You might find a black Jitter Bug – the one that caught your biggest bass – or a red-and-white Daredevil spoon that took so many lake trout while cold water fishing.
If the lures in your tackle box could talk, the fish they caught might not have been quite as big as you remember. But since they can’t talk, just pick them up one at a time and think back to the days when bass always hit a Devil’s Horse or a yellow-belly blue-eyed Boy Howdy fished on the surface at dawn. Even the rusty hooks tell a story – like the bent treble hooks on the Mepps spinner that were straightened by the biggest pike you ever lost.
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A friend and I were reminiscing about our fishing experiences on Lake Wateree long before I-77 was built. We remembered the favorite lures of the day, beginning with the 9-inch, notched-back, weedless, black rubber worm that looked more like a snake than anything else; and the Hot Spot – a lipless lure that white bass couldn’t resist. There were others, like deep-diving Hellbenders and Waterdogs, both made of wood. Another top water favorite was the Pecks Popper, used as a trailer behind a frog-colored Hula Popper. Our preferred baits were the Mepps spinner and a white Shyster with black dots. Both caught everything from bream to channels cats, and lots of bass along the way.
Clean and sharpen the hooks on a few of the old lures you find in your rusty tackle box, and cast them a time or two on your next trip. Chances are they’ll still catch fish. If they don’t, at least you might be reminded of a big one you once caught.
Hot Spots of the Week
Large numbers of spotted bass are being caught on both ends of Lake Norman. Surprisingly, the bite is better right now during mid-day than at dawn and dusk. Large schools are suspended from 10 to 30 feet below the surface over river humps, around deep points and manmade rock reefs. Limits of crappie and plenty of white perch are being caught on small minnows, jigs and spoons.
The water level on Lake Norman is about 4.6-feet below full pond and 3.7-feet below on Mountain Island Lake. The surface water temperature is in the 50s and low 60s in water not affected by power generation.