Anglers craving strong, consistent fishing action in the Carolinas during coming days should opt for an offshore trip.
Deep-sea parties have scored impressively the past week, with the best reports coming from Oregon Inlet, Hatteras Village and Georgetown, S.C.
The catch includes good numbers of billfish and limits of dolphin, along with king mackerel, wahoo and yellowfin tuna.
Lake Norman: Striped bass, spotted bass and white perch 30 feet deep around the uplake islands on shiner-size live baits. Also, plentiful white perch around humps in the Mountain Creek arm. Catfish 20-30 feet deep in the creek channels of coves on cut baits.
Lake Wylie: Fair for largemouth bass, gathered 20-30 feet down off points and around humps, where they’re hitting deep-running crankbaits, football jigs and large artificial worms. Bream on crickets and earthworms.
Mountain Island Lake: Continuing fair to good for bream and catfish on crickets and crawlers, respectively.
Union County Lakes: Still fair at all four – Cane Creek Park, Lee, Monroe and Twitty – for bream and catfish.
Yadkin/Pee Dee River Lakes: Some good reports of dandy nighttime crappie catches at Badin Lake. Mainly bream and catfish from the rest – High Rock, Tuckertown, Tillery and Blewett Falls.
Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Continuing fair for walleye at James on crawlers worked on clay points as nighttime fishing picks up. Bream and catfish at Hickory and Rhodhiss.
Rankin Lake: Continuing typical summertime fare at the Gastonia municipal reservoir – bream and catfish.
Hampton Lake,Yadkin County: Fair to good for largemouth, crappie, bream and catfish, especially the latter two.
Fontana Lake: A few trout at night on crawlers worked 20-30 feet down under lights against the concrete of the dam.
Lake Wateree: Good for fairly large catfish on cut herring in the riverine stretch when current is flowing. Smaller catfish in the backs of creeks.
Lake Murray: Fair to good for crappie in the mid-lake section around brush 20-25 feet deep. The larger fish are hitting jigs best.
Lake Thurmond: Fair for crappie along the river channel around cover 15-25 feet down.
Santee Cooper Lakes: Slow except for scattered largemouth being caught on artificial frogs and worms cast to grass edges and the bases of cypress trees.
Lake Hartwell: Slow for all species.
Lake Keowee: Continuing fair for largemouth and spotted bass 30 feet deep around humps and deep points on artificial worms and other soft plastic lures.
Lake Jocassee: Continuing fair to good for trout during early morning around the intakes. As the day progresses the trout are moving into the main lake and hitting spoons trolled 30-70- feet deep. Additionally, some anglers are scoring at night by putting out lights and using crawlers and shiners under them.
Outer Banks: Nags Head area: Good in the surf for blues and Spanish mackerel. Scattered blues, cobia, croaker, flounder, Spanish mackerel, spots, trout and whiting at piers. Oregon Inlet: Excellent offshore for billfish, with nine boated and released Monday, including four blue marlin. Limits of of dolphin, with yellowfin tuna, king mackerel and wahoo also being boated. Very good for blues, Spanish mackerel and speckled trout closer to shore. Hatteras Island: Excellent offshore for blackfin tuna, dolphin sailfish and white marlin. Scattered blues, croaker, flounder gray trout, pompano Spanish mackerel, spots, and whiting in the surf at various locations from Rodanthe to Hatteras Inlet. Excellent in Pamlico Sound near Hatteras Village for red drum in the 50-inch range. Ocracoke Island: The usual summertime fare: a few large pompano to 2 pounds among mostly small ones. The surf also is yielding scattered blues, flounder, gray trout, puppy drum and whiting. Dolphin and a few wahoo offshore. Cobia in the sound. Morehead City area: Dolphin and yellowfin tuna offshore, along with a few billfish. Blues, croaker and Spanish mackerel at piers and along the beach. Flounder and red drum in the marshes. Spanish mackerel and flounder at piers.
Southeastern N.C. Coast: Good during early morning at Oak Island piers for speckled trout on live shrimp. Spanish mackerel at piers on minnows and Gotcha lures. During early morning piers also are yielding fair numbers of black drum, pompano, spadefish and trout. Continuing very good offshore bottom fishing for a variety of species, including black sea bass, gag grouper and vermilion snapper. Good 10-20 miles offshore when sea conditions are favorable for cobia, dolphin, king mackerel and sailfish. Good in the backwaters from Ocean Isle to the state line at Little River for flounder, reds and some speckled trout.
S.C. Coast: Little River area: Sporadic catches of black drum, blues, croaker, flounder, sheepshead and spadefish. Grand Strand area: Excellent offshore for dolphin and wahoo with a few king mackerel mixed in the catch. Closer in a few cobia and bottom-feeders such as black sea bass. Good in Winyah Bay near Georgetown for flounder in the 20-inch range. Reds in backwaters near an area known as The Parsonage and at Huntington Beach State Park. Black drum and small flounder in Murrells Inlet. Sheepshead at the Georgetown and Murrells Inlet jetties, with the latter also yielding a few speckled trout. Blues, croaker, pompano, spots and whiting in the surf and at piers. Charleston area: Good offshore for wahoo over 150-250 feet of water. Sailfish and white marlin over depths of 400-1,200 feet. Good bottom fishing for black seabass, triggerfish and vermilion snapper. Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Good for reds during outgoing tides on cut menhaden and mullet cast to shell rakes extending from the shoreline of larger creeks. Best tactic is to let the bait go along with the flow under rattling corks. Bonnethead sharks also are being caught in this manner.