- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 18, 2007

During an impromptu fishing trip to Mecklenburg County, N.C., I discovered that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find decent Carolina barbecue. I tried it in one out-of-the-way, small restaurant near Lake Norman, and the only thing on my barbecue combination platter that actually was tasty were the pork ribs. The chopped Carolina barbecue was nothing to brag about, the cole slaw was awful and the cornbread inedible. In the general Charlotte area, don’t be surprised if sushi bars and Japanese steak houses outnumber the barbecue emporiums that North Carolina once was famous for.

One of the things that brings people to the Southern states is the charm and friendliness of the residents. For example, do you need information about where the fish are biting? Ask and you shall receive. Whenever I asked Lake Norman anglers for inside details about the fishing, I received it. Try that in Potomac River country and see what you’ll get.

Gasoline prices are as high in North Carolina as they are in Maryland, so if you’re heading south, do yourself a favor and fill up in Virginia, where the gasoline often is up to 15 cents a gallon cheaper than it is in the two neighboring states the one to the north, the other to the south.

Should you plan an outing to a place like Lake Norman, be advised that it’s not the best fishing lake in North Carolina, but it can deliver a number of fish species, especially striped bass and largemouth bass. Check it out at www.lakenormansweb.com/lake_norman/fishing.

Gene Mueller

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