Other Sports

Fishing Forecast: With summer doldrums hitting lakes, it’s time to head offshore

Oregon Inlet appears the likeliest location to find good fishing action in the Carolinas through the weekend.

Parties trolling offshore from the Outer Banks port boated and released 31 billfish Tuesday, including 26 white marlin, four blue marlin and a sailfish. They also caught limits of dolphin the past few days, including some fish in the 55-pound range.

The catch also has included king mackerel, 60-pound wahoo, plus both blackfin and yellowfin tuna.

Cobia and red drum have been caught closer to the beach, along with blues, king and Spanish mackerel.

Meanwhile, the freshwater bite generally has fallen off dramatically as the dreaded “summer doldrums” arrive.

Lake Norman: Fair for largemouth and spotted bass from dawn until about 9:30 a.m. on topwater lures. Fair for catfish 20-30 feet down in the coves on cut baits. Fair for white perch 10-20 feet deep in the back of coves on jigging spoons and Sabiki rigs.

Lake Wylie: Fair for largemouth bass, schooling to feed during early morning on shallow flats near deep water. In late afternoon the fish can be found near depth changes along the creek and river channels, gathered 20-30 feet down, where they’re hitting deep-running crankbaits, football jigs and large artificial worms.

Mountain Island Lake: Slow to fair for bream and catfish.

Union County Lakes: Still fair at all four – Cane Creek Park, Lee, Monroe and Twitty – for bream and catfish. A few sizeable largemouth at Lake Lee.

Yadkin/Pee Dee River Lakes: Some nighttime crappie catches at Badin Lake. Still slow to fair for mainly bream and catfish at the rest – High Rock Tuckertown, Tillery and Blewett Falls.

Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Fair for walleye at James on crawlers on clay points at night. Fair for bream and catfish at Hickory and Rhodhiss.

Rankin Lake: Typical summertime fishing at the Gastonia municipal reservoir: a few bream and catfish.

Hampton Lake,Yadkin County: Fair for all species – largemouth, crappie, bream and catfish.

Fontana Lake: Very little activity.

Lake Wateree: Fair for catfish on cut herring in the riverine stretch when current is flowing.

Lake Murray: Fair for crappie in the mid-lake section around brush 20-25 feet deep. Largemouth in early morning on buzzbaits cast to the shoreline.

Lake Thurmond: Still fair for crappie along the river channel around cover 15-25 feet down.

Santee Cooper Lakes: Slow.

Lake Hartwell: Slow.

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: Fair to good for trout on spoons trolled 30-70 feet deep at around 2 mph.

Outer Banks: Nags Head area: Scattered blues and puppy drum in the surf and at piers. Also a few croaker, flounder, Spanish mackerel, spots, trout and whiting at piers. Oregon Inlet: Excellent offshore for limits of dolphin, some very large. Good for blues and king mackerel closer to shore. Hatteras Island: A mix of dolphin, wahoo and yellowfins offshore, with billfish: blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish also being boated. Good in Pamlico Sound for blues and red drum. Spanish mackerel near the inlet. Scattered blues, croaker, flounder gray trout, pompano Spanish mackerel, spots, and whiting in the surf at various locations from Salvo to Hatteras Inlet. Ocracoke Island: The usual summertime mix of blues, flounder, gray trout, pompano, puppy drum and whiting in the surf. Dolphin and a few wahoo offshore. Morehead City area: Blackfin tuna, dolphin and wahoo offshore, along with a few billfish. Blues to the 5-pound range at the Cape Lookout Shoals. Blues, croaker, pompano and Spanish mackerel, some to 5 pounds, at piers and along the beach.

Southeastern N.C. Coast: Good for black drum and sheepshead at the ADM Dock in the Cape Fear River near Southport. Good for king mackerel 5 to 10 miles off Wrightsville Beach. Dolphin 20-30 miles offshore of most locations. Flounder in Tubbs Inlet and other backwaters, along with reds. Fair for black drum, pompano, spadefish and Spanish mackerel at piers.

S.C. Coast: Little River area: Reds, or spottails, at the inlet and in Bonaparte Creek. Grand Strand area: Dolphin, wahoo and a few king mackerel offshore. Sheepshead at the Georgetown and Murrells Inlet jetties. Blues, croaker, pompano, spots and whiting in the surf and at piers. Charleston area: Continuing good offshore for wahoo over 150-250 feet of water. Sailfish and white marlin over depths of 400-1,200 feet. Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Fair to good for reds during outgoing tides on cut menhaden and mullet cast to shell rakes.