South Carolina Freshwater Fishing Trends – 6/30/2008

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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.
  • Black Bass: Excellent. Early morning the best action is coming on topwater lures until the sun gets high around 9 or 10 a.m. Areas that have rocks and some wood seem to be most productive, and the hot lure remains dark swamp crawler green pumpkin Zoom trick worms.

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. Watermelon seed and pumpkinseed are hot colors, and the upper end of the lake has been most productive.
  • 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. Visit the Lake Hartwell message board at for more.
  • 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. Fish shallow water with crickets and night crawlers.

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.
  • Crappie: Fair. There are reports of decent numbers of crappie being caught trolling up Beaverdam Creek in the late evening.
  • Bream: Good. Fish have moved into shallow water. Use crickets and red worms.

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.
  • 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. Target shellcracker using 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: Good. Use 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.
  • 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.
  • Bream: Good to very good. The fish are bedding and can be caught using 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.

Lake Wateree:

  • Largemouth Bass: Fair. The most successful patterns seem to be throwing soft plastics – both floating worms and Texas rigged worms – around grass and docks. The Zoom trick worm in green pumpkin has been hot.
  • Catfish: Very good. Creek mouths where the creeks meet the main river channel are great places to anchor up for bigger catfish.
  • Bream: Very good. Fish 1 to 5 feet of water using worms and crickets.

Lake Murray:

  • Striped Bass: Good. The predominate catch is coming with 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. Night fishing is become more productive, fishing deep with downriggers and lead core lines.
  • 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. Try deep brushpiles. Shellcracker: Good. Fish in 8 to 12 feet of water 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 with 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. Pack’s Landing reports few spawning bream at the upper end of the lake, but lower down towards the dam the bite is very good. Fish shallow using worms and crickets.

Lake Moultrie:

  • Largemouth Bass: Fair. Try deep Carolina or Texas rigging in deep water.
  • Catfish: Very good. During the day bigger fish seem to be keying on the sides of hills and underwater humps in 18 to 24 feet of water, although they may be shallower at times. 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. Most shellcracker have already backed off onto deeper water. Fish 1-5 feet for bluegills and 8 to 10 feet for shellcracker.

South Carolina Rivers

Chattooga River

  • Trout: Good.
  • Fly Fishing report: 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. Also, any nymph will work and in 2-3 weeks the transition to terrestrial food sources should begin.

Saluda River

  • Striped Bass: Fair. The best region is above the zoo, and concentrations of fish are highest up towards the dam. Throw large plugs, topwater poppers, or fish live shad or herring under corks or on the bottom. Remember, no striper may be kept until October 1.
  • 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 where you can’t quite see the bottom for best results.

Santee Diversion Canal

  • Bream and Shellcracker: Very good. The bite is best when water is being pulled through the canal.
  • Catfish: Very good. Anchor or slowly drift cut bait at night.
  • 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. Mullet are starting to come up the river, however, and the striper will not be far behind them.