Bluefin tuna offshore and big blue catfish at several lakes have heightened excitement this week about fishing in the Carolinas as springtime nears.
Parties trolling from Oregon Inlet boated bluefin to 431 pounds during recent days when sea conditions were favorable for fishing.
Whopper blue catfish were reported from Jordan Lake, Lake Gaston, Lake Wylie, Lake Norman and Badin Lake. Jordan Lake yielded a 100-pounder.
Lake Norman: Good for largemouth and spotted bass on small crankbaits, skirted spinnerbaits and rattling lures cast to dingy shoreline water. Good for crappie on minnows worked around cover 20-30 feet deep. Fair to good for hybrids on trolled Alabama rigs in and near McCrary Creek. Blue catfish to 52 pounds on cut baits.
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Lake Wylie: Good for largemouth on a variety of lures cast to rocky shoreline and points where the water is discolored. Improving almost daily for crappie on jigs and minnows fished around cover 15-25 feet down. Blue catfish to 55 pounds on cut baits.
Mountain Island Lake: Improving for largemouth and crappie. Blue catfish continue to hit very well.
Union County lakes: Good for crappie at Cane Creek Park. No reports available from lakes Lee, Monroe and Twitty, which reopened for fishing Tuesday after being closed over the winter.
Yadkin-Pee Dee River lakes: Good at Tillery for crappie on jigs and minnows. Largemouth also are hitting fairly well at Tillery. Fair and improving for crappie at High Rock, Tuckertown and Badin. Water level issues continue to make fishing tough at Blewett Falls. Fair for catfish at Badin on cut baits.
Lakes James, Rhodhiss and Hickory: Good for smallmouth bass at James on shiners worked around the points. Improving for largemouth and crappie at Rhodhiss and Hickory.
Fontana Lake: Very good for a mix of largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass on crankbaits and spinnerbaits fished in discolored water toward the reservoir’s upper end. The Little Tennessee River prong has been especially productive. It took five bass weighing 20 pounds to win a local weekend tournament.
Lake Wateree: Good to excellent for largemouth on crankbaits and skirted spinnerbaits with numerous limit catches reported. Crappie are hitting jigs around cover 15-20 feet deep and might move even shallower if warm weather continues. Striped bass are being caught uplake in the riverine section.
Other S.C. lakes: Reports unavailable.
N.C. Coast: Nags Head area: Little activity; Oregon Inlet: Bluefin tuna offshore, along with a few yellowfin; Hatteras Island: Good to excellent offshore of Hatteras Village for limits of golden tilefish and triggerfish, both bottom species. Scattered puppy drum and whiting in the surf from Cape Point at Buxton to Hatteras Inlet. Ocracoke Island: No report; Morehead City area: No report.
Southeastern N.C. Coast: Scattered flounder, reds and trout are starting to show in the backwaters. Little activity offshore.
S.C. Coast: Grand Strand area: Good to excellent off Georgetown for parties fishing on bottom for black seabass. Many of the seabass caught are unusually large; Charleston area: The warm weather has turned on the trout bite in the backwaters significantly. Excellent for sheepshead around bridge pilings and jetties, mainly on oysters. Fair for reds in schools on the flats during low tide. Good offshore for wahoo to 80 pounds by parties high-speed trolling when sea conditions are favorable.