Have more fun fishing: Pay attention to sounds

The sounds of fishing bring an added dimension to every trip. Some sounds are indications of a successful trip, while others tend to be problematic. Let's listen to some of them.

Howling wind, rumbling thunder and pouring rain might be the first sign that a fishing trip isn't off to a good start. On the other hand, a forecast of partly cloudy skies, high temperatures and light winds will bring a smile to any angler's face.

Fishermen relish the noise of screeching sea birds that dive into a fray of feeding stripers. The shouts of "Fish on!" "Get the net!" and "Nice fish!" add excitement to every fishing adventure.

The noise made when a fishing line breaks, or the smashing sound of a favorite rod getting crushed by a car door, usually is followed by a few choice words. Worse yet, some days just begin really badly - like when you turn the boat key and the only sound you hear is the clicking of a dead battery.

Many great sounds are a pleasure to hear and truly make the day worthwhile. Some favorites are the unforgettable sound of splashing fish, the clicking of the blade on a buzz-bait as it comes across the water, tantalizing every bass within hearing distance, and the swishing sound of line as it slices through the water when being pulled from the reel by an oversized striped bass.

Birds make some of the most interesting and noticeable sounds, such as the harsh cawing of a flock of black crows, the honking of geese flying overhead or the very common sounds of quacking ducks as they communicate with each other. Then there is the "I wonder what kind of bird that is": A bird that is often mistaken for a woodpecker in flight makes that sound. It is actually the kingfisher's high-pitched chattering that turns your head.

Two sounds that bring peace of mind and relaxation to those who listen are the babbling of a flowing brook, and the pounding of waves washing ashore on a sandy beach.

But to a fisherman, nothing is better than the sound of fish fillets hitting the hot grease in a deep fryer ... and finally, someone saying, "Let's eat!


Freshly caught white perch, crappie and bass are delicious when breaded in batter, fried in peanut oil and served with hush puppies, fries, slaw and iced tea.

Hot spots

Deep-water stripers, bass and perch are being taken on bucktails and jigging spoons at the confluence of most major creek channels and the Catawba River. Fish are suspended in water to 90 feet at the mouth of Hagers, Mountain and Reed creeks. Anglers fishing from the banks of the "hot holes" are catching a variety of fish with bloodworms, chicken livers and minnows. Cat fishing is also good, considering the cold water.

The surface water temperature is in the 30s and 40s, depending on location, and warmer near the hot holes. The lake level is about 3.6 feet below full pond.