What those anglers are talking about
Fisherman have a language all their own. Those unfamiliar with the lingo could have difficulty enjoying or actively participating in certain fishing discussions.
To avoid this, words like “shoals, hook sets, hook ups, hot holes, hot spots, etc.” need to be defined. The following info may help “wet your bait,” so to speak, and allow for a better understanding of “fish talk.”
Shoal: A bottom area beneath the water’s surface that is much shallower than the area surrounding it. A shoal can present an unsafe or challenging navigation situation. Numerous shallow areas on Lake Norman are identified by white diamond shaped markers with the word “shoal” printed on them. While shoals can be perils to boaters, they often harbor bass, catfish and stripers.
Freshwater/saltwater fish: Saltwater fish generally live in oceans and bays along the coast. Freshwater fish swim the streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs that flow into the sea. Fish common to Lake Norman, like striped bass, white perch, shad and herring, can survive in both fresh and saltwater environments.
Hook set/hook up: The term “hook set” is used when a fish takes the bait and the angler tightens the line in an attempt to hook the fish. Once the hook is set, the fish is considered a “hook up.” That’s when the “reel” excitement begins!
Shallow/deep water: A relative term used to describe the depth fish are being caught, and the depth of the surrounding water. For example, a depth of less than 5 feet might be considered shallow water in a lake only 20 feet deep. On the other hand, a marlin fisherman might say the fish are shallow in 300 feet of water. Deep could be 10 feet or more in some instances and over a1,000 feet in others.
Live bait: This is commonly associated with various types of small fish used to lure larger ones. Freshwater live baits include shad, herring, minnows, shiners, insects, worms and small animals such as frogs and lizards. Since “live bait” is a generic term, it’s best to ask which type and size is the best to use.
Trolling motor: A small motor, either gas or electric, used to propel a boat while fishing. A trolling motor is usually quiet and maneuverable, and it allows the boat to move at a much slower speed than the big motor.
Hot spot/hole: A hot spot is a place or general area where fish are being caught regularly in significant numbers. A hot hole is a place where warm water is being discharged. Lake Norman has two hot holes n one east of the McGuire Nuclear Plant, the other at the Marshall Steam Plant between markers 15 and 15A. The warm water attracts schools of bait, which in turn, lure game fish to the area.
A free fishing seminar, “How to Read and Interpret a Fish Finder to Catch Perch, Stripers and Bass” will be conducted by Jake Bussolini at Gander Mountain, Exit 36, Mooresville, on Thursday, at 6:30 p.m. Call 704-658-0822 for more information. Jake is the author of “Jake’s Take on the Lake” and “Freshwater Fighters.” Both books focus on the specifics of fishing Lake Norman.
The lake level is down about 2.5 feet from full pond and the water’s surface temperature is in the 70s.
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Visit www.fishingwithgus.com or call Gus Gustafson at 704-617-6812, or e-mail him at Gus@LakeNorman.com.