It doesn't seem to matter. Regardless of where you go, the best fishing always seems to be at the greatest distance from where you are.
Think about it: Fishermen spend six or seven hours driving to the N.C. Outer Banks to catch winter stripers, and then run up the beach two hours by boat to the N.C.-Virginia state line to find fish.
Lake Norman is no different. Most bass tournaments begin at Blythe Landing in the southern part of the lake or at the N.C. 150 bridge in the northern part. On certain weekends, there are simultaneous blastoffs from both access points.
And guess what? The boats from Blythe Landing head north, and those that started at the N.C. 150 bridge travel south. Somewhere between channel markers 7 and 10, they meet and cross boat wakes. The boats traveling south are likely headed to the hot hole at the McGuire Nuclear Station, while many northbound boats make a bee line to the hot hole at the Marshall Steam Plant.
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Mountain trout fishermen do the same thing, except that they walk or wade for miles upstream until they reach a favorite pool, eddy or set of rapids.
Fishermen believe "the water is always bluer on the other side." When asked why they travel so far to find fish, they commonly answer, "That's what I've always done" or "Fishing is usually better on the other side of the lake."
If the truth is known, the reason for long traveling distances is that fishermen are adventurous and love to fish faraway waters. Another likely reason is the enjoyment of the ride. And when traveling in a bass boat at speeds up to 70 mph, it really doesn't take long to get from one end of a lake to the other.
On the other hand, there are those without boats who stay in one spot most of the day. They get great satisfaction from watching the fast, gas-guzzling boats buzz by while they catch a limit of bass on night crawlers from the shoreline.
A free fishing seminar, "How to Catch Spring and Summer Catfish," will be at 6:30 p.m. April 27 at Gander Mountain, off I-77 at Exit 36, Mooresville. It will be led by Lake Norman catfish guide Mac Byrum and local author Jake Bussollini. Details: 704- 658-0822.