500-pound bluefin tuna can be had
Fishing action continues to be fabulous at Lake Norman and, when sea conditions are decent, just offshore of Morehead City.
The catch at Norman includes striped and spotted bass, limits of crappie, white perch, blue catfish and hybrids, a fish crossed between stripers and white bass.
Bluefin tuna in excess of 100 inches and 500 pounds are being boated by anglers out of Morehead City, but a Nor’easter pounding the coast has kept boats berthed in recent days.
Lake Norman : Excellent, even during foul weather, for stripers to 11 pounds, hybrids, spotted bass and white perch being taken from mixed schools on live baits and trolled lures, mainly Alabama rigs. Largemouth and spotted bass on jerk baits cast to points, rock walls and docks, and on shakey head artificial worms worked around brush. Crappie are biting minnows, generally around brush 20 feet deep. Good for blue catfish in the creek arms on cut baits and pieces of chicken marinated with garlic.
Lake Wylie: Very good for blue catfish on cut baits. Fair to good for crappie around brush 30 feet deep on minnows. Continuing fair for largemouth bass at the lower end on small crankbaits and rattling lures cast near schools of forage. White perch on jigging spoons and minnows.
Mountain Island Lake : Still fair to good for crappie around deep brush.
Cane Creek Park Lake: Little activity.
Yadkin-Pee Dee River Lakes: Continuing fair for crappie from High Rock through Tuckertown, Badin, Tillery and on to Blewett Falls. The Smith Lake section of Blewett Falls appears to be producing best.
Lakes James, Rhodhiss, Hickory : Fair to good for crappie on minnows at all three lakes. Some smallmouth bass at James on shiners fished around points. Striped bass from the lower stretch of Hickory on live baits.
Fontana Lake : Continuing excellent, even during snowy conditions, for a mix of largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass on jerk baits, spinnerbaits and Gulp! lures cast to 3-5 feet of water along the shoreline. Best of the latter lures is a 3-inch model in a smelt color. Limit catches are reported. Walleye 50 feet deep off the points on ice jigs in a blue-orange pattern.
Lake Wateree : Fair for largemouth bass on topwater lures cast to the shoreline during early morning, then on soft plastics worked around docks. Fair to good for crappie uplake 18-22 feet deep along the river ledge.
Lake Thurmond: Good for stripers, hybrids, uplake on live baits fished around humps 30 feet deep.
Lake Murray: Good for striped bass in surface-feeding schools, with best activity in mid-afternoon. Stripers also are hitting live baits 30 feet deep. Fair for largemouth during early morning on lures cast to docks.
Santee Cooper Lakes : Continuing very good for limits of crappie to 3 pounds, with the fish suspended 10-18 feet deep over brush 20-35 feet down. Very good for bream, generally being found 18 feet deep. Good for catfish on cut shad drift-fished 5-25 feet deep, with a slight edge in action to Lake Moultrie. The best catfish bite is coming on breezy days.
Lake Hartwell : Good for channel catfish 5-20 feet deep on cut baits and improving for blues 25-30 feet down. Fair for schooling stripers in the mid-lake area. Some stripers also are being caught in creek arms on free-lined live baits.
Lake Keowee: Fair to good for largemouth and spotted bass in surfacing schools. When not feeding on the surface, fish are hitting drop-shot rigs worked 25-30 feet deep.
Lake Jocassee : Continuing fair for trout on spoons and live baits worked 80-100 feet deep.
Outer Banks : Nags Head area: Little activity because of a strong Nor’easter; Oregon Inlet: No activity because of the storm. Before bad weather there were fine yellowfin tuna catches offshore; Hatteras Island: Little activity because of bad weather. Earlier, good catches of blackfin tuna, king mackerel and yellowfin offshore; Ocracoke Island: Little activity; Morehead City area: When weather conditions are favorable, the catch includes speckled trout along the beach, in the marshes and at the Cape Lookout jetty, plus whiting and trout in the shipping channel and along the Shackleford Banks.
Southeast Coast : Bluefin spotted “skying” while feeding on schools of blues at the Shark Hole and 15-Mile Rock, but through Tuesday none reported boated. Wahoo to 58 pounds offshore along with blackfin tuna. Speckled trout to 71/2 pounds in the backwaters.
S.C. Coast: Little River area: A fair mix of black drum, croaker and whiting; Grand Strand area: Continuing very good for speckled trout at Charlie’s Cut, the Murrells Inlet jetties and Weaton Flats on live shrimp. Continuing good for black drum and sheepshead at the Murrells Inlet and Georgetown jetties. Puppy drum in the surf at Litchfield Beach. Blues, pompano and whiting at piers; Charleston area: Good to excellent offshore over 50-70 feet of water for king mackerel and wahoo when sea conditions are favorable. Grouper, triggerfish and vermilion snapper offshore for bottom fishing anglers. Bull-sized red drum and whiting at Folly Beach Pier; Beaufort/Hilton Head area: Speckled trout on soft plastic lures and live shrimp at creek mouths during the outgoing tide.