Judging by the pattern information in BassGold.com, April is a great time to be fishing Lake Norman. Big fish should be shallow and plentiful, and weights should be big.
Before looking at what a Norman "Pattern Report" for April shows, first bear in mind a few things:
- Weather always plays a role. BassGold crunches many tournament patterns over several years to provide its recommendations, so it covers most weather scenarios, but you have to factor in current conditions and your fishing experience.
- This is just a quick overview of the info BassGold has. You can get more gold by applying what you know to what BassGold shows.
- BassGold's data is based on thousands of tournament patterns, which means it's not what should or might work, it's what definitely has worked. Have confidence in it even if it's counterintuitive. BassGold's pattern info was second-guessed several times on the Bassmaster Elite Series last year, and ended up being right every time.
Taken together, the Macro Factors and Habitat Factors graphs show that past tournaments around this period of time are all about the spawn. Main lake pockets, shoreline, docks and spawning beds – that says it all.
The Baits graph also tells an interesting story. The wide variety of baits is a clue that April tournaments are in and around the spawn, but the real story is what has worked best.
The dominance of worms – including Senko-type baits and trick worms – probably isn't a surprise, but the fact that the second most cited bait in wins is an old-school spinnerbait might be. Swimbaits likewise factor big, but more in high finishes than wins. Same for jigs.
The bottom line is you can catch 'em many ways, and they should be big – an ideal scenario.
When it comes to weights, the BassGold graphs show that anglers have needed in the mid to high teens per day to win and the low teens to place in the top five. The story not told is that a lot of those are spotted bass – big ones.
Check out BassGold.com, a B.A.S.S. partner. The more time you spend with it, the more you'll get out of it. Save 15 percent on the one-year subscription price by using code BASS132 (case sensitive) when you sign up. Note that BassGold offers a three-day free trial.