The 'jig' has found its way into many tackle boxes

A jigging spoon is a slender slab of metal with a single or triple hook on one end and an eye or swivel on the other that connects to the fishing line.

This lure is available in a variety of colors and sizes, ranging from a quarter-ounce to several ounces. Jigging spoons are best fished vertically over concentrations of fish in deep water.

The jigging spoon has found a home in the tackle boxes of many inland fishermen. On Lake Norman, the jig is used to tempt everything from white perch to stripers. They also take a fair share of spotted bass, blue and flathead catfish.

When fish are deep and bait is difficult to keep alive (as in summer), jigging spoons are an excellent alternative to shiners, shad and herring. The lure is best worked vertically through a school with a yo-yo motion.

The up and down motion duplicates the look of a struggling baitfish as it settles toward the bottom.

As a rule, fish look upward in search of food, so keep the lure just above the school. Most strikes will come on the fall, so allow the lure to sink slowly. Maintain a tight line so you can detect the slightest bite. When you get a bite, a twitch of the rod will set the hook.

You could add a piece of strip bait or a whole baitfish to the hook. That will give it more action and will add a scent to the metal jig. Another popular add-on is a string of Sabiki flies strung above the jigging spoon. The Sabiki rig simulates the appearance of a school of baitfish under attack from a bigger fish (the jig). Sabikis are available pre-tied at most fishing tackle outlets.

The Sabiki rig has become very popular with white perch fishermen. Most use a string of three to six Sabiki flies above a half-ounce, 3/4-ounce or 1-ounce jigging spoon. While lots of perch are taken on this rig, other game fish are attracted to it as well.

Coming events

Bring the entire family to a free fishing seminar, "Bank and Dock Fishing for Sunfish, White Perch, Catfish and Bass," 6:30-8 p.m. July 21 at Gander Mountain, off I-77 Exit 36. I will cover everything from fishing with cane poles, hooks and bobbers to using live and cut baits, and I'll give suggestions about the best places to fish from shore. Call 704-658-0822 for details.

Light House Marine Services will offer a course titled "How to Safely Navigate Lake Norman" from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 29 at Gander Mountain, off I-77 Exit 36, Mooresville. As the instructor, I'll discuss such topics as "Understanding Lake Norman's Marker and Buoy System," "Identifying and Learning how to avoid Dangerous Shoals" and "How to Use and Interpret Lake Maps." Registration is $25. Details: Lt. Scott Spivey, 704-587-0325;

Hot spots

Anglers who venture out in the heat will find stripers in the river channel from Marker 11 south to Marker 3. White perch are along the edges of creeks and in the river channel in water to 50 feet deep. Flatheads often lurk below schools of perch and can be caught on live perch or cut bait.

The lake level is about 3.5 feet below full pond. The water surface temperature is in the 90s.