Fishing’s unwritten rules

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 17, 2011

Like most sports, fishing has many unwritten rules that arenít found in books. In case you havenít heard, here are a few that you might like to know about.
Rule 1: Never cast over another personís line. This happens frequently on fishing piers, drift boats and when people are casting from the shore at the ěHot Holes.î
Rule 2: Never tell anyone where you catch fish. Only give vague answers such as, ěGot it upriver, across the lake, or simply, I donít remember.î
Rule 3: If you are a guest fishing on someone elseís boat, it is common courtesy to pay your share of the gas, ice and bait expenses.
Donít ask; just give your partner the money. Be reminded that with gas at $4 a gallon, plus the price of oil, ice and bait, the cost of a fishing trip isnít cheap.
A $5 bill will not cover your share of the trip.
Rule 4: Be ready to go at the appointed time and place. The rest of the crew had to get up early to be on time as well.
Rule 5: When buying bait minnows, donít talk to the person counting them. Also, never make the bait seller mad or he or she will surely short count you.
Rule 6: Be prepared for all weather situations. Wear proper clothing for rain, wind, snow and hot summer sun. Donít forget the sunscreen this time of year.
Rule 7: Re-set the line drags on the reel before your first cast each trip.
Rule 8: Keep your rod tip up and your line tight while playing a fish.
Rule 9: Always net the fish head first.
Rule 10: Like the early bird, the early worm gets the fish. During the summer months, some of the best fishing is from dawn until 8 a.m.
Rule 11: Remember that itís not always the fish you are really after. Enjoy the day regardless of whether or not you catch fish. They donít always bite.
Upcoming Events
Free Seminar: ěHow to Catch More Fish This Summer Using Sonar and GPSî
Jake Bussolini and I will conduct a Sonar/GPS seminar at 6:30 p.m. next Wednesday at Gander Mountain, Interstate 77 Exit 36, in Mooresville.
Bring your questions and fish-finder/GPS instruction booklets to the 90-minute session. For additional information, call 704-658-0822.
Tips from Capt. Gus
The summer heat is here, so stay hydrated by having plenty of ice and fluids on board.
Hot Spot of the Week
Arkansas Blue catfish are plentiful for those drifting cut baits. Many are in the five to ten pound range with an occasional 20 pounder for lucky anglers.
Spotted bass are suspending over river channel humps and are hitting shaky head rigs, other soft plastics and deep-diving crank baits. White perch fishing is good to very good in water to 30 feet.
The surface water temperature varies by location, but is mainly in the high 80s in open waters not affected by power generation.
The water level is about 1.9 feet below full pond on Lake Norman and 3.1 feet below full pond on Mountain Island Lake.
Capt. Gus Gustafson of Lake Norman Ventures is an outdoor columnist and a full-time professional fishing guide on Lake Norman. Visit his web site, or call 704-617-6812.