Capt. Gus holds a Summertime Spotted Bass.
Photo courtesy of Capt. Gus

August is a very good month to catch bass, bream and lots of catfish. To help make your next trip more exciting and productive, consider the following summer fishing tips from Capt. Gus.

  • Best time to fish is between 10:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. when air and water temperatures are cooler.
  • When night fishing, be sure the boat’s running lights are working properly. Have a supply of fresh batteries onboard to assure that all lights, electronics and motors remain operable throughout the trip.
  • Lighted boat docks adjacent to deep water are great places to cast after dark for bass, hybrids and white perch. Anglers with boats can hang a glow light just above the surface, or submerge it when anchored or slowly drifting. Lights attract baitfish, which in turn, lure predator fish, including summer hybrids. Bridge pilings are great places to fish at night for crappies. These tasty “tuggers” are best taken on small minnows and tiny jigs.
  • If night fishing is not your thing, leave the dock at dawn and cast or pull lures and live baits near docks, brush and rip-rap where bass will be feeding
  • It is a challenge to keep bait alive when temperatures hit ninety degrees. Worms should be kept cool and out of the sun when not in use. Add ice to the minnow bucket when the water warms and baits begin to swim near the surface. Crickets will live longer and stay more active if also kept in the shade.
  • Dead minnows, shad and herring make excellent chum when cut into pieces and great cut baits when filleted into strip for cats, white perch and stripers.
  • Brightly colored artificial lures work best on sunny days. Dark colors, including black, are best to use after dark.
  • When in doubt, fish deep, rather than shallow, during the heat of the day.
  • Use plenty of sun screen and stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids.


Tips from Gus:
When attempting to land a fish in the dark, attach a flashlight to the handle of your landing net so the light will shine into the water.


Upcoming Events:

  • “How to Navigate Lake Norman Day or Night” is a free safe boating class to be held at The Peninsula Yacht Club, 18501 Harbor Light Blvd. in Cornelius, NC on August 9th beginning at 6:30 p.m. Captain Derek Debord of Tow Boat US, Becky Johnson and I will cover topics that include “Understanding LKN’s Channel Marker and Buoy System”, “How to Avoid Shallow Water”,” The Ten Most Dangerous Spots”, “Interpreting Lake Maps” and “Safe Boating Law Enforcement Tips.” For more information, call-
    Cheryl at 704 916 6889.
  • Free Fishing Seminar – “Lures, baits and techniques to catch fish on Lake Norman” – Jake Bussolini will conduct this ninety-minute seminar beginning at 6:30 p.m. on August 17th at Lake Norman Volunteer Fire Dept., 1518 Brawley School Rd., Mooresville, NC. For additional information, contact Jake at 704-201-8709.

August Lake Norman Fishing Forecast:

Bass fishing should be excellent from dusk until dawn. Best bets are river points, coves and boat docks north of the Highway 150 Bridge. In that area, a large number of “lay downs” (downed trees) are located along the water’s edge. Woody debris serves as a magnet for largemouth bass. Fish hide among the branches while waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey. Bridge pilings, lighted boat docks and launch ramps are also excellent hideouts for summer bass.

Surprisingly, August is one of the best months for catching large blue and flathead catfish. Early in the month, blue catfish gather in the deep waters near Cowan’s Ford Dam. Their arrival usually coincides with the annual summer fish kill that begins when surface temperatures spike into the low-to-mid nineties. Anglers fishing the dam area usually drift suspended live and cut baits near the thermocline, which forms at depths from forty-five to sixty feet. While there are many catfish at the dam, the majority are taken in coves and back creeks all over the lake where the water is less than twenty feet deep.

Lake Norman’s water level is about 2.5’ below full pond. The surface water temperature is in the high to low-nineties in water not affected by power generation.

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.