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Fishing Forecast

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Fishing Forecast for 6.19.14

By Tom Higgins
Correspondent

Catches continue very good for anglers seeking offshore species from sportfishing ports along the Carolinas coast.

For almost a month reports from Oregon Inlet on the Outer Banks to Charleston have been of excellent action, especially for dolphin, or mahi mahi. Many dolphin in the 40-pound range have been boated, including out of Georgetown, S.C.

The Oregon Inlet catch also includes limits of very large yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna weighing up to 225 pounds.

Freshwater fishing across the Carolinas remains very good for bream, both in farm ponds and larger lakes as the panfish gather in spawning beds along the shoreline.

Lake Norman : Largemouth and spotted bass during very early morning on floating artificial worms, flukes and topwater lures cast to shaded shoreline areas. Later, as the sun gets higher, the bass are taking shakey head worms worked around docks stretching into deep water. Continuing good for catfish on cut baits, especially the heads of bream and gizzard shad. The catfish also are hitting white perch strips and pieces of chicken with garlic salt in fished 5-30 feet deep. Fair for crappie around cover 25-30 feet down on jigs, minnows.

Lake Wylie: Good to excellent for bream on crickets, earthworms. Catfish on drift-fished cut shad and strips of white perch, with blue catfish hitting best in the lake’s riverine stretch. Very good for white perch around humps 14-18 feet deep, mainly on minnows. Fair for largemouth along the main channel banks on artificial worms and crankbaits.

Mountain Island Lake : Very good for bedding bream just off the shoreline. Fair to good for crappie around deep cover on minnows.

Rankin Lake, Gastonia: Continuing excellent for bream on crawlers and crickets. Catfish on crawlers and other traditional baits.

Union County Lakes: Good to excellent at Lake Lee for largemouth bass up to 12 pounds. Some of the year’s best bream catches reported at Lee and the others – Cane Creek Park, Monroe and Twitty.

Yadkin-Pee Dee River Lakes: Excellent for bream the length of the chain, with Badin, Tillery and Blewett Falls producing especially well. Excellent for large catfish at Blewett Falls.

Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory : Continuing good for walleye at James on crawlers fished at night under lights. Fair to good for crappie around brush and other cover 30 feet deep at all three reservoirs.

Fontana Lake : Good for trout on spoons trolled 30 feet down near the dam, with up to 20 fish per day boated and released according to reports from Fontana Village Marina. Slow for other species.

Lake Wateree : Very good for white perch on earthworms fished near the dam. Striped bass in the main channel from the dam to Clearwater Cove on a variety of trolled lures. Good for crappie, suspended 10-12 feet deep over cover and 15-22 feet deep at the mouths of creeks. Good for bream.

Lake Thurmond: Good for stripers, hybrids on free-lined live herring and trolled lures. Crappie around brush 15 feet deep on jigs. Very good for bream and shellcrackers along the banks.

Lake Murray : Good for stripers on cut herring fished 10-20 feet deep on the bottom off the points. Good for catfish on crawlers, cut herring. Good for crappie suspended around 15 feet deep over cover 20-25 feet down. Fair for largemouth during early morning on topwater lures cast to points. Very good for bream and shellcrackers.

Santee Cooper Lakes : Excellent for bream along the banks, especially near lily pads. Good for catfish at night on crawlers and cut shad fished 10-15 feet deep. Continuing fair for crappie 15-20 feet deep around brush.

Lake Hartwell : Very good for catfish on cut herring fished at night around bridges, rip-rap and rocky points. Striped bass 20-30 feet deep in the creek arms on live herring. Crappie on jigs worked around cover 15 feet deep.

Lake Keowee: Good for bream along the shoreline. Fair for largemouth and spotted bass.

Lake Jocassee : Very good for trout on spoons trolled 20-60 feet deep. Largemouth, smallmouth on the points, where they are taking artificial worms and crankbaits.

Outer Banks

Nags Head area: Continuing fair to good for puppy drum, whiting in the surf. Scattered flounder, pompano, puppy drum and whiting at piers.

Oregon Inlet: Excellent offshore for limits of large yellowfin tuna, along with bigeye tuna to 225 pounds, billfish and dolphin. Plentiful blues and Spanish mackerel inshore. Very good for puppy drum and speckled trout in the sound.

Hatteras Island: Excellent off Hatteras Village for large dolphin, billfish, blackfin tuna and yellowfin tuna. Big cobia from Cape Point to Hatteras Inlet. Good for flounder in the sound. A mix of blues, croaker, gray trout, pompano, Spanish mackerel, spots and whiting in the surf from Rodanthe to Avon. The surf is producing cobia, gray trout, red drum and speckled trout from Buxton to Hatteras Village.

Ocracoke Island: Cobia and puppy drum are hittng fairly well; Morehead City area: Good to excellent at the near-shore wrecks for cobia, Spanish mackerel. Very good offshore for billfish, dolphin, blackfin tuna and wahoo. Blue fish to 10 pounds at piers, along with pompano, puppy drum, sheepshead, spots and whiting.

Southeast Coast : Good offshore for amberjack, black seabass, cobia and king mackerel. Spanish mackerel and blues along the beach. Black drum and sheepshead around the ADM Dock and the rocks at Fort Fisher. Flounder, puppy drum and speckled trout near the mouth of the Cape Fear River. Trout in the bays and creeks at Bald Head Island. Blues, flounder, reds, Spanish mackerel and whiting at piers.

S.C. Coast: Little River area: No report. Grand Strand area: Very good offshore for big dolphin with blackfin tuna and a a few billfish also being boated. Blues and Spanish mackerel at piers on jigged gold hooks. Scattered pompano, sheepshead, spots, whiting and a few trout at piers. Black drum and sheepshead at the Georgetown and Murrells Inlet jetties. Reds around bridges in the Georgetown area on cut mullet, mud minnows.

Charleston area: Good for reds, or spottails, around backwater docks and at creek mouths where there are oyster rakes. Fair to good for trout on live baits at shell rakes. Good for flounder around rock piles, sandy flats.

Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Good for reds in the small creeks on mud minnows.

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