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Fishin' with Capt. Gus! ~ UFO - Unidentified Floating Objects
September 26, 2010

Lake Norman is North Carolina’s largest freshwater impoundment with 32,000 surface acres of water at full pond, more than enough water to afford the opportunity to see unusual, strange, and even Unidentified Floating Objects (UFO’s).

To the delight of adults and children, one very large object that surfaces each summer is Normie, the Lake Norman Monster. Normie has his own web site , which affords people who think they have seen him, an opportunity to report their encounter. Normie is becoming so popular, that Queen’s Landing ran “Normie Storytime Cruises” twice a week this summer for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school aged children. Surprisingly as it might seem, there were numerous Norrie sightings during these morning cruises.

Most unusual floating objects are much smaller than Normie. One critter appeared at first glance to be a gray feather duster scampering across the water. Upon closer observation, it turned out to be a squirrel, dog paddling from one bank to the other with its tail fluffed up so that it would stay dry.

During hunting season, boaters and fishermen may witness deer swimming across the lake. People are surprised when they discover that these forest animals can swim. The reason deer are in the water is unclear, but more than likely, they are trying to escape the noise of barking hunting dogs and occasional reports of rifle shots. One such boater thought he was watching a pair of deer swimming across the main channel at daylight. But as he neared the scene, the antlers he thought he saw were actually the crossed legs of a picnic table floating upside down.

Last year someone placed a foam alligator head in the cove of a Lake Norman sailing club. The alligator head looked so life like that those that saw it took a second look to be sure that it wasn’t real. Not all reptile sightings are hoaxes. Snakes, iguanas, and caymans have been released from time to time by pet owners, which increases the number of unusual critter sightings.

It is not only a four legged animal that finds its way into the lake. A few years ago, a wayward pelican spent several days flying around and swimming in Norman. How it got so far from the coast is a mystery. A plausible answer is that it was, perhaps, blown inland by strong winds.

After major storms, the lake’s surface can become littered with flotsam. Floating objects like empty gas cans, umbrellas, kayaks, ice chests, tree limbs and even boats torn from their moorings, become hazards to navigation. Hitting something on the water could ruin the trip, so keep a keen eye out for unidentified floating objects (UFO’s).

Tips from Capt. Gus:
During periods of rising water, the amount of floating debris on area lakes increases dramatically and makes navigating dangerous at night.

Upcoming Events:
Free Fishing Seminar - “Introduction to Largemouth and Spotted Bass Fishing” will be held at Gander Mountain, Exit 36, at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, September 30, 2010. This ninety minute session, will be conducted by Capt. Gus, who will cover simple techniques used to catch bass on live and artificial baits. In addition, there will a discussion about the ten best bass spots on Lake Norman. For additional information, call 704 658 0822.

Free Saltwater Fishing Seminar - Charter boat Captain Shannon Miller and my self will discuss the methods used to catch inshore and offshore fish at North Carolina’s Outer Banks. This hands-on session will be held at Gander Mountain, Exit 36, from 12:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 2, 2010. For additional information, call 704 658 0822.

Hot Spot of the week:
Cooling water temperatures have invigorated Lake Norman’s bass, crappie and white perch. Lots of bass are being caught throughout the day in and around bridge pilings, boat basins, underwater humps and near submerged brush. White perch are moving toward the shore, and are being caught on baits fished in depths to thirty feet. Crappie fishing is best around bridges after dark.

The lake level is about 4.7’ below full pond, which is 2.7' below the target for the month. The water surface temperature is in the low to mid eighties

Captain Gus Gustafson of Lake Norman Ventures, Inc. is licensed by the US Coast Guard, a member of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association, and is an outdoor columnist and a full time professional fishing guide on Lake Norman, NC. Visit his web site, Fishin' With Gus! at or call 704.617.6812.

For additional information e-mail Gus at

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