Fishermen are sometimes known to speak in a tongue of their own. They often say things to keep others off-track about where the fish are hitting and how they are being caught, and then brag about the one that got away. They might want you to think they know everything, but don't want you to know more than they do. So, when you ask where the fish were caught, expect an answer similar to these.
“Above the bridge.”
“Below the bridge.”
“You know … that spot we fished a long time ago, remember?”
“I fished with a buddy, but he told me not to tell anyone where we caught them.”
“I couldn't find that place again if I tried.”
It is surprising how many words are spoken about “the one that got away.” It seems that the fleeting moments between the time the fish was first seen and when it got off the line are talked about forever. Following are some of the most mentioned scenarios.
“I caught a big one, but it got off.”
“I had him, but the line broke.”
“I would have caught it if it hadn't pulled so hard.”
“The hook fell out of its mouth at the very last minute.”
“I caught three, if you count the one that got away.”
How about when the fish aren't biting? That's when you hear lots of reasons and excuses. One of the simplest, yet most profound, explanations comes from Yogi Berra, the great New York Yankee baseball catcher. Once on a fishing trip, he said, “When they're not biting, you can't make them stop.” That explains it, doesn't it? There are plenty of other reasons or excuses, depending on your point of view. Below are a few.
“The only thing they are hitting is a certain kind of minnow, but the bait shop can't get them anymore.”
“They were biting yesterday. Maybe we caught them all.”
“The moon is too full.”
“The moon is not full enough.”
“It is too hot (too cold, too windy, too calm, too bright, too dark, too wet or too dry).”
“The tide is too high.”
“The tide is too low.”
“The water is too muddy.”
“The water is too clear.”
“There is a jinx on board.”
“They must be biting at night. I know they have to eat sometime.”
Tip from Capt. Gus
Forget the solunar and tide tables. The best time to fish is on any day that ends with a “Y.”
I'm conducting a free fishing seminar, “Everything You Want to Know About Tying Fishing Knots,” 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Gander Mountain, Interstate 77 Exit 36 in Mooresville. Details: 704-658-0822.
A Safe Boating Class will be 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 6 at Gander Mountain. $49.95. To preregister or details: 704-587-0325.
Hot spots of the week
Stripers are in the deep water off river points and near the dam. For best results, troll bucktails and swimming baits with down riggers on lead core line. Jigging spoons and suspended live baits are also effective to catch schooling stripers. White perch continue to be along drop-offs in deep sloughs and in the submerged brush piles of narrow coves. Best perch baits are small minnows, cut bait and jigs. Bass are hitting buzz baits along rip-rap at dawn and are surface-feeding in the lower hot hole throughout the day.
The water level is currently 3 feet 1 inch below full pond and dropping. Water surface temperature is in the high 80s and low 90s.