Fishin’ with Capt. Gus!: Nicknamess

  • Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 10:06 a.m.

If you’re a fisherman, there’s no doubt that you’ve watched reality shows like “The Deadliest Catch,” “Swords on the Line” and “Hillybilly Hand Fishing.”

The other day, one of the principles in a “catch ‘em by hand” reality catfish show got my attention because of his nickname — “Kat Daddy.” This guy was big, and strong enough to wrestle the largest of flathead catfish into submission while swimming underwater. After watching his antics, I began to recall the nicknames of some fishermen I have known.


The first one I thought of was “Rawhide,” possibly the most famous striped bass fisherman ever to fish Lake Norman. Sam Newman got his nickname because he fished twice a day, every day from November through March for decades, regardless of the weather.

To do so, he had to be rawhide tough, thus the nickname.

Then there’s a guy we called “Lugs,” who spent more time working on his boat motor than he did fishing. As a matter of fact, there isn’t a tackle box to be found on board his boat. He uses an oversized tool box.

Another was “Frank the Net.” Frank threw a rather large cast net and caught live finger mullet that he, in turn, sold to tarpon fishing guides for bait.

Other catchy nicknames include “Baloney Bob,” pardon the pun.

Bob is a route salesman who sells delicatessen meats to sandwich shops and grocery stores. When Bob isn’t delivering salami, he’s using unsold baloney slices to catch catfish.

Another favorite is “Chicken John,” a charter boat captain who ate fried chicken for lunch every day. John never threw the bones into the water until he returned to the dock, where he fed his pet catfish, Biddy.

There are others, “Bottom Hook,” “Forty Fathoms” and “Mangrove Mike.”

But a really good one is “No Show Joe,” a mate on a fishing boat, who has trouble getting to work on time.

Fishing guide, Hank Brown got his nickname, “Run Aground Brown” after bottoming out his boat on a bonefish flat with the former First Lady, Barbara Bush on board.

“The First Lady immediately jumped out of the boat to help push it back into deep water,” Brown said.

While the boat was stranded for only a short time, he will forever have the nickname, “Run Aground Brown.”

Tips from Capt. Gus

Cooking spray can be used on fishing line. It allows the line to cast farther and prevents it from freezing to the spool on cold mornings.

Upcoming Events

Free Fishing Seminar: “Deep Jigging for Bass, Perch and Stripers.” Capt. Gus Gustafson will conduct this seminar at 6:30 p.m. Friday and again at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Bass Pro Shops, Concord Mills Mall. For additional information, call 704-979-2200.

Hot spots of the week

Schooling bass and white perch in the old river channel between markers 6 and 17A are pleasing anglers using bucktails and spoons.

Spotted bass, along with an occasional striper, are hitting Alabama rigs being trolled in Reed, Davidson and Stumpy Creeks.

Crappie are hitting minnows around bridge pilings, submerged brush piles and sunken Christmas trees.

The water level on Lake Norman’s is approximately 3.2 feet below full pond. Mountain Island Lake is about 3.1 feet below full.

The surface water temperature ranges from the high 40s to the mid-50s depending on location or proximity to a power plant.

Capt. Gus Gustafson is an outdoor columnist and fishing guide on Lake Norman. Visit his website www.FishingWithGus.com or call 704-617-6812.

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