Despite discolored water conditions, there is terrific angling action for big red drum along the Southeastern N.C. coast.
Big pods of menhaden are migrating southward just outside the breakers, and concentrations of reds are feeding on the forage species from Carolina Beach Inlet to Little River Inlet.
The most productive location appears to be near the Little River rock jetties on the N.C.-S.C. state line.
King mackerel also are being caught around the menhaden pods.
Lake Norman: Fair to good for spotted bass, with some largemouth mixed in, on lures trolled 15 feet deep near bottom in the creek arms. On windy days, the fish are hitting spinnerbaits cast to docks.
Lake Wylie: Improving for crappie on minnows worked around cover 20-30 feet deep. Fair for largemouth on a variety of lures cast to the shoreline.
Mountain Island Lake: Fair for largemouth on crankbaits, with best action reported from the reservoir’s lower stretch. Crappie around deep cover.
Union County Lakes: Fair for bass, bream and catfish at Cane Creek, Lee, Monroe and Twitty. After Nov. 1 the latter three close to fishing until next spring.
Yadkin/Pee Dee River Lakes: Slowly improving catches at High Rock, Tuckertown, Badin and Tillery as water conditions clear after days of rain led to discoloration. Boating access is limited at Blewett Falls because launch areas are clogged with debris.
Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Fair to good for smallmouth bass at James on shiners and small spoons trolled off points and in and near the canal connecting the Catawba and Linville arms. Fair for crappie on minnows at Rhodhiss and Hickory.
Fontana Lake: Good to excellent for smallmouth and spotted bass on crankbaits, jerkbaits and Andrew Minnow lures cast to rocky shoreline and points. The fish also are hitting shiners.
Lake Wateree: Continuing fair for crappie on minnows worked around brushy cover 15-25 feet down.
Lake Murray: Little activity because of flood conditions.
Lake Thurmond: No report available.
Santee Cooper Lakes: Little activity because of flood conditions.
Lake Keowee: Fair for largemouth and spotted bass in the lower part of the impoundment. They are striking topwater lures during early morning, then taking artificial worms later in the day.
Lake Jocassee: Fair for trout on live bait drift-fished or slow-trolled 60-80 feet deep.
Lake Hartwell: Fair to good for catfish 15-35 feet deep on cut bait, crawlers and stink baits. Fair and improving for largemouth and spotted bass: mostly small fish: during early morning.
Outer Banks: Nags Head area: Improving in the surf for blues, trout and whiting. These three species plus black drum, spot and whiting at piers, where big red drum are being caught at night. Oregon Inlet: Excellent offshore when sea conditions are favorable for limits of dolphin, along with blackfin and yellowfin tuna. Good for blues and puppy drum closer to shore. Hatteras Island: Good offshore for blackfin tuna and wahoo, with dolphin and yellowfin also showing in the catch. Good in Pamlico Sound for trophy-sized red drum. Fair for black drum, blues, croaker, gray trout, pompano and whiting in the surf at various locations from Rodanthe to Hatteras Inlet. Ocracoke Island: Big red drum in the surf at the south point and in Pamlico Sound. As grass continues to clear out, small blues and puppy drum in the surf. Morehead City area: Excellent for albacore at the Cape Lookout shoals, including for flycasters. Good for wahoo offshore. Improving for king mackerel east of the Cape Lookout shoals.
Southeastern N.C. Coast: Very good offshore for wahoo and king mackerel in the 30- to 40-pound range. Flounder, gray trout at the artificial reefs. Good trolling close to shore for Spanish mackerel despite discolored water conditions. Flounder, trout at inlets. Blues, pompano, spots and whiting at piers along with some big red drum.
S.C. Coast: Little River area: Large reds, or spottails, at the jetties, where flounder and trout also are being boated. Grand Strand area: Reds in the surf despite unfavorable water coloration. Fair blues, pompano, spots and whiting at piers. Heavy debris washed in from flooding upstate has led the S.C. Department of Natural Resources to advise boaters not to leave the dock, especially in the Georgetown area. Charleston area: No report because of flood conditions. Beaufort area: No report.