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Fishing Forecast

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Lakes Norman white perch, Jocassee trout biting well

By Tom Higgins
Correspondent
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- Photo courtesy David Clubb
Brothers West and Bryce Peterson (center) and Coco Moore with large white perch they boated Sunday at Lake Norman. The Mooresville youngsters were fishing with local guide David Clubb.

White perch at Lake Norman and trout at Lake Jocassee appear to offer the most promise for freshwater anglers in the Carolinas during the next few days.

Catches of approximately 100 good-sized perch per party were reported at Norman this week. At Jocassee, located in South Carolina’s northwestern mountains, trout are hitting well, including some of trophy class.

Along the coast, wahoo offshore of Ocean Isle and reds, or spottails, in the backwaters from Charleston to Beaufort are the species striking best.

Lake Norman: White perch in schools are feeding aggressively on minnows fished 60 feet deep. Fair to good for largemouth and spotted bass on Alabama rigs and Senkos worked around piers and also cast to the shoreline. Fair to good for catfish on cut gizzard shad.

Lake Wylie: Fair for largemouth bass on Alabama rigs and grubs on lead heads cast to points and creek mouths.

Mountain Island Lake: Improving a bit for crappie.

Cane Creek Park Lake: Picking up for crappie around cover 20-25 feet deep.

Yadkin/Pee Dee River Lakes: Generally slow.

Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Smallmouth bass on shiners at James. Some better crappie fishing at Rhodhiss and Hickory, where largemouth are stirring, too.

Fontana Lake: Bass – largemouth, smallmouth and spotted – on Wiggle Wart lures fished 15 feet down around points. Also at 40 feet depth on Alabama rigs.

Lake Wateree: Same as a week ago … slow because of muddy water. A few catfish have been caught.

Lake Murray: Water is very muddy, so little activity.

Santee Cooper Lakes: Slow because of muddy water.

Lake Hartwell: Continuing fair to good for crappie, 10-15 feet deep around brush and docks on jigs tipped with minnows.

Lake Keowee: Slow.

Lake Jocassee: According to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, very good for trout in the creeks and around the major points. Most of are about 8-10 inches in length. However, several big ones also have been caught on live baits fished 40 feet down.

Outer Banks: Nags Head area: Little activity; Oregon Inlet: Fair to good for yellowfin and blackfin tuna offshore. A bluefin tuna estimated at 600 pounds was hooked this week, but broke off after a four-hour fight; Hatteras Island: Fair to good in the surf at Cape Point, Ramps 49 and 55 and at Frisco for puppy drum on grubs and cut bait. Some whiting also are being caught. Blackfin and yellowfin offshore, along with tile fish from the bottom; Ocracoke Island: No report; Morehead City area: No report.

Southeast Coast: Wahoo to 80 pounds offshore along with bottom species. A few dolphin offshore from the Steeples to the Winyah Scarp, with blackfin mixed in. Scattered puppy drum, or reds, in the backwaters on soft plastic lures with dark color patterns.

S.C. Coast: Grand Strand area: Little activity reported; Charleston area: Reds are schooling up on the shallow flats during low tide periods. They’re hitting flies, jerk shad and Savage Shrimp lures; Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Reds in schools on Gulp! lures in a shrimp pattern.

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