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Fishing Forecast

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Fishing Forecast 8-28-14

By Tom Higgins
Correspondent

Lake Norman producing as others drag

Lake Norman again appears to be producing perhaps the most consistent fishing action in the Carolinas.

Hybrids, white perch, catfish, largemouth and spotted bass have hit well during the past few days. Very little activity is taking place on the other lakes, typical for this time of year.

Along the coast, Tropical Storm Cristobal passed far offshore, but it created seas so rough that fishing generally has been disrupted. Conditions are expected to start improving by Friday.

Lake Norman : Excellent lake-wide for catfish, mainly blues, taking cut baits from very shallow water to about 20 feet deep. Good for largemouth and spotted bass on Zoom artificial lizards in dark colors and spinnerbaits cast to wind-blown points and docks with deep water nearby. Hybrids suspended over humps on a variety of trolled lures and shiners. Schools of white perch 25 feet deep in the coves.

Lake Wylie: Fair for catfish on drift-fished cut baits.

Mountain Island Lake : Fair for bream and catfish.

Rankin Lake, Gastonia: Bream and catfish on traditional baits.

Union County lakes: Small crappie at Cane Creek Park on minnows. Slow to fair for bream and catfish at the others – Lakes Lee, Monroe and Twitty. Only fishing from the shoreline is available at Lee as the water level has been drawn down for work on the dam and the boat ramp isn’t in use.

Yadkin-Pee Dee River lakes: Best bet continues to be fishing at Badin and Tillery for white perch, locally known as Waccamaws. They’re hitting Ice Flies either jigged or bounced along the bottom when schools are located, usually 20-30 feet deep. Fair bream and catfish are being caught at all lakes, from High Rock downstream through Tuckertown, Badin, Tillery and Blewett Falls.

Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory : Relatively little activity reported except for fair nighttime fishing for crappie at James with minnows.

Fontana Lake : Continuing slow for all species.

Lake Wateree : Fair for largemouth on deep humps, ledges and points, mainly on artificial worms.

Lakes Thurmond, Murray: Slow.

Santee Cooper Lakes : Slow in the main bodies of Lakes Marion and Moultrie, but fairly good for largemouth in the Cooper and Santee Rivers below the dams.

Lake Hartwell : Fair for largemouth on soft plastic lures worked around humps and old growth along the shoreline on artificial worms.

Lake Keowee: Small catfish 40-60 feet deep on traditional baits, including chicken livers and crawlers.

Lake Jocassee : Fair surface feeding on the points in early morning and late afternoon by largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Outer Banks : Nags Head area: Seas are running too rough to fish; Oregon Inlet: No activity because of unfavorable sea conditions, but good for billfish, dolphin and yellowfin tuna to 60 pounds before the blow. Good for red drum in the backwaters; Hatteras Island: Little activity because of high seas; Ocracoke Island: Little activity; Morehead City area: Improving before the rough conditions for king and Spanish mackerel around the artificial reefs and wrecks. Heavy rain and the resulting influx of fresh water temporarily slowed the red drum bite in the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound.

Southeast Coast : Good for reds in the backwaters and Spanish mackerel along the beach when weather and water conditions are favorable. King mackerel at Christina’s Ledge and wahoo farther offshore. Fair blues, Spanish mackerel and spots at piers.

S.C. Coast: Little River area: Scattered croaker, pompano, spots and a few keeper-sized flounder; Grand Strand area: Very good offshore for blackfin tuna, king mackerel, sailfish and large wahoo when sea conditions are favorable. Cobia, king mackerel, spadefish and Spanish mackerel at the artificial reefs. Blues, ladyfish, pompano and whiting along the beach. Scattered blues, flounder, pompano, Spanish mackerel and whiting at piers; Charleston area: Scattered dolphin, sailfish and wahoo offshore. Fair to good for reds in the backwaters; Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Little activity.

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