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Fishin’ with Capt. Gus: Fish Names

Contributed Captain Gus Gustafson holds a crappie caught on Lake Norman in April.

Contributed
Captain Gus Gustafson holds a crappie caught on Lake Norman in April.

GUS GUSTAFSON
Guest Columnist

The names used by anglers to identify the fish they catch are far from scientific. For example, take the crappie, a popular pan fish whose name changes by region. In Florida, it’s called a speck, in the northeast, a croppie and a Sac-a-Lait in the bayous of Louisiana. Other colloquial names include the speckled perch, paper mouth, and calico bass.
The most popular fresh water black bass has some pretty trendy monikers as well, most of which deal with the size of its mouth. In North Carolina, it’s commonly referred to as a largemouth bass or simply a largemouth. In other regions, the name changes slightly to satchel mouth, wide mouth and bucket mouth. In the Sunshine State, a trophy size sub-species of the black bass is called a Florida bass. Likewise, a super size strain taken in the Lone Star State is known as a Texas bass.
The red drum, a tasty fish caught along the coast of North Carolina, takes on a different name as one fishes from state to state. Depending on location, the same fish is a channel bass, redfish, spot tail bass or a red.
Even more interesting, is the terminology used by fishermen as they describe a not so large fish they as they reel it in. Not wanting to be embarrassed, remarks like these are often heard:
A decent size fish
This fish is wilder than a buck deer.
It’s no giant, but it will make a meal.
When it first hit, I thought I had Moby Dick.
Pretty, isn’t it?
I think it’s a bigger small one.
It’s fighting hard for its size.
I never thought I’d get that rascal to the boat.
Where are your mama and papa?
Good eatin’ size
It’s not a lunker, but it will do.
I’d rather be catching something than nothing.
We won’t need a bigger boat for this one.
It’ short, but stocky.
Where there are small fish, there have to be big ones.
It’s not Charlie Tuna.
The next one will be bigger.
At least, it’s not a guppy.
Regardless of name or description (big or small), fish are fun to catch!
Upcoming Events:
Free Fishing Seminar: “Side Imaging Sonar” – Rob Ferris will discuss the technology to locate fish and structure using the Humminbird 360. This seminar will begin at 7:00 p.m. April 24th at Bass Pro Shops, Concord Mills Mall in Concord, NC. For additional information, call 704-979-2200.
Tips from Capt. Gus: A ring around the moon/sun indicates moisture in the atmosphere and usually bodes well for fishing.
Hot Spot of the Week: Crappie and bass are on the banks. Best bets are shallow coves and pockets where both species are spawning. Crappie fishing is the best it has been in years, particularly for those casting 1/32 and 1/16th ounce curly tail jigs. Bass are on shallow points, docks and other types of cover or are bedding in shallow water. Bass beds are easier to locate if polarized sun glasses are worn. White perch continue to bite minnows and Sabiki’s in water from ten to fifty feet deep.
Small Channel cats in back coves are being taken in numbers with night crawlers and stink baits. Overall, fishing has been very good to excellent in recent days.
The water level on Lake Norman is approximately 1.4’ below full pond. Mountain Island Lake is 2.9’ below full. Surface water temperatures are in the sixties and seventies, depending on location or proximity to a power plant.
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 www.FishingWithGus.com or call 704-617-6812.

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