It’s been a crazy fall on Lake Norman, and the combination of hot-then-cold-then-hot air temperatures, unseasonably warm water temperatures, and up-and-down water levels have made for a strange bite. Instead of fish being in a winter pattern FLW Tour Pro Matt Arey reports that bass are in more of an early- to mid-fall transition period, and that means that fish are scattered. According to Matt it’s junk fishing time!
With two warmwater discharges on Lake Norman there is a great variation in water temperatures, and on a recent trip Matt and his Lunkerhunt teammate Gerald Sensabaugh saw temperatures from 60 to 75 degrees (depending on how close to the discharge they were). The temperatures were very warm for December, and as a result Matt says that fish could be found spread out literally all over the lake. They caught fish from the surface on topwater lures down to 35 feet, and on baits ranging from jerkbaits to crankbaits to jigs to topwater lures to drop shots rigs. The soon-to-be-released Lunkerhunt Limit Worm was very effective on the drop shot.
When temperatures get colder and stay there Matt expects that fish will get into a more consistent pattern, and they will be easier to pattern – instead of anglers having to run and throw everything including the kitchen sink at them. Fish can be caught on it now but when temperatures drop a few degrees the Shane’s Baits Blades of Glory Alabama rigs will be deadly on Norman, as they are every winter.
Going into the most recent trip Matt told Gerald that with the explosion of spotted bass on the lake he expected to catch about 7 or 8 spots for every largemouth. The ratio was even more dramatic, and with a total of 30 bass caught they only had one largemouth! Overall the bite is pretty good for fish up to about the 3 pound range.
Lake Norman water levels are at about 97% of full pool.
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