How to add that kicker largemouth

For a kicker fish at Lake Norman, try fishing a jig around brush piles, including those around docks.

Although they’re an elusive target at Norman in the summer, when pro angler Bryan Thrift is fishing a dog-days tournament there, largemouth bass are not off the menu. To catch his kicker fish, Thrift takes advantage of the overabundance of sunken brush piles provided by crappie fishermen.

“It’s hit or miss in July,” he said, “but, if I catch a 12- to 13-pound limit of spots fairly quickly, that’s when I’m going to run my brush piles to look for a bigger largemouth and throw a jig. You won’t catch them when you’re fishing main-lake points for spots.

“It’s not hard to find a brush pile at Norman. Crappie fishermen will put them out around their docks and on structure breaks. I’ll fish main-lake brush and creek brush. Most will be in the 15- to 25-foot range. You can catch spots around them, too. ”

To catch a bruiser buried in a sunken bush, Thrift fishes a streamlined, ½-ounce Damiki Mamba 2 jig in brown/black or blue/black on 17- to 20-pound fluorocarbon.

Dusty Wilson
About Dusty Wilson 239 Articles
Dusty Wilson of Raleigh, N.C., is a lifelong outdoorsman. He is the manager of Tarheel Nursery in Angier and can be followed on his blog at

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