It’s been a great winter for hybrid striped bass.

Two factors are contributing to catch rate improvements:

  1. Higher stocking levels
  2. An increased law enforcement presence at the Marshall Hot Hole has slowed poaching.

Where to catch hybrids:

The majority of the hybrids are coming from the depths of Mountain, McCrary, Stumpy, Rocky and Hicks Creeks. In addition a significant number are coming from the main river channel from marker three north to marker twenty two. Lastly, there are times when the Marshall Hot Hole is loaded with hybrids.  

Best Baits:

  • Alabama Rigs are preferred by Trollers.
  • Jigging spoons and bucktails fished vertically.
  • Drifted Live baits (Minnows, shad and herring). *Note: Hybrids have smaller mouths than stripers, so down size baits.
  • Topwater lures and crank baits when hybrids are surface feeding.

Expect to catch hybrids during March anywhere you find large concentrations of baitfish on your electronics or where sea birds are diving.

Hybrid Fishing Tip From Capt. Gus:

Don’t be afraid to fish deep water. We have been catching suspended hybrids in the middle of the river and creek channels.  

See you out there!

Capt. Gus  

Capt. Gus Gustafson of Lake Norman Ventures, Inc. is an Outdoor Columnist and a full time Professional Fishing Guide on Lake Norman, NC. Visit his website at or call 704-617-6812.