Other Sports

Fishing Forecast: Offshore fishing from coastal ports remains best bet

Youngsters Ella and South Beck with flounder caught recently on the Southeastern N.C. coast. They were fishing backwaters in the Calabash/Ocean Isle area.
Youngsters Ella and South Beck with flounder caught recently on the Southeastern N.C. coast. They were fishing backwaters in the Calabash/Ocean Isle area. Photo Courtesy Of Ocean Isle Fishing Center

Offshore fishing from the coastal ports continues to provide the Carolinas’ best action.

When sea conditions have been favorable during the past week angling parties from Oregon Inlet to Charleston generally have scored good to excellent results.

The catch includes billfish, blackfin tuna, dolphin, wahoo and yellowfin tuna.

Lake Norman: Continuing fair for largemouth and spotted bass from dawn until about 9:30 a.m. on topwater lures. Afterward the bass are moving to structure 30-50 feet deep and taking artificial worms worked on drop-shot rigs. Good for catfish, including flatheads, 10-30 feet down in the creeks on cut baits. Fair to good for white perch 30 feet deep around the islands uplake on live baits, jigging spoons and Sabiki rigs.

Lake Wylie: Fair to good for crappie at night on minnows fished under lights. Continuing fair for largemouth bass, schooling to feed during early morning on shallow flats and points near deep water.

Mountain Island Lake: Fair for bream and catfish.

Union County Lakes: Remains fair at all four – Cane Creek Park, Lee, Monroe and Twitty – for bream and catfish. A few largemouth bass also have been reported.

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

Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Fair for crappie and walleye at night on James. The crappie are taking minnows. The walleye are hitting crawlers fished under lights off the points. Fair for bream and catfish at Hickory and Rhodhiss.

Rankin Lake: Typical summertime fishing at the Gastonia municipal reservoir – a few bream and catfish, plus occasional bass.

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

Fontana Lake: Fair to good for trout at night on crawlers fished 25-30 feet deep right against the concrete of the dam. A few fish in the 20-inch range have been boated.

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

Lake Murray: Crappie in the mid-lake section around brush 20-25 feet deep on minnows. Largemouth in early morning on buzzbaits and other topwater lures cast to the shoreline.

Lake Thurmond: Fair for crappie along the channels 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: Good for trout around the intakes during early morning, then fair to good on spoons trolled 30-70 feet deep.

Outer Banks: Nags Head area: Fair for croaker, spots and whiting in the surf. Blues and spots at piers. Oregon Inlet: Excellent offshore for limits of dolphin. Plenty of yellowfin tuna are being boated, too. The billfish catch continues, with blue and white marlin boated and released every day that weather has allowed parties to get offshore. Good for blues and king mackerel closer to the beach. Good for flounder and red drum in the backwaters. Hatteras Island: Good to excellent in Pamlico Sound near Hatteras Village for big red drum. Good offshore for dolphin, wahoo and yellowfin. The catch also includes billfish. Scattered blues, croaker, flounder, gray trout, pompano Spanish mackerel, spots, and whiting continue in the surf at various locations from Salvo to Hatteras Inlet. Ocracoke Island: Blues, mostly small flounder, gray trout, pompano, puppy drum and whiting in the surf. Dolphin and wahoo offshore. Morehead City area: The annual bite of spawning big red drum has begun in the backwaters, especially near Oriental and Harkers Island. Blackfin tuna, dolphin and wahoo offshore, along with billfish. Blues at the Cape Lookout Shoals. Blues, flounder, gray trout, Spanish mackerel, spot and whiting in the surf and at piers.

Southeastern N.C. Coast: Very good for flounder – some of them quite large – in the backwaters, Intracoastal Waterway and lower stretch of the Cape Fear River, mainly on mud minnows. Puppy drum are hitting well, too. Continuing good for black drum and sheepshead at the ADM Dock in the Cape Fear near Southport. Speckled trout around Bald Head Island. Good for king mackerel 15 miles off Carolina Beach, Ocean Isle and Wrightsville Beach. Dolphin further offshore of most locations. Good for Spanish mackerel at piers, fair for black drum, pompano, spadefish and whiting.

S.C. Coast: Little River area: Scattered reds, or spottails, at the inlet. Grand Strand area: Good to excellent offshore for dolphin and wahoo, with blue marlin and sailfish also showing in the catch. Tarpon boated and released near the Winyah Bay Inlet at Georgetown. Sheepshead at the Georgetown and Murrells Inlet jetties. Blues, croaker, pompano, spots and whiting in the surf and at piers. Charleston area: Tarpon around the sandbars near the harbor mouth on blue crabs and mullet. Flounder in the creeks on mud minnows and ZMan PaddlerZ lures. Reds, or spottails, under backwater docks. Spanish mackerel along the beach. King mackerel offshore. Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Fair for reds during falling tides on cut menhaden and mullet cast to shell rakes.