Lake Hartwell and the coastal backwaters of the Beaufort/Hilton Head area appear the best bets for fishing in the Carolinas during coming days.
It took a three day catch of 50 pounds, 1 ounce to win a big Bassmasters Classic tournament last weekend at Hartwell.
The southern-most waters of the South Carolina coast are yielding reds, or spottails, from the Chechessee River area.
Elsewhere, wintry weather generally has discouraged anglers from going fishing for several days, but this likely will change with much warmer conditions forecast next week.
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Lake Norman: Little activity except at the Plant Marshall and McGuire Nuclear Station hot holes, where a mix of species have been caught, mainly on bloowdworms and crawlers.
Lake Wylie: Good for crappie with some anglers reportedly buying 12 dozen minnows at a time. Very good for catfish along channels 20-30 feet deep on gizzard shad.
Union County Lakes: Scheduled to open next week and likely to yield lunker largemouth bass—if tradition holds--are Lake Lee on Monday, Lake Twitty on Tuesday and Lake Monroe on Wednesday. Little activity at Cane Creek Park, which has remained open.
Yadkin-Pee Dee Lakes: Little activity reported.
Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Little activity reported.
Fontana Lake: A few smallmouth bass on the upper end of the reservoir, hitting 2-inch artificial minnows.
Lake Wateree: Fair for crappie around the bridges at Beaver, Dutchman and Wateree Creeks on Fish Stalker jigs and minnows. Good for catfish.
Lake Murray: Good for striped bass from the surface down to 30 feet on free-lined live baits and trolled bucktails. Fair to good for catfish around humps and points on cut herring and shad.
Santee-Cooper Lakes: Fair to good for bream and crappie, both concentrated around brush 20-40 feet deep on live baits. Fair for striped bass near schools of shad, stressed or dying because of cold water.
Lake Hartwell: Good to very good for largemouth bass 35-50 feet down near the old timber line on blade runner spoons, drop-shot rigs and jigs. Fair for stripers and hybrids on free-lined gizzard shad.
Lake Keowee: Fair for largemouth and spotted bass 40-60 feet deep on drop-shot rigs and “doodling” worms.
Lake Jocassee: Fair for trout 30-50 feet deep, mainly on shiners.
Outer Banks: Little activity except on Hatteras Island from Cape Point to Frisco where good numbers of puppy drum have been caught in the surf on cut bait, grubs and shrimp. Blackfin tuna to 37 pounds off Hatteras Village when sea conditions are decent.
Southeastern N.C. Coast: Little activity reported.
S.C. Coast: Grand Strand area: A few black seabass and black drum at the near-shore artificial reefs; Charleston area: Reds, or spottails on the backwater flats on Z-Man-Sreak-Z lures. Sheepshead 10-25 feet deep around the bridges on fiddler crabs; Beaufort-Hilton Head area: Good for reds in schools on the oyster flats of the Chechessee on Gulp! Shrimp. Most successful anglers are casting ahead of the schools and letting the smell of the lure attract them (and if feeding dolphin move into the area, a change in location is necessary).