Giant bluefin tuna have suddenly and unexpectedly moved into waters off Oregon Inlet.
A party trolling from one boat Monday caught five of the fast, strong bluefin, measuring from 70 to 95 inches and weighing up to 400 pounds.
Meanwhile, the crappie bite has picked up at some Piedmont lakes in the greater Charlotte area, including Norman, Wylie, Mountain Island and Cane Creek Park. They’re hitting minnows best.
Lake Norman: Crappie appear to be transitioning into a spring-time pattern and generally have moved up a bit to cover 20 feet deep. Good for white perch, some of 1 1/2 pounds, on small threadfin shad worked 50 feet deep. Fair for largemouth and spotted bass on a variety of lures cast to points and docks.
Lake Wylie: Excellent for catfish. It took three blues weighing 103.4 pounds to win a Carolina Catfish Club tournament on Wylie last weekend. Using cut gizzard shad for bait along channel beds 20-30 feet deep seems the best tactic. Crappie around cover 15-20 feet down.
Union County Lakes: All are now available for fishing – the season opened at Lee, Monroe and Twitty this week, and good catches of largemouth are anticipated. Cane Creek remained open through the winter and in the past few days has yielded limits of crappie from cover 15-20 feet deep.
Yadkin-Pee Dee Lakes: Improving for crappie all along the chain of High Rock, Tuckertown, Badin, Tillery and Blewett Falls. Badin and Blewett Falls appear to be producing best.
Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Fair and picking up for smallmouth bass at James on shiners worked around the points. Improving at Rhodhiss and Hickory for crappie.
Fontana Lake: Fair for trout up to 24 inches on spoons trolled along the main channel from the dam to Big Island and back. A few smallmouth and spotted bass on artificial minnow-type lures cast to points.
Lake Wateree: Good for catfish on cut gizzard shad fished 25 feet deep in the riverine section. Fair for crappie, moving somewhat shallower, around the bridges at Beaver, Dutchman and Wateree Creeks. Some crappie also are being caught at docks near the bridges.
Lake Murray: Sporadic good catches of largemouth on Alabama rigs and artificial worms cast to docks. Fair for crappie up-lake 12-20 feet down around grass beds and brush.
Santee-Cooper Lakes: Fair for largemouth during sunny afternoons 8-12 feet deep around cover on a variety of crankbaits.
Lake Hartwell: Slow for all species.
Lake Keowee: Fair for largemouth and spotted bass 40-60 feet deep on drop-shot rigs worked around depth changes and the sides of humps.
Lake Jocassee: Fair for trout to 4 pounds on shiners fished 30-50 feet deep.
Outer Banks: Good to very good for puppy drum in the Hatteras Island surf from Ramp 49 to the site of the old Frisco Pier. They’re hitting grubs, jigs and cut bait. Promising for bluefin tuna, feeding off Cape Point as schools appear to be migrating north. A few albacore and dolphin for parties trolling off Hatteras Village when sea conditions are decent. Some good-sized speckled trout from the backwaters near Oregon Inlet. Scattered red drum and trout in the marsh waters near Morehead City.
Southeastern N.C. Coast: Big golden tile and snowy grouper off Ocean Isle when sea conditions are decent for anglers willing to go 80 miles offshore and bottom fish in 700 feet of water. Otherwise, little activity reported.
S.C. Coast: Little River area: A few whiting at Cherry Grove Pier; Grand Strand area: Fair for black seabass and black drum at the near-shore artificial reefs; Charleston area: Wahoo to 91 pounds, along with a few blackfin tuna and dolphin, for parties trolling along the ledge. Bottom fishing is yielding triggerfish and beeliners 70-90 feet deep and black seabass 50-65 feet deep; Beaufort/Hilton Head area: A few red drum in the surf.