Lakes Wylie and Norman, Fontana Lake and the coastal waters around Morehead City appear the best places for fishing in the Carolinas during the holiday week.
During the past few days Wylie has yielded a winning weight of almost 20 pounds for just five fish in a bass tournament, plus a 60-pound blue catfish; big white perch are being caught at Norman; Fontana anglers are taking limits of walleye; and the Morehead City area is producing red drum and speckled trout.
Lake Norman: Very good for white perch in the one-pound range on minnows fish 20-40 feet deep. Spotted bass, mixed in with schools of perch, also are being boated.
Lake Wylie: Good for largemouth bass on Alabama rigs, especially a lure named “Blades of Glory.” Fair for crappie 10-20 feet down around boat docks and brush, mainly on minnows. Slow for catfish, although a 60-pounder was boated a few days ago.
Mountain Island Lake: Fair for crappie on minnows around bridges, brush and docks.
Cane Creek Park Lake: Fair for crappie on minnows.
Yadkin/Pee Dee River Lakes: Fair to good for crappie at Badin, Tillery and Blewett Falls on minnows and Kalin jigs. No report from the others, High Rock and Tuckertown.
Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Continuing fair for smallmouth bass on shiners at James. Little activity at Rhodhiss. Striped bass on live baits at Hickory, where an 8-pound largemouth reportedly was caught by a striper fisherman.
Fontana Lake: Excellent for walleye on jigging spoons worked 60-70 feet deep off points in the Hazel Creek arm. Smallmouth and spotted bass are hitting crankbaits and skirted spinnerbaits cast to the shoreline.
Lake Wateree: Largemouth on crankbaits, jigs worked around rocky shoreline and docks.
Lake Murray: Continuing fair to good for striped bass above Dreher Island on drift-fished live herring and trolled bucktails. There are signs the stripers are starting up the rivers. Good for catfish, mainly channel cats, on cut baits fished around humps 30-50 feet deep.
Santee Cooper Lakes: Good for crappie 30-40 feet deep around cover in the upper lake, Marion. Fair for schooling stripers on topwater lures, spoons and live herring. The stripers mostly are small, and few of keeper size are being caught.
Lake Hartwell: Fair for largemouth and spotted bass around standing timber 15-50 feet deep on soft plastic lures. Fair to good for crappie and white perch on minnows.
Lake Keowee: Fair for largemouth and spotted bass 15-20 feet deep on drop-shot rigs, flukes. Some surface schooling noted and Zara Spook lures cast to the jumps are working well.
Lake Jocassee: Continuing fair for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Little action for trout because of discolored water caused by rains.
Outer Banks: Nags Head area: Little activity; Oregon Inlet: Puppy drum in the surf. Little activity offshore; Hatteras Island: Puppy drum in the surf near Ramp 43 across the dunes and at the jetties near the former lighthouse site. Puppy drum and some speckled trout also are being caught near Hatteras Village; Ocracoke Island: No report; Morehead City area: Good for puppy drum and speckled trout at Shark Island, in the marshes and along the beach. Blackfin tuna, bonito and wahoo offshore when sea conditions are decent.
Southeast Coast: Good for speckled trout in the Shallotte River.
S.C. Coast: Little River area: Little activity; Grand Strand area: Little activity; Charleston area: Continuing fair to good for reds, or spottails, around docks in the backwaters on cracked blue crab and mullet. Blackfin tuna offshore over 140-240 feet of water when sea conditions are favorable; Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Reds in schools on the backwater flats.
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