Fishing with Gus: Gaining an appreciation for the sounds of fishing

Tony Fargnoli, of Kernersville, holds a Lake Norman striped bass.

The sounds of fishing add dimension to every trip. Some sounds promise success, while others indicate problems. So, let’s listen to some of them.

Howling wind, rumbling thunder and pouring rain might be the first sign that a fishing trip isn’t off to a good start. On the other hand, a forecast of partly cloudy skies, warm temperatures and light winds will bring a smile to any angler’s face.

Fishermen relish the noise of screeching sea birds that dive into a fray of feeding stripers. And the shouts of “fish on!” “get the net!,” and “nice fish!” add excitement to every fishing adventure.

A few choice words usually follow the noise of fishing line breaking or the smashing sound of a favorite rod getting crushed by a car door. Worst yet, there are days that just begin badly – like when you turn the boat key and the only sound you hear is the clicking of a dead battery.

There are also many great sounds that are a pleasure to hear and truly make the day worthwhile.

Other favorites are the unforgettable sound of splashing fish, the clicking of the blade on a buzz-bait as it comes across the water tantalizing every bass within hearing distance, and the swishing sound of line as it slices through the water when being pulled from the reel by an oversized striped bass.

If the fishermen quiet down, they’ll hear birds make some of the most interesting and noticeable sounds, like the harsh cawing sound of a flock of black crows, the honking of geese flying overhead, or the very common sounds of quacking ducks as they communicate with each other.

The Kingfisher’s high-pitched chattering turns many a head.

Underscoring it all are two sounds that bring peace of mind and total relaxation to those who listen: the babbling of a flowing brook and the pounding of waves washing ashore on a sandy beach.

But to a fisherman, nothing is better than the sound of fish filets hitting the hot grease in a deep fryer, followed by an enthusiastic “Let’s eat!”

Tips from Capt. Gus

Fresh caught white perch, crappie and bass are delicious when breaded in batter, fried in peanut oil and served with hush puppies, fries, slaw and iced tea.

Hot spots of the week

Deep-water stripers, bass and perch are being taken on bucktails and jigging spoons at the confluence of most major creek channels and the Catawba River.

Fish are suspending in water to 90 feet at the mouth of Hagers, Mountain and Reed creeks.

Angler fishing from the banks of the “hot holes” are catching a variety of fish with bloodworms, chicken livers and minnows. Cat fishing is also good, considering the cold-water temperatures.

Capt. Gus Gustafson of Lake Norman Ventures is an outdoor columnist and a full-time professional fishing guide on Lake Norman. His website is Contact him at 704-617-6812 or

Did you like this? Share it:

Leave a Reply