South Carolina Freshwater Fishing Trends – 6/23/2008

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Fishing trends courtesy Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports.

Mountains Area

Lake Jocassee:

  • Trout: Very good. Very nice catches of large rainbow trout are being reported trolling in 50 – 70 feet of water using trolling spoons or large plugs; also pull large live shiners in the same zone. Night fishing continues to be productive with large fish and good numbers being caught; troll the rivers for best success.
  • Black Bass: Excellent. Early morning the best action is coming on topwater lures until the sun gets high around 9 or 10 a.m. By 10 a.m. move out to deeper water and throw soft plastics along 10 – 15 foot drop offs on main and secondary points.

Lake Keowee:

  • Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Very good. Early and late topwater action is very good, and Lake Fork Swimbaits and Lucky Craft Sammys fished around boat docks, points and in the backs of coves are productive. Later in the day shallow running crankbaits in 5 to 25 feet and Carolina rigged or shaky head worms in 15 to 40 feet are working.
  • Crappie: Good. Crappie have moved out to 30-40 feet of water and can be caught fishing up against bridge pilings at night.
  • Bream: Good. Fish live crickets, minnows, and worms in 5 to 15 feet of water.

Lake Hartwell:

  • Striped and Hybrid Bass: Very good. Fish in 50-60 feet of water with downrods set at 20 to 25 feet. Try out lead core line and lures such as Cisco Kid and other similar ones as the thermocline may be developing quicker than ever.
  • Largemouth Bass: Very good. In the early morning use topwater lures along points, and as the sun gets higher switch to shaky head worms and Carolina rigs in 20 to 30 feet of water.
  • Bream: Good. Bream have moved into very shallow water and are feeding aggressively.

Piedmont Area

Lake Russell:

  • Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Good. Overall the topwater bite has been strong first thing, and then later anglers are having to fish deep around the trees. Try Carolina Rigging or fishing finesse worms in 15 to 20 feet of water, and green pumpkinseed and purple worms are good choices, as is watermelon color. Jigs are also a good choice.
  • Crappie: Fair. There are reports of decent numbers of crappie being caught trolling up Beaverdam Creek in the late evening.
  • Bream: Good. Fish have already moved into shallow water.

Lake Thurmond:

  • Striped and Hybrid Bass: Very good. Striper fishing in 45 feet of water under the 378 bridge is very strong using live herring. Cut bait fished around points is also producing.
  • Largemouth Bass: Good. Early in the morning bass are being caught around secondary points using Zara Spooks.
  • Crappie: Good. Look for brush in 20 to 25 feet of water; minnows are producing better than jigs.
  • Shellcracker: Excellent. Use red worms, pink worms, and crickets.

Lake Wylie:

  • Largemouth Bass: Fair. First thing in the morning fish topwater Pop-Rs over main channel points in about 8 feet of water. After 10 a.m. or so move deeper and fish the drops using Carolina rigs with an extra long leader- a strong color is watermelon seed dipped in chartreuse glow dye.
  • White Perch: Good. Fish in 18-24 feet of water next to river channels and look for sandy bottoms. Use a minnow or small spoon lowered to the bottom and then bumped slowly; crickets will also work.
  • Shellcracker: Very good. Fish deep drops using red worms fished on a dead line.
  • Catfish: Excellent. Catfishing is easy right now and anglers are tearing up the fish using mussels, shrimp, and stinkbaits.

Midlands Area

Lake Greenwood:

  • Largemouth Bass: From very early until 8 a.m. topwaters and floating worms are productive fished around blocks walls, drops, and riprap. Later in the day fishing is tougher and anglers are targeting ledges with Carolina rigs and finesse worms.
  • Striped Bass: Fair. A few anglers are catching fish with bucktail jigs trolled in 30 feet of water.
  • Crappie: Very slow. Crappie have moved out over deep brush piles and are also occasionally being caught drifting over deep water. Bream: Good to very good. Use crickets and worms fished in 3-5 feet around docks and tree tops.
  • Catfish: Very good. Fish on the bottom using cut bait or worms in 12 to 15 feet of water, and try fishing at night.

Lake Wateree

  • Largemouth Bass: Tough. The most successful patterns seem to be throwing soft plastics – both floating worms and Texas rigged worms – around grass and docks. The best bite is early. Night fishing with dark plastic worms around heavy brush is also successful.
  • Catfish: Very good. Large fish can be caught on cut bait almost anywhere along the river channel from the upper lake down to the dam. Bream: Very good. Fish 1 to 5 feet of water using worms and crickets.

Lake Murray:

  • Striped Bass: Good. Use down rods baited with live herring, although some fishermen are being just as productive suspending cut herring at the depth they mark the fish in the same areas. Deep humps and the towers are both productive, and lower lake creeks are also productive.
  • Largemouth Bass: Tough. Early in the day fish topwaters like pencil poppers, Zara Spooks, Sammys, and flukes. Later in the day switch to Carolina or Texas rigging with larger worms in the 8 inch range off points.
  • Crappie: Poor. Check deep brushpiles.
  • Shellcracker: Good. 8 to 12 feet of water caught on crickets or worms. Bream: Very good. Bream are still shallow. Use crickets.
  • Catfish: Good. Cut herring and nightcrawlers are producing over most any area of the lake from the campground down to the dam.

Santee Cooper System

Lake Marion:

  • Largemouth Bass: Fair. Some really large bass are still being caught, though; fish Texas rigged worms in slightly deeper areas.
  • Catfish: Very good. At the upper end of the lake some large catfish are being caught in shallow water but not consistently. The bite is hot using cut bait, stinkbaits, or worms.
  • Crappie: Fair. Try to locate brush in 25 to 30 feet and fish minnows vertically.
  • Bream and Shellcracker: Very good. Fish shallow using worms and crickets.

Lake Moultrie:

  • Largemouth Bass: Fair. Try deep Carolina or Texas rigging.
  • Catfish: Very good. Drifting is productive, as well as anchoring and fishing cut bait on the bottom when the lake is too calm to drift. Best catches are coming using cut mullet and herring.
  • Crappie: Fair. Look for structure in 20 to 25 feet of water and fish minnows vertically.
  • Bream and shellcracker: Very good. Fish 1-5 feet for bluegills and 8 to 10 feet for shellcracker.

South Carolina Rivers

Chattooga River

  • Trout: Good.
  • Fly Fishing report: The dry fly season is winding down, and fishermen are starting to head north for colder waters. The area from Pig Pen Creek up to the North Carolina border should still hold trout, though, and dry flies like the Light Hendrickson, Light Cahill, Addams, and lighter caddis flies tied out of elkhair should produce.

Saluda River

  • Striped Bass: Fair. Some striper have been caught in the river but overall fishing is still down. Throw large plugs, topwater poppers, or fish live shad or herring under corks or on the bottom.
  • Catfish: Good. Lots of catfish are being reported caught between Corley Mill and the zoo. Fish cut herring, other cut fish, or nightcrawlers on the bottom in deep holes.
  • Shellcracker: Good. Fish deep holes.

Santee Diversion Canal

  • Bream and Shellcracker: Very good. The bite is best when water is being pulled through the canal.
  • Catfish: Very good. Flathead catfish up to 50 and 60 pounds are being caught in the canal at night. Anchor or slowly drift cut bait.
  • Bass: Good. Largemouth are stacked in the canal around drops where the water goes from shallow to 15 feet almost vertically.

Savannah River

  • Striped/ Hybrid Bass: Hit or miss. When the correct gates are open on the Lake Thurmond Dam action can be fast, but at other times fish are not feeding.