The prospect for action over the coming week looks very promising along the Carolinas coast.
Fish are being caught inshore and off from the Outer Banks southward to Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Reds appear especially plentiful in the surf and backwaters. Pier anglers have experienced some good spot runs, and wahoo to 90 pounds have been boated offshore.
Lake Norman: Largemouth and spotted bass are being caught from Marker 10 south toward the Cowans Ford Dam, gathering around and under schools of alewives and shad. They are striking rattling lures and small crankbaits worked 8-10 feet deep. Some bass also are hitting around lighted piers. Catfish in the 1- to 8-pound range are taking cut baits worked in 10-30 feet of water. Improving for crappie around piers and brush, mainly on minnows.
Lake Wylie: Good for crappie, especially at night, on minnows fished 5-20 feet deep around piers and brush. Largemouth in surface-feeding schools on topwater lures for about two hours just after dawn, then on artificial worms cast to flats and ledges. Good for white perch 18-22 feet deep on minnows, Sabiki rigs.
Mountain Island Lake: Fair to good for bream, catfish and crappie.
Union County Lakes: Fair to good for largemouth at Lakes Lee, Monroe and Twitty, which close for the winter on Oct. 31. Picking up for crappie at Cane Creek Park, where they are hitting minnows around brush 5-20 feet deep.
Rankin Lake, Gastonia: Continuing good for bream, catfish.
Yadkin/Pee Dee River Lakes: Fair to good for bass, catfish and crappie at all lakes – High Rock, Tuckertown, Badin, Tillery and Blewett Falls. Catfish in the Pee Dee River below the Blewett Falls Dam.
Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Smallmouth bass on shiners at James. Fair for crappie at Rhodhiss. Good for largemouth on a variety of lures at Hickory.
Fontana Lake: Very good for smallmouth and spotted bass on spinnerbaits cast to the shoreline. Surface-breaking bass at Points 7 and 9 on Pop R and Sammy topwater lures. Good catches of walleye on ice jigs worked 60 feet deep off the points.
Lake Wateree: Good for catfish just off the shoreline and around flats from Colonel Creek to Taylor Creek on cut baits. Fair for striped bass on live baits worked 20-30 feet deep around bridges. Also fair for crappie at the bridges.
Lake Murray: Generally slow for all species.
Lake Thurmond: Good for stripers, hybrids at dawn and dusk in surface-feeding schools on topwater lures and spinners. Shellcrackers on mussels fished at points. Good for crappie around brush 18-25 feet deep on minnows. Also, crappie on trolled slider-type lures.
Santee Cooper Lakes: Good to excellent for striped bass in surface-feed schools during the one hour or so after dawn. Very good for bream around brush 25 feet deep.
Lake Hartwell: Good for channel catfish 15-22 feet deep in the creeks and on the flats on crawlers and cut baits. Good for flathead catfish in the creek channels at night on live baits. Fair for largemouth on the main channel points.
Lake Keowee: Very good for largemouth and spotted bass at the reservoir’s south end on buzz baits cast around schools of shad on the surface.
Lake Jocassee: Good for bream back in coves and in creeks with waterfalls. Fair for largemouth and smallmouth along the shoreline of coves.
Outer Banks: Nags Head area: Croaker, spots at piers. Reds, a few stripers and trout in the backwaters; Oregon Inlet: Good offshore for billfish, dolphin and yellowfin tuna when sea conditions are favorable. One party boated two blue marlin on Sunday. Large red drum in the surf during early morning at the inlet. Good inshore and in the sound for reds, stripers and trout; Hatteras Island: Good to excellent offshore for big wahoo, along with some billfish, blackfin tuna and dolphin when sea conditions are decent. One of the bills, a blue marlin, weighed 500 pounds. Reds, gray and speckled trout in the sound near Hatteras Village. Small blues, plus flounder, pompano, puppy drum, spot and whiting in the surf, which can now be reached by four-wheel drive vehicle as the shutdown of the federal government has ended. The shutdown forced the U.S. Park Service to restrict beach access in the National Seashore by closing the access ramps; Ocracoke Island: Big red drum by boat in the inlet and backwaters. Good for blues, flounder and puppy drum in the surf, along with a few trophy-sized reds; Morehead City area: Excellent for big wahoo to 80 pounds from the Swansboro Hole to Big Rock. Spanish mackerel to 5 pounds and albacore up to 20 pounds along the shoreline. King mackerel to 40 pounds offshore at Big 10/Little 10, Northwest Places, East Rock and 30-Minute Rock. Good for king mackerel offshore at Northwest Places, the 30-Minute Reef, East Rock and the 1700 Rock. Gray trout and whiting in the sounds. Cobia, pompano, puppy drum, Spanish mackerel and spots at piers.
Southeast Coast: “On fire” for big red drum at the Little River jetties, located at the border of the Carolinas. Flounder, reds and trout in the backwaters near Ocean Isle. Cobia to 70 pounds, king mackerel and wahoo offshore. Trout at Carolina Beach Inlet. Reds in the Bald Head Island bays and creeks, in the lower Cape Fear River and at the Sunset Beach Bridge. Spots, pompano and whiting in the surf and at piers, along with a few flounder.
S.C. Coast: Little River area: Red drum at the jetties. Trout in the Intracoastal Waterway; Grand Strand area: Very good for three popular species. Spottails, or reds, in the creeks on finger mullet. Sheepshead at jetties and other inshore structure. Trout at piers and just off the beach on trolled strips of fresh mullet. Winyah Bay’s North Inlet near Georgetown is yielding especially good catches of flounder, reds and trout. Kings and wahoo offshore when sea conditions are good; Charleston area: Flounder, reds and trout around the backwater flats on ZMan Smoky Shad StreaK Z lures; Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Very good for tailing spottails in the marshes during low tide. Sight-casting spoons and other lures is producing best, but the fish also are hitting mud minnows
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