Lake Norman producing fine topwater action
Largemouth and spotted bass in mixed schools are actively feeding on the surface all across Lake Norman.
Multiple angling sources reported the action Tuesday.
“They have been schooling all day, rather than just early and late, the usual pattern,” said Boots Beasley of Mooresville. “And they’re striking about any topwater lure pretty readily.”
David Club of Mooresville advises the fish also are hitting metal jigging spoons cast to the site of the breaks.
“The spoon is heavier, so that’s what I’m using for the added casting distance,” he said.
Mostly small spotted bass are being boated, with some keepers mixed in. These are fish at least 14 inches in length. The creel limit is five per day, two of which may be under 14 inches.
Lake Norman: Good to excellent for catfish. They are hitting cut baits 10-30 feet deep just off the shoreline. Capable anglers are averaging about five fish per hour.
Lake Wylie: Good for bream, catfish. Slowly improving for crappie.
Mountain Island Lake: Mainly bream, catfish.
Union County Lakes: Good for largemouth bass and picking up for crappie at all reservoirs – Cane Creek Park, Lee, Monroe and Twitty. Bream and catfish continue to bite well.
Rankin Lake, Gastonia: Improving for bream, catfish.
Yadkin/Pee Dee River Lakes: Very good for bream and catfish at all lakes – High Rock, Tuckertown, Badin, Tillery and Blewett Falls.
Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Very good for crappie at night at Lake James on minnows fished under lights. Fair at James for smallmouth bass on medium-sized shiners. Good at Rhodhiss and Hickory for largemouth on soft plastic lures.
Fontana Lake: The fall pattern of catching a mix of largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass on Bandit and Shad Rap lures trolled 20-30 feet off the shoreline has set in. Limits are being boated. The bass also are striking crankbaits and jerkbaits cast to the shoreline. Big bream on crickets worked around brush and other cover.
Lake Wateree: Fair for largemouth on topwater lures worked around grass and over points during early morning. There is a bit of surface schooling in the late afternoon.
Lake Murray: Good for striped bass in surface-feeding schools from Shull’s Island to the dam. They’re hitting Striper Delight lures best, and also taking free-lined live baits.
Lake Thurmond: Good for crappie around brush tops that are 20 feet deep in 25-30 feet of water. They’re hitting minnows best.
Santee Cooper Lakes: Fair for largemouth around lily pads and in the shade of cypress trees on artificial frogs and other soft plastic lures.
Lake Hartwell: Generally slow. Scattered crappie 15-20 feet deep around bridge pilings and brush.
Lake Keowee: Continuing fair for smallmouth and spotted bass on topwater lures cast to rocky points during early morning.
Lake Jocassee: Good for trout on Apex and Sutton spoons trolled 80-100 feet down.
Outer Banks: Nags Head area: Good in the surf and at piers for blues, croaker, cobia, Spanish mackerel, spots and whiting when wind and sea conditions are favorable. Oregon Inlet: Outstanding offshore for billfish, especially white marlin. Parties on one boat accounted for 41 billfish in three days. The offshore catch also includes blackfin and yellowfin tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Inshore anglers are catching blues, cobia, Spanish mackerel and trout. Hatteras Island: Good for billfish and wahoo offshore, with numerous sailfish boated. Good to excellent in the sound for large red drum, puppy drum and speckled trout. Blues, flounder, gray trout, pompano and spots in the surf and at Avon Pier. Puppy drum at Cape Point. Ocracoke Island: Very good in the surf for blues, along with gray trout, puppy drum, spots and whiting. A few large red drum have been caught. Dolphin and wahoo offshore, along with small blackfin tuna. Morehead City area: Good for blues and Spanish mackerel from the Cape Lookout Shoals to Beaufort Inlet. King mackerel on live bait in the shipping channel, at the Dead Tree Hole, Northwest Places, Big 10 and the 30-Minute Rock. Further offshore the catch includes sailfish, wahoo and white marlin.
Southeastern N.C. Coast: Very good for red drum at the Little River and Masonboro Inlet jetties. Fair to good for flounder around the Sunset Beach Bridge and in the lower Cape Fear River. Reds in the creeks at Bald Head Island. Blackfin tuna, dolphin and wahoo offshore. Improving at piers for flounder, spots and whiting, along with some pompano and Spanish mackerel.
S.C. Coast: Little River area: Very good at the jetty for big red drum. Scattered black drum, flounder, sheepshead, spots and whiting. Grand Strand area: With big numbers of menhaden in the surf, king mackerel and tarpon should be feeding very actively. Good for sheepshead at the Georgetown jetties. Fair for blackfin tuna, dolphin and wahoo offshore. Charleston area: Flounder around rock piles 3-8 feet deep. Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Good for trout on shrimp at creek mouths when the water is moving. Tarpon around sandbars and bridge pilings in Port Royal Sound on live baits.
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