Fishing action is so good in Pamlico Sound near Hatteras Inlet this week that guides are treating their parties like waiters would diners in a restaurant.
The guides are listing what species are on the “menu” – flounder, puppy drum and speckled trout – and letting the anglers order what they want to catch.
This has rarely ever happened.
Mostly, the parties are going for the “platter,” or a mix of all three.
Some groups fishing a half-day have caught approximately 100 trout, 50 flounder and 25 puppy drum, keeping only the legal limit. The limit is six flounder per day 15 inches and longer, one puppy of 18-27 inches and four trout 14 inches and longer.
Mainly, all three species are striking plastic grubs.
Lake Norman: Largemouth and spotted bass around the main channel points during early morning on rattling lures and swim baits. White perch in schools 20-35 feet deep on minnows, earthworms, small pieces of cut bait and Sabiki rigs. Catfish in the 10-15 pound range in pockets along the main channel and in major creeks on cut crappie.
Lake Wylie: Very good for crappie on minnows fished 15 feet deep around piers and brush. Fair to good for largemouth on artificial worms worked slowly along ledges 35-40 feet deep. Also, largemouth on a variety of lures fished around schools of shad on the surface. Good for white perch in schools 12-22 feet down on small spoons, minnows.
Mountain Island Lake: Very good for crappie on minnows around bridges, brush.
Cane Creek Park Lake: Crappie in the 14-inch range on minnows.
Rankin Lake, Gastonia: Continues to be good for bream, catfish.
Yadkin/Pee Dee River Lakes: Fair to good for crappie at all lakes – High Rock, Tuckertown, Badin, Tillery and Blewett Falls. They are 15 feet deep around brush and docks, taking mainly minnows. Continues to be good for catfish in the Pee Dee River below the Blewett Falls Dam.
Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Improving for smallmouth bass on shiners at James. Fair for crappie at Rhodhiss and Hickory.
Fontana Lake: Generally slow. Scattered largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass on jerk baits and shiners worked along the shoreline.
Lake Wateree: Good for catfish on the flats from Colonel Creek to Taylor Creek on cut baits. Fair for striped bass on live baits worked 20-30 feet deep. Fair for crappie at the bridges. Fair for largemouth in very early morning on topwater lures.
Lake Murray: Continues to be slow for all species.
Lake Thurmond: Good for stripers, hybrids in the reservoir’s lower portion on popping plugs such as Zara Spooks. Good for bream on the long points on crawlers, earthworms, Roostertail spinners. Fair to good for crappie on trolled sliders and around brush 12-25 feet deep on minnows.
Santee Cooper Lakes: Good to excellent for striped bass in surface-feeding schools at dawn, then on live baits. Very good for bream around brush 25 feet deep on crawlers. Fair to good for catfish on cut bream and white perch.
Lake Hartwell: Good for channel catfish 15-22 feet deep in the creek channels and around the flats on crawlers and cut baits. Good for flathead catfish in the creek channels at night on live baits. Fair for largemouth suspended 15 feet deep under schools of blueback herring on a variety of lures.
Lake Keowee: Good for largemouth and spotted bass around surfacing shad schools on topwater lures such as the Nemire Baby Buzzer.
Lake Jocassee: Bream in the backs of creeks on crickets, earthworms and small Beetlespin lures. Improving for largemouth and smallmouth along the shoreline.
Outer Banks: Nags Head area: Good for red drum in the surf during early morning along with blues and Spanish mackerel. Blues puppy drum, spots, trout and whiting at piers; Oregon Inlet: Good offshore for blackfin tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Blues, trout and sheepshead inshore; Hatteras Island: Good to excellent offshore for limits of king mackerel, along with dolphin and wahoo. Excellent for flounder, puppy drum and speckled trout in the sound near Hatteras Village. Small blues, flounder, puppy drum, speckled trout, spots and whiting in the surf; Ocracoke Island: Big red drum to 53 inches by boat in the inlet and backwaters. Excellent for puppy drum in the surf, along with flounder and whiting. Some at Ocracoke are calling it the best puppy drum fishing there in years. Dolphin, triggerfish and wahoo offshore; Morehead City area: Good for king mackerel over live bottom and around wrecks, plus at areas known as Northwest Places, Big 10, Triple Nickel, the 30-Minute Rock and 1700 Rock. Blues and false albacore along the beach. Flounder, gray trout, puppy drum, speckled trout and whiting inshore. Albacore, black drum, blues, small flounder, pompano, puppy drum and whiting at piers.
Southeast Coast: Excellent for very large flounder to almost 10 pounds around the artificial reefs and elsewhere, especially near Ocean Isle. Speckled trout at Carolina Beach Inlet and around the Little River jetties, along with large red drum. Reds in the lower Cape Fear River and Snow’s Cut. Sheepshead around many bridges. Good to excellent for limits of king mackerel just 5-10 miles offshore. Good for wahoo farther out. Black drum, flounder, pompano, small spots and whiting at piers.
S.C. Coast: Little River area: Flounder, red drum in the inlet and at the jetty. Speckled trout in the Intracoastal Waterway; Grand Strand area: Very good for Spanish mackerel at piers, along with speckled trout on mullet strips. Blues and occasional spot runs at piers and in Murrells Inlet. Sheepshead at the Georgetown Jetties. Dolphin and wahoo offshore; Charleston area: Flounder, reds and trout on the flats, mainly on ZMan Smoky Shad StreaK Z lures; Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Very good for big red drum at the rocks off Bay Points. Very good sight-casting mud minnows to tailing spottails in the marshes during low tide.
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