Lake Norman continues to yield good to excellent catches of largemouth and spotted bass – at least it did until the siege of cold weather.
It took five fish weighing 18.75 pounds to win a big Carolinas Bass Challenge tournament Saturday out of Blythe Landing at Norman.
Reports indicate there has been very little fishing activity at Norman or any of the other North Carolina lakes this week, though.
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Same for the N.C. coast.
It might be the weekend or longer before anglers using boats can get on the water. Most access ramps are iced over after the sleet and snow this week and likely will remain so for at least a while with record below-freezing temperatures in the forecast.
Lake Norman: Best bet is to try fishing from the shoreline at the Plant Marshall and McGuire Nuclear Station hot holes. They have been yielding a good mix of species, mainly on bloodworms, crawlers and minnows. Even at these sites conditions might be dicey because of icy banks.
Lake Wylie: The Plant Allen hot hole looks to be the best choice for those who just have to go fishing. For anglers who can get on the lake, it looks fair to good for largemouth bass on jerk baits, with the most consistent bite taking place on the lake’s lower end. The bass also are hitting Alabama rigs and Yamamoto grubs. Fair for crappie around deep cover on minnows.
Mountain Island Lake: Little activity.
Cane Creek Park Lake: Little activity. The park has waived fees for anglers until further notice.
Yadkin-Pee Dee River Lakes: Little activity.
Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Little activity.
Fontana Lake: Action continued surprisingly good through Tuesday for smallmouth and spotted bass. Despite the cold they’re relatively shallow on the points and hitting 3-inch Gulp! minnows best.
Lake Wateree: Fair to good for crappie just off bottom 18-25 feet deep along channel ledges from the State Park area to the riverine section.
Lake Thurmond: Fair for stripers and hybrids in the creek arms on trolled planer boards and live herring. The fish generally are suspended 15-20 feet deep in 25-30 feet of water. Fair for crappie in the Little River section.
Lake Murray: Slow.
Santee Cooper Lakes: Fair for stripers in surfacing schools in Taw Caw and Wyboo creeks. Fair for largemouth on crankbaits worked 8-12 feet deep around cover.
Lake Hartwell: Fair for largemouth at depth changes 35-50 feet deep on drop shot rigs, football jigs and jigging spoons.
Lake Keowee: Continuing fair for largemouth and spotted bass, suspended 50-70 feet down, on drop-shot rigs.
Lake Jocassee: Fair to good for trout from the shoreline out to a depth of 50 feet. They’re striking small spoons and minnows.
Outer Banks: No activity because of foul weather conditions.
Southeast Coast: Little activity reported.
S.C. Coast: Grand Strand area: Some black drum, black seabass and red drum at the near-shore artificial reefs; Charleston area: Black seabass and triggerfish for bottom anglers. Scattered wahoo offshore along the ledges over 140-250 feet of water; Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Fair to good for reds during the outgoing afternoon tide on 3-inch Gulp! minnows.