April provides some of Spring's finest fishing action.
As Lake Norman's water warms, fish of all types will become hyperactive. Largemouth bass, striped bass, catfish and a variety of pan fish will cruise the shoreline.
The fish are hungry and will feed voraciously day and night. The urge to satisfy pent-up hunger from the cold of winter affords anglers an opportunity to catch limits every day.
The backs of creeks and coves, particularly those with moving or muddy water, are good bets for a successful fishing trip. Small lures cast toward the shallow banks of backwaters will tempt multiple species to strike.
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Silver, white, chrome, blue and chartreuse are preferred colors when casting artificials. For best results with live baits, use worms, minnows, shiners, shad and herring.
April also allows a great opportunity to land stripers and trophy catfish. With artificial or live bait, both species are easy prey in shallow water. Davidson and Reeds creeks are the preferred haunts at the lower end of Lake Norman, while Stumpy and Terrapin creeks will see a lot of activity north of the N.C. 150 bridge.
Since fish will be shallow, be extremely quiet. Long casts are the order of the day. Turn the big motor off long before approaching the feeding grounds and maneuver the shallows with a much quieter electric trolling motor.
Long casts and planer boards positioned away from the boat will assure that game fish are not spooked.
Not all fish will be caught during daylight. April also is an excellent month for night fishing.
Bass and stripers roam shallow banks and gather around lighted boat docks under the cover of darkness. While rewarding, night fishing is not for everyone. Only anglers familiar with the lake and its bottom features should attempt it.
Topwater lures and live baits on free lines will attract big bass and stripers from 10 p.m. until sunrise. As with daytime fishing in the shallows, be as quiet as possible.
In April, catfish, big blues and flatheads can be caught in the same waters as stripers. Some fishermen prefer to double-anchor the boat, while others drift or maneuver slowly with an electric trolling motor.
Cut baits really do the job this time of year, particularly fresh-cut bream, perch and shad. Prepared baits (stink baits) fished around docks will catch lots of small whiskers, but fresh-cut pieces of bait are the choice for those fishing for big cats.
Bass will be in various places, including boat docks, rock piles, ramps, riprap and fallen trees. Regardless of the pattern, fish shallow. Stink baits, pig-and-jigs and any bait with a propeller on one or both ends will entice strikes in April.
A free seminar, "Using Sonar and GPS to Catch Stripers, Bass and White Perch," will meet 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at the Bass Pro Shops at Concord Mills mall. I will lead the seminar in the upstairs conference room, by the archery section. For details call 704-979-2200.