Carolinas fishing prospects look good for Thanksgiving holiday
Prospects appear positive for anglers planning to fish in the Carolinas during the Thanksgiving holiday period.
Action has continued good this week at most lakes. And saltwater activity should resume with pleasant weather conditions in the forecast following the midweek passage of a strong coastal storm.
Lake Norman, Fontana Lake and Santee Cooper Reservoir are producing especially well. Along the coast the best inshore reports are coming from a long stretch between the two Beauforts (one in each of the Carolinas). Tops for offshore fishing, depending on sea conditions, are Oregon Inlet and Hatteras Village.
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Lake Norman : Good for largemouth and spotted bass on small jerk baits and soft plastic lures cast to the ends of piers. Good for hybrids and white perch on live baits and spoons worked 20-30 feet deep near schools of forage species. Crappie around brush 30 feet deep on minnows. A mix of several species at the Plant Marshall hot hole on minnows. Fair to good for blue catfish in the 8-13 pound range on a variety of cut baits.
Lake Wylie: Good for crappie around brush 30 feet deep on minnows. Fair for largemouth bass at the lower end on small crankbaits, rattling lures and soft plastics cast around schools of forage fish. White perch on jigging spoons and minnows.
Mountain Island Lake : Fair for crappie around deep brush.
Cane Creek Park Lake: Fair for crappie in cover 15-30 feet down.
Yadkin-Pee Dee River Lakes: Good for crappie the length of the chain, from High Rock through Tuckertown, Badin, Tillery and on to Blewett Falls. Best catches appear to be coming from the Smith Lake section of Blewett Falls. Minnows and Kalin jigs in the Red Hot Mama pattern are the baits of choice.
Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory : Fair for smallmouth bass on shiners at James. Fair to good for crappie on minnows at all three reservoirs.
Fontana Lake : Continuing very good to excellent for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass on jerk baits, spinnerbaits and Gulp! lures cast to the shoreline. Limit catches are reported.
Lake Wateree : Good for crappie suspended 16-20 feet deep along the river ledge on minnows. Largemouth during early morning on topwater lures, then later around docks on soft plastics.
Lake Thurmond: Good for stripers, hybrids during early morning around humps 30 feet deep on live baits. During the rest of the day they’re hitting baits trolled in the coves under planer boards.
Lake Murray: Good for striped bass, often feeding in surfacing schools throughout the day. When not “on top” they’re taking herring worked 30 feet deep. Good for bream and shellcrackers just off the shoreline on crickets and earthworms.
Santee Cooper Lakes : Limits of very large crappie to 3 pounds on minnows fished 16-18 feet deep over cover 20-35 feet down. The lower lake, Moultrie, has been producing best. Very good for bream around brush 10-18 feet deep.
Lake Hartwell : Continuing very good for channel catfish 5-20 feet deep off the shoreline on crawlers and cut baits. Improving for blue catfish, mostly 25-30 feet down back in the creeks.
Lake Keowee: Fair to good for largemouth and spotted bass in surfacing schools. When not feeding on the surface, the fish are hitting drop-shot rigs worked 25-30 feet deep.
Lake Jocassee : Fair for trout on spoons and live baits worked 80-100 feet deep.
Outer Banks : Nags Head area: Fair in the surf for black drum, small blues, gray trout and whiting; Oregon Inlet: Limits of yellowfin tuna to 78 pounds and blackfin tuna when sea conditions allow trolling parties to get offshore. Striped bass inshore and in the sound; Hatteras Island: Limits of king mackerel offshore along with scattered dolphin when sea conditions are favorable. Good in the surf from Rodanthe to Hatteras Village for puppy drum, with trophy red drum reported from Cape Point and the piers at Avon and Rodanthe. Whiting to 1 1/2 pounds in the surf from Avon to Cape Point. Blues and speckled trout in the surf near Hatteras Village; Ocracoke Island: Black drum, blues and puppy drum in the surf; Morehead City area: Speckled trout in the 3 pound range both in the backwater and surf. False albacore to 20 pounds. King mackerel of 15-30 pounds offshore at Northwest Places when sea conditions are favorable. Blues, puppy drum, speckled trout and whiting at piers.
Southeast Coast : Speckled trout in the backwaters and surf from Topsail Beach to Little River. Very good catches reported at Surf City. Gray trout and flounder at the artificial reefs. Blackfin tuna, king mackerel and wahoo offshore when sea conditions are decent. Black drum, red drum and whiting at piers, along with some speckled trout. A 14-pound flounder caught in the Shallotte River.
S.C. Coast: Little River area: Black drum and small flounder at the pier, along with some croaker, pompano and whiting; Grand Strand area: Good for speckled trout at Charlie’s Cut, the Murrells Inlet jetties and Weaton Flats on live shrimp. Very good to excellent for black drum and sheepshead at the Murrells Inlet and Georgetown jetties. Fair for blues, pompano, some puppy drum, spots and whiting at piers. Speckled trout in the surf and at the pier at Surfside; Charleston area: Continuing very good for sheepshead around bridge pilings and other structure. Speckled trout in the backwaters around shell rakes. Schooling red drum on the mud flats. When sea conditions are good offshore bottom catches are excellent in 70-110 feet of water. Blackfin tuna and wahoo offshore; Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Speckled trout on live shrimp, Gulp! and other soft plastic lures fished during the outgoing tide around oyster beds.