The next few days are forecast to bring warm, spring-like weather to the Carolinas.
Will they bring spring-like fishing action as well?
“The catch should pick up, especially for crappie,” said Charlotte-based bait dealer Ronnie Norton, who pays weekly calls to most of the lakes in the area. “For sure the number of people going fishing will increase, probably by a lot.”
Based on reports from Tuesday and Wednesday, the likeliest locations for freshwater action are Lakes Norman, Wylie and Mountain Island Reservoir on the Catawba River chain; Lake Tillery and the Smith Lake section of Blewett Falls on the Yadkin-Pee Dee River chain.
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Lake Norman: Very good for a mix of hybrids, striped bass, spotted bass and white perch, mostly on trolled Alabama rigs and umbrella rigs with swim baits attached. Waters near the Plant Marshall hot hole have produced especially well, along with the Stumpy Creek and Mountain Creek arms. Spotted bass and a few largemouth on jigs and spinnerbaits cast to points and docks with brush underneath. Crappie on minnows around cover 30 feet deep.
Lake Wylie: Largemouth on grubs cast to flats near creek channels. Crappie around brush 30 feet down on minnows.
Mountain Island: Good for blue catfish to 30 pounds on cut baits fished around the islands.
Cane Creek Park: Fair for crappie.
Lake Tillery: Good for crappie and white perch, locally known as “Waccamaws,” on minnows and Bobby Garland Jigs in a blue-speckled color pattern. Shoreline anglers are sharing in the catch.
Blewett Falls: Good for crappie on minnows in a somewhat remote area of the reservoir known as Smith Lake.
Lake James: Fair for smallmouth bass on shiners trolled in and near the canal connecting the Catawba and Linville River arms.
Lake Hickory: Fair for crappie.
Lake Wateree: Continuing fair for crappie in the creek arms on minnows and Fish Stalker jigs in bright colors.
Lake Murray: Fair for striped bass in the backs of creeks in the lower section of the impoundment on live baits. Some surface school among stripers reported in the upper portion.
Lake Thurmond: Good for stripers and hybrids on live herring fished 25-30 feet deep off the main channel points.
Lake Hartwell: Fair to good for blue catfish 15-30 feet deep in the creeks on cut herring.
N.C. Coast: Little activity because of very rough weather conditions, but four bluefin tuna were boated off Hatteras Village along with some blackfin tuna and a 200-pound bull shark.
S.C. Coast: Little activity because of foul weather conditions except for catches of black sea bass and other bottom species in 60-90 feet of water off Charleston.