Bass lures are the perfect stocking stuffer. Here are three lures that will catch fish all year and are sure to please any bass angler.
Every now and then, a new lure hits the market and takes the fishing community by storm. This season’s hottest seller is the Whopper Plopper (starting at $12.99). It’s a top-water lure that casts a mile and works at various speeds. On Lake Norman, the faster the retrieve, the better – because spotted bass are aggressive by nature and can’t resist the commotion and whopping sound created by this lure’s rotating tail. The Whopper Plopper is like a buzz bait on steroids that floats at rest and creates a significant wake while it shakes, rattles and rolls on the retrieve. It’s available in three sizes and can be purchased locally at Tackle Town, Carolina Tackle, Bass Pro Shops and other fishing tackle outlets.
The Long Shot (starting at $7.99) is a slender, minnow-shaped lure made by Bomber and designed to cast long distances. Its three-dimensional body design mimics the shape of a shad or herring and can be twitched, jerked or zipped through the water, depending on circumstances. It comes in 5-, 6- and 7-inch sizes. The shortest is best for schooling bass, stripers and hybrids on Lake Norman. The Long Shot is built with saltwater hardware and 4X hooks that can withstand the rigors of landing big fish.
The Bumbershoot (about $14.99) is a 7-inch, five-arm Alabama rig that collapses for storage. A twist-lock design permits the arms to be raised and lowered without affecting its performance. Its willow-leaf blades provide the vibration needed to attract game fish to the swim baits that trail behind.
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November fishing forecast
By mid-November, hybrids and stripers will have settled into their early winter pattern. They tend to concentrate in a particular area for days at a time. Popular haunts at the upper end of the Lake Norman are Hicks, Rocky and Stumpy creeks. Below the N.C. 150 bridge, most of the action will take place in Mountain, Little and Reed creeks. While there are still plenty of live-bait fishermen around, those trolling Alabama rigs and other deep-running lures are seeing good results. As November comes to an end, the arrival of seabirds will lead anglers to surface-feeding fish.
If it’s bass you’re looking for, November is a great month to cast top-water plugs early around boat docks and riprap and bottom bumping soft plastics after the sun rises. Plenty of white perch will be taken by those drifting in water to depths of 20 feet or more. Best results will be achieved by those using Sabiki rigs, small spoons and live crappie minnows.
The upcoming holiday season is one of the best times of the year to fish Lake Norman. By Thanksgiving weekend, most pleasure boats have been winterized and are off the water until spring. Those remaining are more than likely fishing boats filled with anglers fishing for bass, hybrids, crappie and white perch.
Tip from Capt. Gus
Double the use of your fishing line and save money, too. Reverse the line by reeling it onto a similar capacity empty spare spool or a spool on a different reel. The unused line on the bottom of the old spool will now be on top of the new spool.
Free fishing seminar: Angler and author Jake Bussolini will conduct the informative seminar “Winter Fishing Techniques – How to Catch Bass, Stripers, Hybrids and White Perch” at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at Gander Mountain, Exit 36, Mooresville. For information, call 704-658-0822.
Lake Norman is 1.3 feet below full pond, and 3.3 feet below on Mountain Island Lake. The water surface temperature on both lakes is in the mid- to high 60s.
Gus Gustafson is a freelance writer and a professional fishing guide: Gus@lakenorman.com.