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Carolinas Fishing Forecast: Oregon Inlet’s billfish bite rates a ‘wow’

Wow!

This best describes the fishing action that took place Monday offshore of Oregon Inlet.

The Outer Banks catch included 98 white marlin, three blue marlin, a sailfish, a spearfish and even a swordfish.

The billfish bite, especially for white marlin, usually continues through September and sometimes even into October.

Lake Norman: Fair to good for largemouth and spotted bass during early morning on topwater lures. They’re striking best in the backs of coves along shaded shoreline. Fair for catfish 35-40 feet down in the lake’s lower section along the lip of the old river channel on cut baits (white perch is working best). Unfortunately, some access ramps are closed because of a low lake level.

Lake Wylie: Some anglers are finding it difficult to launch their boats as several ramps are closed due to the lake level being so low because of drought. Those who are making it out are having good catches of bream along the shoreline and taking crappie at night on minnows fished under lights.

Mountain Island Lake: Mainly bream and catfish. Improving for largemouth bass, especially in the upper stretches.

Union County Lakes: Good for largemouth bass at Lake Lee on artificial worms and for crappie on minnows. Mostly bream and catfish at the rest--Cane Creek Park, Monroe and Twitty.

Yadkin/Pee Dee River Lakes: Still good for crappie at High Rock on minnows worked around deep cover. White perch, or Waccamaws, in surfacing schools at Badin and Tillery on Ice Jigs. Bream and catfish at the others: Tuckertown and Blewett Falls.

Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Good for striped bass, hitting shad in the Lovelady area of Hickory. Bream and catfish at Rhodhiss. Fair for smallmouth bass on shiners off the points at James, along with bream and catfish..

Rankin Lake: Continuing fair at the Gastonia municipal reservoir for bream and catfish.

Hampton Lake,Yadkin County: Fair for bream and catfish.

Fontana Lake: Good for trout at night on minnows worked right against the dam. Trout also are being taken at night under lights around boat houses. Fair for smallmouth and spotted bass on artificial worms cast to points.

Lake Wateree: Continuing fair to good for largemouth on jigs and artificial worms worked around ledges, deep humps and points.

Lake Murray: Slow, except for a few crappie in uplake areas.

Lake Thurmond: Continuing slow.

Santee Cooper Lakes: Slow.

Lake Hartwell: Fair for largemouth and spotted bass on soft plastic lures cast to the points.

Lake Keowee: Slow.

Lake Jocassee: Slow to fair during early morning on topwater lures cast to the shoreline of points, then 20-30 feet deeper in the same general areas on artificial worms.

Outer Banks: Nags Head area: Blues, whiting and scattered puppy drum in the surf. Generally slow at piers. Oregon Inlet: In addition to the billfish, excellent offshore for limits of dolphin, or mahi mahi. A 43-pound dolphin was boated Monday. Blues and Spanish are being caught nearer to shore. Hatteras Island: Excellent offshore for dolphin, with blackfin tuna and wahoo. Excellent for big red drum in Pamlico Sound near Hatteras Village. Excellent in the surf at Cape Point near Buxton for blues and Spanish mackerel on metal lures. Blues, croaker, small flounder, pompano sheepshead, Spanish mackerel and whiting continue to be caught in the surf at various locations from Salvo to Hatteras Inlet. Ocracoke Island: Good for pompano in the surf and picking up for blues in the 2-pound range. Whiting also are being caught. Good for red drum in the sound. Dolphin, sailfish and wahoo offshore. Morehead City area: Good for blues and Spanish mackerel at the Cape Lookout shoals on both metal lures and finger mullet. Improving for king mackerel offshore at areas known as Northwest Places and Big 10/Little 10. Red drum and flounder in Pamlico Sound. Good for wahoo offshore. Plenty of Spanish mackerel at piers, with blues, pompano and sheepshead also showing in the catch.

Southeastern N.C. Coast: Very good offshore for bottom fish, with several large grouper boated. Continuing good for wahoo. Black drum, reds and scattered flounder at the Little River jetties. Reds and speckled trout in the Bald Head Island Creeks. Flounder in the lower stretch of the Cape Fear River. Black drum, flounder, pompano, spadefish and whiting at piers.

S.C. Coast: Little River area: Croaker, pompano, whiting and a few spots. Grand Strand area: King mackerel at the 3-Mile Reef and Belkie Bear area, with a few cobia also being boated. Blues, scattered ladyfish, pompano and whiting in the surf and at piers. Good to excellent in Winyah Bay near Georgetown for reds, or spottails, flounder and trout. Little activity offshore. Charleston area: Excellent around bridges and jetties for sheepshead on fiddler crabs. Scattered dolphin and wahoo offshore. Tarpon continue to be caught at sloughs between sandbars and along channel drops. Dolphin and wahoo offshore when sea conditions are favorable. Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Good for tarpon at jetties on live mullet.

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