Big bluefin have arrived in waters off Oregon Inlet
Big bluefin tuna have finally showed up in waters off Oregon Inlet and are being caught in numbers when sea conditions are favorable.
Avidly awaited all winter, bluefin weighing up to 500 pounds were boated during the past few days by parties trolling from Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, Pirates Cove Marina at Manteo and the marinas in Hatteras Village.
One charter boat skipper radioed that “the ocean is slick with them!” Elsewhere, angling activity across the Carolinas generally has continued relatively slow, mainly because of low water temperatures.
LAKE NORMAN: Continuing fair for largemouth and spotted bass on jerk baits and small crankbaits cast to shoreline pockets. Best action is in the area downlake from the Highway 150 Bridge. Fair for crappie 10-12 feet deep around brush and piers on minnows. Good for catfish on small pieces of cut bait, especially chicken breast marinated in garlic. The catfish are 10-15 feet deep in the coves.
LAKE WYLIE: Still slowly improving for crappie, which are moving increasingly to shallow cover along the shoreline – especially sunny banks – and taking minnows. Catfish at the lower end on cut baits, especially gizzard shad, drift-fished 30-50 feet deep.
MOUNTAIN ISLAND LAKE: Improving for crappie.
CANE CREEK PARK: Continuing fair for crappie on minnows.
YADKIN/PEE DEE RIVER LAKES: Good for crappie at Blewett Falls, especially in the area known as Smith Lake. Fair for crappie at all the other reservoirs – High Rock, Tuckertown, Badin and Tillery. Some white bass reported caught at Tillery on small spoons
LAKES JAMES, RHODHISS, HICKORY: Fair smallmouth bass continue to be caught at James on shiners worked around the points. Improved catches of crappie at Rhodhiss and Hickory.
FONTANA LAKE: Fairly good for black bass – largemouth, smallmouth and spotted – on Alabama Rigs with soft plastic trailers. The fish are striking best around points with discolored water.
LAKE WATEREE: Crappie, mainly on minnows, around cover 5-15 feet deep. Best activity is in the Beaver and Wateree Creek arms.
LAKE MONTICELLO: Fair for catfish on cut gizzard shad and white perch worked 50-65 feet deep.
LAKE MURRAY: Fair to good for striped bass in the mid-lake area on free-lined live baits worked from just off the shoreline out to 40 feet deep. Crappie on jigs trolled at the creek mouths. Largemouth around docks on jerkbaits. Good for shellcrackers 2-8 feet down along the shoreline on earthworms.
LAKE THURMOND: Largemouth are moving into shallow water and hitting jigs. Stripers uplake on live baits trolled under planer boards about 25 feet off the shoreline. Hybrids near the dam on live baits worked 20-30 feet deep. Fair crappie around cover 15 feet deep, but a few are starting to show along the shoreline.
SANTEE COOPER LAKES: Little activity.
LAKE HARTWELL: Improving for stripers, hybrids around the creek mouths and main channel points on free-lined gizzard shad and herring. Fair to good for crappie around docks on both jigs and minnows.
LAKE KEOWEE: Largemouth and spotted bass on live baits worked around deep shoreline.
LAKE JOCASSEE: Little activity.
OUTER BANKS: Nags Head area: Little activity; Oregon Inlet area: Excellent for bluefin tuna during days when sea conditions permit the local sportfishing fleets to get offshore; Hatteras Island: Bluefin tuna in waters to the north toward Oregon Inlet. Numerous large grouper by parties bottom fishing offshore. Hardly any activity in the surf; Ocracoke Island: Little activity; Morehead City area: A few black drum around the rocky jetty at Fort Macon on pinfish and small shad. Some trout in the North River.
SOUTHEASTERN N.C. COAST: Scattered reds in Tubbs Inlet and around docks in the Intra-coastal Waterway on mud minnows.
S.C. COAST: Little River/Cherry Grove area: No report; Grand Strand area: No report; Charleston area: Continuing fair to good for reds, gathered in schools on the mud flats during low tide. Anglers who approach the fish carefully are making good catches by sight-casting jerk baits in shad patterns; Beaufort area: Sheepshead around reefs and other structure on fiddler crabs.