Anglers who still talk about Lake Norman as the "Dead Sea" have, as Mark Twain once said, greatly exaggerated its demise. "Lake Norman has an awesome bass bite now," said Andy Fox of Fishers of Men Guide Service. "Lake Norman is coming back."

Fox, who lives in Clairemont, fished a tournament at Norman this week with partner Brad Lawrence of Granite Falls, and the pair landed about 55 keeper bass.

 

"They were spots and largemouths from 2 ½ to 3 pounds. We caught some quality fish," he said. "We were running some of the major creeks and fishing topwater at first. The bass bit topwater lures super good, especially at riprap places."

 

Fox said recent rains had pushed the surface level of Lake Norman, the state's largest inland lake, to full pool.

 

"What's been good is it has flooded into some of the yards and covered up the rip rap, and that's made topwater fishing really good," said Fox, who also fished stump fields with Lawrence. "We started fishing right at daylight, about 5 a.m., and the topwater bite probably lasted until 8 a.m."

 

The best results on the riprap came on ith blue Pop-Rs.

 

"Brad used a small, white buzzbait and caught probably 20 keepers," Fox said. "Then we switched over to shakey heads with green pumpkin Senkos (for the stump fields). We caught big spots and largemouths."

 

Their best luck came in Skipper's Creek, just upstream from the NC 150 bridge.

 Fox said he thought spotted bass probably were overtaking largemouths in the lake because they're more aggressive.