May/June Fishing Forecast

Largemouth and Spotted Bass have for the most part completed their annual spawn. As the water warms, expect more surface feeding activity on river and creek points where bass will hit a variety of baits, including top water, jerk & swim baits. Boat docks are prime habitat for bass particularly for anglers that can skip cast. Reed, Mountain and Stumpy Creeks are the place to be in the next few weeks, with the best bite coming between seven p.m. and eight a.m.

Hybrid Striped Bass are just about finished with their false spawn. The next few weeks will see large schools holding over river points and humps between Highway 150 and Buffalo Shoals Road. Best baits are shad, mussels and cut bait. About half the anglers are slow trolling live bait or A-rigs and the other half are bottom fishing. When the bite is on the fishing is exciting with two or more fish on at the same time. As time progresses the fish will toward the lower lake and become less concentrated. Those who choose to fish after dark will find hybrids around lighted docks and bridge pilings. 

Note: The creel limit for hybrids is four in aggregate with striped bass, each of which must a minimum of sixteen inches long.  

Catfishing improves through May and gets even better in June. Cut bait, chicken parts, and live white perch/ bream are the baits of choice for many. Shallow coves, points and the edges of creek channels are popular catfish haunts as the water warms. Channel cats like back bays and are easily tempted to bite a variety of household foods, worms and stink baits. Big flatheads will be lurking under schools of perch, so it doesn’t hurt to drop a live perch to the bottom just in case.       

White Perch will be plentiful in water twenty to thirty feet deep. Most of the time perch will be close to the bottom. But when are feeding they chase bait throughout the water column so keep an eye on your fish finder and fish just above them. Best baits are live crappie minnows, silver jigging spoons and Sabiki rigs. Reed, Mountain and Hicks Creek hold lot of perch this time of year.

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.