Fishin’ with Capt. Gus

Capt. Gus Gustafson is an outdoor columnist and a full-time professional fishing guide.


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Great April Fishing

The best times to catch bedding bass are during the new and full moons in April and May. Those not bedding, the pre and post spawn fish will be holding in pocket openings, near shallow points and on the shady side of boat docks. Best baits to use in April are football jigs, soft plastics, spinner baits and Alabama rigs.


April is the month that bass, hybrids and crappie will be swimming along shallow shorelines. They’ll either be spawning or feasting upon a spring buffet of minnows, fish larvae, insects, small birds and aquatic animals. Cast for bass and crappie along banks lined with brush, overhanging branches and willow trees. Boat docks are year round haunts for big fish. Catfish, some over thirty pounds, roam the shallows from dusk until dawn. They’re easy to catch on a variety of stink baits, chicken parts and fresh cut bait. Other cats can be taken throughout the day in deeper water.




Large bass and stripers will be particularly aggressive after dark. Fish top water lures near lighted boat docks. The best fishing begins a couple hours after sunset, so give the fish time to adjust to the darkness and for the lake to settle. When conditions are favorable, the bite can last for hours.


White perch fishing improves toward the end of the month with the best catches coming from live crappie minnows fished near the bottom in fifteen to twenty feet of water. The same brush piles that hold crappie will attract perch. As a reminder, Lake Norman doesn’t have a size or creel limit on white perch, so you can keep all you catch.


A combination of warm weather and great catches make April one of the best months to fish on Lake Norman. Regardless of the method you use, whether casting artificial lures or drifting live and cut baits, sooner or later a fish will most likely hit your line.


Tip from Capt. Gus!

A cup or two of dry dog food thrown around the dock each day will not only feed the ducks, but serve as chum to attract fish. To prevent the pieces from floating away, first allow the food to soak in water for a few minutes.

crappie fishing, guide service, april fishing


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