Norman, Fontana producing big bass catches
Lake Norman and Fontana Lake appear the likeliest locations for angling action in the Carolinas.
Largemouth and spotted bass are hitting well at Norman while Fontana is yielding some limits of smallmouth and spotted bass.
It took five bass weighing almost 15 1/2 pounds to win a tournament at Norman last Saturday.
LAKE NORMAN: Largemouth and spotted bass on crankbaits, jigs and spinnerbaits cast to slightly discolored shoreline water. Good for catfish 10-20 feet deep in the backs of coves on cut baits. Fair crappie on minnows worked around brush 30-40 feet deep. A variety of species continue to be caught at the Plant Marshall and the McGuire Nuclear Station hot holes on bloodworms.
LAKE WYLIE: Crappie around deep cover, mainly on minnows. Also near the Catawba Station hot holes. Largemouth on crankbaits and jigs around docks and secondary points.
MOUNTAIN ISLAND LAKE: Little activity.
CANE CREEK PARK: Scattered crappie.
YADKIN/PEE DEE RIVER LAKES: Fair catches of crappie for the few anglers trying at all reservoirs – High Rock, Tuckertown, Badin, Tillery and Blewett Falls. The latter three continue to produce best.
LAKES JAMES, RHODHISS, HICKORY: Fair to good at James for smallmouth bass on shiners fished around the points. A few crappie at Rhodhiss and Hickory on minnows trolled deep.
FONTANA LAKE: Good for smallmouth, with a few spots mixed in, on crankbaits and twister-tail grubs cast to shoreline pockets and points. They’re also hitting shiners fairly well. Some anglers are boating limits of five fish in 2-3 hours.
LAKE WATEREE: Fair largemouth bass on brightly-colored crankbaits cast to rocky points and shoreline.
LAKE MONTICELLO: Continuing good for blue catfish up to 20 pounds on cut gizzard shad and white perch worked 50-65 feet deep.
LAKE MURRAY: Fair to good for striped bass in surface-feeding schools from the mid-lake area upstream. They are hitting bucktails and free-lined live herring. Fair to good for crappie 20 feet down around dock and bridge pilings.
LAKE THURMOND: Good for stripers and hybrids from the mid-lake section upstream on live herring fished 40 feet deep along the edge of the channel. Good for crappie 30 feet deep in creeks.
SANTEE COOPER LAKES: Good for stripers feeding in both Lake Marion and Moultrie in surfacing schools on bucktails.
LAKE HARTWELL: Fair to good for stripers, hybrids on trolled umbrella rigs. Crappie 25 feet deep around the bridge pilings on minnows.
LAKE KEOWEE: Fair largemouth and spotted bass in the creeks on drop-shot rigs worked 40-70 feet deep.
LAKE JOCASSEE: Trout of good size on either spoons or umbrella rigs trolled 50 feet down. Also on free-lined minnows.
OUTER BANKS: Nags Head area: Little activity; Oregon Inlet area: Bluefin tuna offshore when sea conditions are favorable; Hatteras Island: Yellowfin tuna, black seabass and tilefish offshore when sea conditions are decent; Ocracoke Island: No report; Morehead City area: Continuing fair for reds and speckled trout in the marsh waters. Bluefin tuna offshore, along with blackfin and wahoo, when sea conditions are favorable.
SOUTHEASTERN N.C. COAST: Very scattered reds in the backwaters and Intracoastal Waterway. They are hitting gold spoons tipped Gulp! curly tails in pumpkin and smoke colors.
S.C. COAST: Little River/Cherry Grove area: No report; Grand Strand area: No report; Charleston area: Good for reds, or spottails, on the flats during sunny days when the tide is low. They are hitting curly tail soft plastic lures; Beaufort area: No report.