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Fishing Forecast: Carolinas anglers thinking about flooding, not fishing

Perhaps Ronnie Norton of Catawba Cricket, a bait/tackle distributor based in Charlotte, best assessed the angling situation this week across a wide swath of the Carolinas:

“Very few people are thinking about fishing right now,” Norton said Tuesday.

That’s for sure.

Record deadly flooding, especially in South Carolina, remains devastating with conditions possibly worsening downstate from Columbia to Charleston. CNN reported Tuesday that nine S.C. dams had been breached with more failures possible.

On Wednesday the S.C. Department of Natural Resources urged boaters to stay off the state’s inland waters because of the conditions.

“Many lakes and other waterways are flooded with runoff and debris such as large tree limbs and partially susubmerged logs has washed in,” an agency spokesman said. “These can be extremely hazardous to boating enthusiasts and anglers.”

Rising, discolored water also is disrupting fishing on the Catawba and Yadkin-Pee Dee chains of lakes in North Carolina.

And along the coast of both Carolinas winds remained high – 26 mph with higher gusts – after the offshore passage of Hurricane Joaquin. This has created surf too rough and seas too high for fishing.

Amidst all this, there are good reports from a few locations. And better weather is forecast for coming days.

The positive sites:

Lake Norman: Spotted bass and hybrids in creek arms that aren’t discolored by the recent rain. They’re hitting spoons and other lures trolled 12 feet deep over 20-25 feet of water.

Lake Lee: Catfish in the 5-6 pound range are being caught in fairly good numbers at the Monroe municipal reservoir. They are taking crawlers best, including for those fishing from the shoreline.

Fontana Lake: Very good for limits of five smallmouth bass on jerk baits cast to rocky points. Some local anglers have reported catching and releasing 20 smallmouth in about three hours.

Pamlico Sound: Continuing fairly good for red drum for anglers braving rough water. Best reports have come from Hatteras Village.

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