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Click Here To Learn How to Catch A Fish "T H I S  B I G" on Lake NormanFishin' With Capt. Gus - September 2006 Fishing Forecast
September 2, 2006

The first half of September finds all species in a slow and lethargic summer pattern, so fish slow and deep. The winds of fall will begin to blow around the twentieth. As waters cool, fish will awaken from a late summer hibernation and begin to feed aggressively.

Bass and stripers are the first to go on a fall eating binge. The bite will start each day at daylight and last until approximately seven thirty or eight. Surface feeding schools will be easy targets for fishermen seeking a quick limit. It is too early in the season for the return of seabirds, so anglers must depend on binoculars to locate schooling activity from a distance. When jumping fish are located, cast poppers, spoons and jigs into the fray. Fish will feed and strike at anything moving near them, so it shouldn't take long to get a hit.

Prime schooling areas for fall stripers are shallow points adjacent to deep water. Largemouth and spots will be in the same general area. They will also concentrate in the "hot holes." Anglers must use a little finesse on "hot hole" bass since they are feeding on extremely small threadfin shad. Light tackle, loaded with four to six pound test line, is needed. Toss very small lures. Matching the hatch with tiny spoons and jigs will often tempt the picky bass. If that doesn't work, try a four inch fluke or a very small buzz bait. Hot hole bass hit best in lots of current and when there is very little boat traffic.

Denver residents Mike Bradshaw and Capt. Craig Price recently invited me to join them on a channel bass (red drum) fishing excursion to the North Carolina coast. We fish for three days with Pamlico Sound guides Capt. George Beckwith and Capt. Greg Voliva. The results were thrilling.

Thirty two red drum weighing up to fifty pounds, were boated and released during our mini vacation. The monster drum were cruising the Pamlico in water less than ten feet. They hit large chunks of fresh cut mullet on 14/0 circle hooks. During one feeding frenzy, four reds were hooked simultaneously. The fourth was left pulling drag against the rod still in the rod holder, until one of us could land the fish we were fighting. This made for a great and exciting ending to a very memorable trip.

Tips from Capt. Gus!

Red drum don't jump, much like big striped bass they make long runs and put up a strong fight. The male makes a loud drumming noise, thought to attract females during spawning season. Veteran anglers claim that when conditions are right, particularly on calm nights, the sound of the beating drums can be heard long distances over water.

Hot Spots of the week are the shorelines of large coves and most major creeks where catfish are hitting in water from ten to twenty feet deep. Fresh cut herring, perch and bream are enticing blue cats in the five to ten pound class. Striper fishing has been fair to good for anglers fishing the deeper edges of the river channel. Bass fishing has been good to very good.

The lake level is 2.8' from full pond and rising. Water surface temperature is in the mid to high eighties.

Captain Gus Gustafson of Lake Norman Ventures, Inc. 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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