Capt. Gus with one of over one-hundred striped bass taken on a recent trip to Roanoke Rapids, NC
Photo courtesy of Capt. Gus

The last cast or is it?

How many times have you heard a fishing buddy say, “Just one more cast!” This usually happens about the time you’re ready to call it a day. If you’re an avid fisherman, it happens quite often. Veteran anglers have come to understand that it doesn’t necessarily mean only one more cast. In fact, it’s a neat way to say that we’ll probably be fishing longer than originally planned.

More importantly “just one more cast” symbolizes the optimistic attitude necessary to outwit a fish that might not be hungry. It also speaks to the perseverance it takes to be successful in a sport where the opponent, (the fish) is not always visible.

There are times when the “just one more cast” mindset has turned a bad day’s fishing into a good one. Most of the time, it’s a good excuse to extend the fishing trip, simply because it’s fun to be on the water. When one considers the alternatives, such as doing yard work or cleaning out the garage, it’s no wonder so many choose to fish longer.

It’s really interesting how many times the last cast of the day produces a fish, and often, the biggest fish of the trip. The other day, I took a few youngsters crappie fishing. Two of the three caught several thirteen inch or larger fish, while the other one only had a few that were close to eight inches. When it came time to pull the fishing lines in for a final time, the third youngster made one more cast. And yes, he caught a seventeen inch crappie, the largest fish of the day!

Many believe that the last cast has a very high likelihood of hooking a fish. So, maybe that’s why you hear “just one more cast” spoken so often at the end of a fishing trip.

Tips from Capt. Gus! Conversely, catching a fish on the FIRST cast of the day is said to bring bad luck for the rest of the day!

See you out there!

Hot Spots of the Week: Post spawning bass are aggressively hitting a variety of top water lures on channel points at dawn. Anglers casting around docks mid-day are bottom bumping soft plastics with great success. White perch are in the back of coves in water to thirty feet deep. Most are being caught on live minnows, small spoons, Sabiki rigs and crappie jigs. Like bass, crappies have finished spawning and have moved into deeper water. Best bets are around submerged brush piles and bridge pilings.

Cat fishing has improved dramatically with water temperatures approaching eighty degrees. Chicken parts, fresh cut bream and white perch are the baits of choice for blue cats, while chicken livers and stink baits are preferred by those who target channel cats.

Upcoming Events
Free Safe Boating Class – “How to Navigate Lake Norman Day or Night” will be held at The Peninsula Yacht Club, 18501 Harbor Light Blvd, Cornelius, NC at 6:30 p.m. on June 8th. Becky Johnson and I will cover “Understanding LKN’s Channel Marker and Buoy System”, “How to Avoid Shallow Water”, “Ten Most Dangerous Spots”, and “Interpreting Lake Maps”. For more information, call Ashley at 704 892 7575.

The Lake Norman Sail and Power Squadron will conduct a NASBLA approved Boating Education Course on June 11th. The cost is $45.00. This eight hour course, beginning at 8:00 a.m., will be at the Mt. Zoin United Methodist Church, 19600 Zion St., Cornelius, NC. For additional information, call 704 483 4408.

Free Fishing Seminar – “Interrupting Fish and Other Images on Your Sonar Screen” will be conducted by Jake Bussolini. The ninety minute seminar begins at 6:30 p.m. on June 15th at Gander Mountain, Exit 36, Mooresville, NC. For additional information, call 704 658 0822.

Lake Norman’s water level is about 1.5’ below full pond and is 3.1 below on Mountain Island Lake. The surface water temperature is in the eighties in water not affected by power generation on Lake Norman.

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 or call 704-617-6812.