Photo of Professional Bass Fisherman, Skeet Reese’s fully rigged out Truck and Bass Boat

Ever wonder why bass fishermen move around so much? The answer is simple. They try to catch as many fish as they can in a very short amount of time. In order to do so, they target the really aggressive bass, the ones that hit as soon as the bait touches the water, and then they move on.

This run and gun style of fishing, while popular with tournament fishermen, is not for everyone.  The majority are content to stay in a particular fishing hole for as long as they get a bite every now & then. On the other hand, the bass crowd would rather reap the low hanging fruit (the very hungry fish) and then hustle to another likely spot.

Watching bass fishermen zoom into a spot, jump out of the driver’s seat, lower the trolling motor, make a few casts and move on again, is interesting to watch. To the casual observer, this helter-skelter method of fishing doesn’t make a lot of sense, and at first glance, appears to be more like a Poker Run than a fishing trip. But the fact is that each angler has a game plan mapped out in his mind, to fish X number of spots in the allotted time. How many spots depend on the conditions and the circumstances, but twenty or more is not unusual for a day of fishing.

The fishing day begins as the sun rises, with a quick trip to a spot that has a recent history of producing fish. Then the angler crisscrosses the lake multiple times, stopping to make a few casts at one spot and then another. What’s funny is that the ones who watch, only see a bass boat streaking into a fishing hole and then leaving, in what seems like only a few minutes. What goes unnoticed is the accuracy in which the casts are made, the way the electric trolling motor helps to maneuver the boat into casting position, and the number and variety of lures thrown at each stop.

To save time, ten or more fishing rods are pre-rigged with different lures in a variety of colors. Therefore, instead of constantly retying lures each time a different one is used, the bass angler merely switches rods. That is why it’s a common sight to see ten or more rods lying on the forward deck of a bass boat.

Some question whether all the running around at speeds of up to seventy miles per hour and constantly switching rods is worth the time, money and effort. You can find the answer almost any weekend at one of the bass tournament weigh-ins at Blythe, Pinnacle or McCrary Lake Access Areas. There you can see the bass boats up close and talk to the fishermen who weigh in limit after limit of trophy spotted and largemouth bass.

See ya out there!


May Events:

Who’s Who at Lake Norman – Join us for a Who’s Who at Lake Norman. Here you’ll meet any and everyone at the Lake from 5:00-9:00 on May 11th at the Peninsula Yacht Club. Meet the boat clubs, towing companies, marine commission, mechanics, fishing guides and safety officers.  Captain Gus will present a class about “Navigating Lake Norman”. For more information, call Ashley at 704 892 7575.

Free Fishing Seminar – “How to Catch Summer Catfish” –  Jake Bussolini and Cat Fishing Guide Mac Byrum will conduct this ninety minute seminar beginning at 6:30 p.m. on May 18th at Gander Mountain, Exit 36, Mooresville, NC. For additional information, call 704 658 0822.

Hot Spots of the Week:  Bass fishing has been amazingly good for those casting on windy points and others fishing boat docks. Lots of yearling and two year old bass are being taken on top water, jerk baits and soft plastic worms. Summer-like conditions have white perch hitting Sabiki rigs in water to thirty feet deep. Cat fishing is the best it has been all year. Crappie fishing has slowed. Fish from deep holes have been nice in size.

Tips from Capt. Gus: It is difficult to keep minnows alive in a bucket during the warmer months. So keep the bucket in the shade, use an aeration device to inject air bubbles and change the water frequently.

The surface water temperature varies by location, but is mainly in the seventies in open waters not affected by power generation. The water level is about 2.8′ below full pond on Lake Norman and 2.8′ below full pond on Mountain Island Lake.

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 web site, or call 704-617-6812. For additional information, e-mail him at