Bass are very active in Lake Norman
After a terrible late summer of fishing in July and August and on into early September, the fishing is finally getting better. The water temperature has dropped into the high 70.s and the bass seem to sense the oncoming fall and winter months. They are in all of the coves and channels, following the massive schools of shad and schools of small fry that come to the surface in late afternoon. Fish finding sonar equipment is exploding with image after image of large bass moving into these bait schools to gorge themselves on the small fish. When you hook one of these one to two pound spotted bass, they will spit up their latest meal as you retrieve them and often will mess your boat with partially digested bait fish. There is no better time to catch these nice fish than when they are in this pre-winter feeding frenzy. I have been regularly catching 15 to 20 nice bass in two hours with live medium golden shiners, chartreuse jigs and my favorite number 7 split shad rap crank bait lure. Shad schools that for many years contained between 2000 and 4000 fish are now much larger due to the disappearance of the Stripers. I am seeing shad schools with upwards of 8000 fish in each school. (these are my estimates). A typical shad school image on a sonar is almost always the same and they look like the one shown below.When you see a school of shas like this, circle the scholl and you will eventually catch fish.