Fishing offshore of the Carolinas coast continues to sizzle when sea conditions are favorable.
Dolphin, or mahi-mahi, appear especially prevalent. Limit catches of 60 per boat have been reported regularly the past few days from many sportfishing ports, with the most exceptional catches at Oregon Inlet.
The charter fleet based at Garden City, S.C., also has been scoring well.
The catch this week also includes numerous billfish, blackfin tuna, king mackerel and wahoo to 99 pounds.
Lake Norman: Good for a mix of largemouth, spotted bass and hybrids, being found mainly at the mouths of creeks. They’re taking live baits and spoons fished 25-30 feet deep. During early morning some bass also are hitting topwater lures cast to points and docks. Good for catfish lake-wide on a variety of cut baits fished 10-30 feet deep. Young white perch just off the shoreline on earthworms, minnows.
Lake Wylie: Good for largemouth 15-30 feet down around main points and on humps, hitting deep-running crankbaits, football jigs and artificial worms. Some largemouth also continue to be caught near shoreline bream beds, taking swimbaits, lures with propellers and weightless Senkos. Crappie are being caught deep at night.
Mountain Island Lake: Continuing good to excellent for bream along the shoreline on crickets and earthworms. Good for catfish on traditional baits such as crawlers. Fair to good for largemouth.
Union County Lakes: Fair to good for largemouth at all four impoundments: Cane Creek Park, Lee, Monroe and Twitty. Continuing good for bream along the shoreline and fair for catfish.
Yadkin/Pee Dee River Lakes: Fair to good for crappie at Badin, Tillery and Blewett Falls on minnows worked around brush 25 feet deep. Fair for bream and catfish.
Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Fair to good for bream and catfish at Hickory and Rhodhiss. Crappie at the two reservoirs are being caught mainly at night from around deep cover. Fair for walleye at James on crawlers, with a few smallmouth also being boated.
Rankin Lake: Mainly bream and some catfish at the Gastonia municipal reservoir on earthworms.
Hampton Lake,Yadkin County: Good for all four main species – largemouth, crappie, bream and catfish.
Fontana Lake: Fair for smallmouth and spotted bass on topwater lures such as Pop Rs cast to the breaks. Best feeding activity is taking place near the mouth of Greasy Branch, or Point 11.
Lake Wateree: Very good for catfish off points in the main creek arms on drift-fished cut baits. Fair to good for crappie 12-22 feet deep around brush and bridge pilings on minnows and green, pearl and yellow jigs.
Lake Murray: Very good for striped bass from The Gap to the dam on free-lined live baits worked around 30 feet.
Lake Thurmond: Good for blue catfish, with many in the 15-pound range reported, on cut gizzard shad fished at deep points. Good for largemouth during early morning.
Santee Cooper Lakes: Good for bedding bream along the shoreline and for crappie around cover 10-25 feet deep.
Lake Hartwell: Very good for stripers and hybrids 20-40 feet deep off main channel points on free-lined live baits.
Lake Keowee: Continuing good for largemouth and spotted bass on shoals and points during early morning on surface lures. Then the fish are taking drop-shot rigs 20-25 feet down.
Lake Jocassee: Good for both largemouth and smallmouth bass around shoreline cover on soft plastic lures.
Outer Banks: Nags Head area: Blues, Spanish mackerel, croaker, spots and whiting at piers. Slow in the surf; Oregon Inlet: Excellent offshore for dolphin and large yellowfin tuna. Some bigeye tuna also showing in the catch. Plentiful Spanish mackerel closer in. Good for red drum in the backwaters; Hatteras Island: Very good offshore for billfish, blackfin tuna, dolphin and king mackerel. Continuing excellent for red drum and plentiful puppy drum in Pamlico Sound. Sheepshead to 10 pounds in the surf behind the motels at Buxton. Blues, croaker, pompano, spots, whiting and a few flounder elsewhere in the surf; Ocracoke Island: Very good offshore for dolphin. Fair for a mix of surf species including red and black drum, blues, pompano and sheepshead. Spanish mackerel along the beach; Morehead City area: Very good offshore for billfish, dolphin and wahoo. Cobia and Spanish mackerel closer in. Catches of Spanish in the 3-pound range have been especially good near the Cape Lookout Shoals, with blues and jack crevalle mixed in.
Southeastern N.C. Coast: Limits of speckled trout during very early morning at Oak Island piers on live shrimp. Also, black drum, king mackerel and sheepshead at piers. Very good to excellent in the Cape Fear River for flounder, red drum and sheepshead. Plenty of sheepshead in the Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle areas. Dolphin, blackfin tuna and wahoo offshore.
S.C. Coast: Little River area: Blues in the 24-inch range along with Spanish mackerel; Grand Strand area: Excellent offshore for dolphin, wahoo and white marlin. Black drum, flounder and reds in the creeks. Very good for sheepshead at the Murrells Inlet and Georgetown jetties. Blues, pompano, Spanish mackerel and whiting at piers; Charleston area: Excellent for dolphin offshore, along with some blackfin tuna. Big red drum in Charleston Harbor at the Grillage and jetties. Flounder in the inlets and speckled trout around the backwater shellrakes; Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Flounder and reds in the creeks on mud minnows.