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Fishing Forecast

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Fishing Forecast for 08.07.14

By Tom Higgins
Correspondent

Anglers willing to greet the dawn at Lake Norman are scoring limit catches of spotted bass, with some largemouth bass mixed in.

From around 5 a.m. until 8:30 the bass are striking topwater lures cast to the shoreline, mainly points. The Gunfish by Lucky Craft and Zara Spook Jr., have proven especially effective.

Afterward, as the sun rises, the fish are moving to the shade of docks and for a short-lived period taking shakey-head artificial worms.

Along the coast, foul weather generally disrupted fishing for a few days, and the offshore passage of Hurricane Bertha could further complicate things with the resulting rough seas. However, when anglers have been able to venture out, they frequently have found very good success despite heavy rain. It has been best offshore of Oregon Inlet for billfish, dolphin, wahoo and yellowfin tuna.

Lake Norman : Continuing good for white perch, taking earthworms, small pieces of cut bait, jigging spoons and minnows worked 20-40 feet deep, mainly around points. Catfish on crawlers, cut baits fished 15-30 feet down. Scattered crappie around deep brush on minnows.

Lake Wylie: Fair for largemouth on crankbaits, skirted spinnerbaits worked along the shoreline close to deep water. A few striped and white bass in the tailrace at the dam. Bream on crickets and earthworms. Continuing fair at night and during early morning for catfish on crawlers, cut bait and frozen baits such as shrimp.

Mountain Island Lake : Good for bedding bream along the shoreline. Catfish also are biting fairly well.

Rankin Lake, Gastonia: Bream on crawlers and crickets, catfish on earthworms, crawlers, cut baits..

Union County Lakes: Good catches continue at all reservoirs for bream and catfish—Cane Creek Park, Lakes Lee, Monroe and Twitty. Lee continues to produce occasional fine catches of largemouth.

Yadkin-Pee Dee River Lakes: Best action remains at Badin and Tillery for white perch, locally known as Waccamaws. They are striking Ice Flies cast to the jumps and swirls of surface-feeding schools. Bream and catfish are being caught at all lakes, from High Rock downstream through Tuckertown, Badin, Tillery and Blewett Falls.

Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory : An influx of discolored water from heavy rains generally has slowed activity except for bream. Also, scattered walleye are being taken at night on crawlers at James.

Fontana Lake : Very slow on the lower end except for a few trout being taken on crawlers fished 30-40 feet deep right against the dam under lights at night. On the upper end, scattered largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are being caught on lures cast fish feeding on the surface in the Alarka and Lemons Creek arms.

Lake Wateree : Fairly good for largemouth on crankbaits and skirted spinnerbaits cast to the shoreline during early morning. Fair to good for stripers in the lower section toward the dam on shiners and other live baits.

Lake Thurmond: Good for bream and shellcrackers, starting to bed along the shoreline as the moon waxes.

Lake Monticello: Fair to good for blue catfish along ledges on cut baits.

Lake Murray: Unseasonably good for largemouth bass on a variety of lures worked around secondary points and bridge pilings. Crappie 15-20 feet down on minnows, jigs fished around brush and off grass beds. Stripers on free-lined live herring. Also, some striper surface schooling has been noted.

Santee Cooper Lakes : Very good for bedding bream. Largemouth during early morning on artificial worms. Crappie at night around the bridge pilings, deep brush.

Lake Hartwell : Fair Fair to good for largemouth on deep-running crankbaits, spinnerbaits, shiners worked around points and structure. Stripers, hybrids on trolled umbrella rigs, plus on live shiners, herring fished 35-40 feeet deep—or 15-20 feet deep near the dam. Crappie on small umbrella rigs, minnows.

Lake Keowee: Good for bream on traditional baits. Fair for largemouth and spotted bass during early morning.

Lake Jocassee : Good for trout on spoons trolled 60-80 feet deep. At night the trout are taking crawlers fished 40-60 feet down. Fair for smallmouth bass on crankbaits cast to rocky points.

Outer Banks : Nags Head area: Scattered surf species from Corolla to Nags Head as inclement weather persisted. A few blues, Spanish mackerel and spots at piers; Oregon Inlet: Excellent offshore when sea conditions are favorable for dolphin to 63 pounds, bigeye tuna to 222, billfish and yellowfin tuna. Blues, Spanish mackerel inshore during good weather; Hatteras Island: Excellent offshore for billfish, dolphin and wahoo when sea conditions allow parties to get out. Scattered black drum, blues, croaker, flounder, gray trout, pompano, sheepshead and whiting in the surf at various locations from Rodanthe to Frisco/Hatteras Village. Some especially good flounder catches were reported from the surf at Ramp 55; Ocracoke Island: Continuing fair for blues, pompano, puppy drum and whiting in the surf; Morehead City area: Good for reds in the sounds, with large “old” drum starting to show as they gather to spawn. Spanish mackerel and king mackerel just off the beach when conditions are favorable. Spanish and amberjack around the artificial reefs and shipwrecks. Dolphin and billfish offshore. Puppy drum and whiting at piers.

Southeast Coast : Good for flounder in the Southport area of the Cape Fear River and around inshore artificial reefs prior to the bad weather. Reds, speckled trout in the backwaters from Oak Island to Sunset Beach. Pompano, spots and whiting at piers. Offshore fishing very limited due to the weather.

S.C. Coast: Little River area: Scattered flounder, sheepshead; Grand Strand area: Generally slow, but fair black drum, whiting at piers; Charleston area: Blues, flounder, reds, speckled trout inshore, mostly during the incoming tide; Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Flounder on mud minnows.

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