• 34°

Fishing with Capt. Gus: Bait casting reels work best with light line

The ever popular spinning reel works best in open water with light line and a small lure.

When fishing brush piles, stump fields, rocky bottoms and boat docks, a bait casting reel loaded with 12 to 20 pound test is recommended.

A beginner’s experience with a bait casting reel often results in total frustration. Backlashes, tangles, hang ups and missed fish opportunities are all part of the learning process. Practice makes perfect, so cast and cast some more until you master the revolving spool reel. You will eventually be rewarded for your efforts by a higher degree of casting accuracy and lots of reel power to retrieve large baits and trophy fish.

For the first-time bait caster, an ideal outfit is a 6-to-7-foot casting rod and a lightweight, medium priced casting reel, loaded with 17- pound test monofilament line.

A dock, open field or lawn is a perfect place to learn to cast.

Tie a 3/8-ounce practice plug (hookless) to the line and allow it to hang four to six inches from the rod tip. Adjust the knob under the star drag located on the side plate. The plug should barely pull line. Right handed anglers should hold the rod with the reel handle facing upward at a slight angle. Left handers, tilt the reel handle downward. Place the thumb of your casting hand lightly against the side of the spool; bring the rod back to the 2 o’clock position and then cast immediately forward without stopping. When the rod tip is at 11 o’clock, release your thumb to allow the cast. As the lure moves toward the target, avoid the chance of a backlash by applying light pressure on the line with your thumb. Then, apply more thumb pressure to stop the spool as the bait hits the water.

If your first cast produces a backlash, untangle it and try again. Before attempting another cast, tighten the tension knob slightly. In the beginning, don’t concern yourself with distance.

As your competence level improves, loosen the knob ever so slightly until the practice plug can be thrown a reasonable distance and with some degree of accuracy. You will then be ready to replace the practice plug with a lure and begin fishing. Use lures that provide little wind resistance and weigh slightly more than those you would use with spinning tackle. Casting with the wind minimizes backlashes. Effortless casts with no backlashes are usually achieved after several fishing trips and thousands of casts.

When frustrated, place your new bait casting outfit aside and go back to your old spinning reel. The next time you use the bait caster, you will notice an improvement. Distance and accuracy should improve with each fishing trip.

When all else fails, go back to the tackle shop where the outfit was purchased. Store personnel can usually coach you through most casting problems.

Upcoming events: On Jan. 17, at 6:30 p.m. Capt. Gus Gustafson will be at the Bass Pro Shops, Concord Mills Mall, to teach folks how to catch white perch. For fast action and good eating, the schooling white perch is hard to beat. This 90-minute seminar is free and open to the public. Call 704-979-2200 for more information.

n The Lake Norman Striper Swipers Open Winter Classic Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 27. Guaranteed first place prize is $1,500. This biggest one-day striper fishing event of the season will be at Queen’s Landing, N.C. 150 in Mooresville. For more information, visit http://www.lnssfishn.com/ or call Tommy Messick at 704-634-6410.

n Lake Norman fishing guides Capt. Craig Price and Mac Byrum will conduct a seminar on “How to catch LKN Stripers and Catfish” at Gander Mountain, Exit 36, Mooresville, on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 3 p.m. This 90-minute discussion is free and open to the public. Call 704-658-0827 for more information.

Fishing tips: Casting is a function of timing and finesse, not power. Let your wrist do the work; the less arm and elbow movement, the better.

Recent hot spot: Bass and striper reports are coming from both sides of the N.C. 150 Bridge. A lot of activity is in Mountain Creek to the south, and in Rocky Creek a mile, or so, north of the bridge. Bass are along the steeper banks. Stripers are chasing baitfish in water 20 to 40 feet deep. The lake level is 98.9 or 1.1 feet below full pond and the water surface temperature is in the mid 50s.

nnn

Visit http://www.fishingwithgus.com/ or call Gus Gustafson at 704-489-0763, or e-mail him at Gus@LakeNorman.com.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds