Experts and fishermen agree: The new reefs work

Mark Lancaster, director at large of the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists, reports the new rock reefs are a success.

Fishermen agree. They are finding a variety of fish above and around the tons of boulders placed in two locations on Lake Norman earlier this year.

Spotted bass, white perch and catfish are feeding on the bait fish that have made the rock piles their home.

According to Lancaster, "Plans are being made to create two additional rock reefs in 2012. While the exact locations are still under study, placements in Reed and Stumpy creeks are being given serious consideration. In addition, a third round of deep-water fish attractors will be deployed in the spring of 2012."

Jake Bussolini, author of several books about Lake Norman fishing and an avid supporter of the reef and attractor projects, said at a recent seminar: "I observed large fish swimming around the deep-water attractors within an hour of the deployment.

"Over time, algae attaches to the attractors and causes baitfish to gather, which, in turn, draws more and more game fish. Because of the strategic placement on fish migration routes, fish that are caught and kept are quickly replaced by others."

The GPS coordinates for the manmade reef positioned south of the N.C. 150 bridge are N35 31.843/W80 56.337 and the other, located above the bridge, are N35 36.844/W80 56.622. Maps and exact GPS coordinates for the 20 deepwater fish attractors, along with additional information concerning the reefs, can found at, click on "Projects" and then click on the deep fish attractor link.

In addition to the attractor and reef projects, the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists have been instrumental in improving the nesting habitats for ospreys, providing basking platforms for turtles and initiating a fishing line re-cycling program designed to prevent birds and other lake animals from becoming entangled in discarded fishing line. If you would like to volunteer for wildlife projects like these, email or call 704-877-4788.

Tips from Capt. Gus

Thoroughly fish the area around each rock reef and deepwater attractor. Many times, the fish are at the sides, rather than directly on top of the manmade habitat.

Upcoming Events

A free, safe-boating class on "How to Navigate Norman when the Lake is Low" will be held 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday at North Point Watersports, 112 Doolie Road, Mooresville.

Topics for discussion will include "Understanding Lake Norman's Channel Marker and Buoy System," "Identifying and Learning How to Avoid the Ten Most Dangerous Spots," and "Safely Navigating In Low Water Conditions." For information, call me at 704-617-6812 or e-mail

A free fishing seminar on "Electric Trolling Motor Maintenance" is scheduled 6:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at Gander Mountain, Exit 36, in Mooresville. Bill Hassig, of Fishermen's Friend in Kannapolis, will discuss ways to maximize the performance and improve the battery life of your motor.

Everyone who owns, or is considering the purchase of an electric trolling motor, should plan to attend this informative session. For information, call 704-658-0822.

Hot Spots of the Week

Best bets for bass are top-water lures at daylight in boat basins and around bridge pilings and rip-rap points. Anglers fishing the south hot hole are catching bass and white perch throughout the day. White perch are also being caught on Sabiki rigs fished vertically in water to 30 feet. Channel cats are hitting stink baits, worms and chicken parts in back coves and around docks.

Lake Norman's water level is down about 4.7 feet below full pond and down 3 feet on Mountain Island Lake. The water's surface temperature is in the 60s.