Photo: Capt. Gus holds a chunky Lake Norman hybrid striped bass.

Expect May to be an outstanding month for bass fishing. Spawning activity peaked on the full moon in April, but some bass are still in the pre-spawn mood. The last full week in April found bass hitting with reckless abandon. Lots were taken on top water, jerk baits and soft plastics.

Water temperatures will be in the seventies and eighties throughout May causing bass to be hyper active. Many will spend the day chasing bait on points, humps and drop offs, while the larger fish will be holding in the shade of docks and blow downs.

Best locations for largemouth will be above the Highway 150 Bridge, spotted bass are the dominate black bass south to the dam.

Hybrid striped bass will be in both hot holes and way up-river. Best baits are spoons, bucktails, chicken parts, mussels and live baits.

You will find crappie scattered in water 10 to 40 feet deep. Most will be holding around covered docks, bridges and sunken brush. While not as plentiful as in years past, many 15 to 20 inch fish will be taken.

The warmer the water the more plentiful white perch will be. Large schools will locate off the side of river points in 15 to 30 feet of water. They are easy to locate with the aid your fishfinder or by slow drifting minnows, spoons and Sabiki rigs.

Catfish prefer warm water, so as the month of May progress’s fishing improve as well. Flat heads will hit live bait and fresh dead fish strips while blue cats prefer bream and perch heads, chicken parts and table scraps.

Tips From Capt. Gus:

Before you hit the lake check to see if your fishing license is current. If not you go to: to renew or purchase for the first time.

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.