Lake Wateree appears a prime destination for anglers planning to go fishing in the Carolinas during the next few days.
The S.C. reservoir recently has yielded limit catches of striped bass in the 10-pound range. They’re hitting best along the old river channel in the upper third of the lake, taking cut shad.
That same stretch also is producing good numbers of catfish, also on cut baits.
Along the coast, persistent winds gusting to 35 mph and the resulting rough seas generally have disrupted fishing for several days, especially for anglers planning to go offshore.
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Lake Norman: The overall bite has dropped off slightly this week. However, anglers continue to boat a variety of fish. Largemouth and spotted bass are hitting topwater lures, spinnerbaits and Senko lures cast to shaded docks and rocky shoreline near the backs of coves. Scattered stripers and hybrids are taking live baits worked 20-30 feet deep. Crappie have moved off the shoreline to deeper cover and are hitting minnows best.
Lake Wylie: The stretch of lake from the Belmont area to Plant Allen continues to produce good crappie fishing, mainly on minnows. Good for largemouth on wacky-rigged artificial worms. Catfish in the river arms on cut baits fished around structure.
Mountain Island Lake: Crappie have moved out to deeper cover 10-15 feet down. Largemouth continue to strike crankbaits, jerkbaits and soft plastic lures along the shoreline. Good for catfish on cut baits.
Union County lakes: Fair to good catches of crappie continue at all four – Cane Creek Park, lakes Lee, Monroe and Twitty. The largemouth and bream bites are good as well.
Rankin Lake, Gastonia: Good for catfish, crappie and largemouth.
Yadkin/Pee Dee River lakes: Good catches of crappie from High Rock through Tuckertown, Badin, Tillery and Blewett Falls. Night fishing for crappie presently is very productive around the bridge pilings, including at the train trestle spanning Tuckertown.
Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory: Good to excellent for crappie at all three as the fish spawn around shallow cover. Largemouth continue to strike fairly well at Hickory and Rhodhiss, smallmouth bass at James. Stripers remain active in the tailraces at the Rhodhiss and Oxford (Hickory) dams. Stripers also still are being caught in the Johns River feeding Rhodhiss.
Hampton Lake, Yadkin County: Good for bream, crappie, catfish and largemouth.
Fontana Lake: Good for for smallmouth and spotted bass on shad-type lures, Creepy Crawlers and other soft plastic baits. The bass also are hitting shiners just off the shoreline.
Lake Murray: Good for stripers, scattered lake-wide 5-50 feet deep and hitting live baits either free-lined or trolled under planer boards. Fair to good for crappie around bridge pilings and docks in deep water. Fair for catfish, taking cut baits on the points and humps.
Lake Hartwell: Good for largemouth, feeding on herring as they spawn on shallow points. Good for stripers and hybrids scattered across the lake and up the rivers and hitting free-lined live baits best. Catfish on cut baits, crawlers worked 2-20 feet deep.
Lake Keowee: Fair to good for largemouth on soft plastic lures, spinnerbaits, swimbaits and artificial worms affixed to drop-shot rigs.
Santee Cooper lakes: Good to excellent for bream and shellcrackers along the shoreline. Good for largemouth on soft plastics cast to shoreline cover. Good for crappie in the shallows. Fair to good for catfish on cut baits worked 20-30 feet deep. Fair for stripers up the feeder rivers on a variety of lures
Outer Banks: Nags Head area: Little activity because of tough sea conditions. Oregon Inlet: No activity. Hatteras Island: Scattered black drum, blow toads, croaker and whiting in the surf. Little activity offshore, but bluefin tuna, yellowfin and a few dolphin when parties do get out. Ocracoke Island: Wind and rough seas generally have stymied most anglers, but a few blues, puppy drum and whiting have been caught in the surf. Some gray trout in the sound. Morehead City area: Speckled trout and red drum in the marshes. Gray trout, whiting and a few blues in Beaufort Inlet. Blues at the Cape Lookout Shoals. Blackfin tuna and dolphin when parties can get offshore.
Southeastern N.C. Coast: Improving for a bit larger, keeper flounder in the backwaters. Whiting are showing increasingly in the surf and at piers. Offshore activity limited because of rough seas.
S.C. Coast: Grand Strand area: Picking up steadily for flounder in Cherry Grove and Murrells Inlets. No activity offshore. Charleston area: Very improved in the backwaters for flounder on mud minnows and ZMan Paddletail lures. Speckled trout on the paddletails and DOA Shrimp worked under a popping cork. Reds on chunks of cut bait cast to docks.