S.C. Freshwater Fishing Trends – 11/10/2008

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S.C. Freshwater Fishing Trends - 11/10/2008Fishing trends courtesy www.SCFishingReport.com. Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports.

Mountains Area
Lake Jocassee:

  • Trout: Good. Troll in 85 to 90 feet in the big water around the dam. Minnows and spoons are most effective, and limits of brown trout are common.
  • Black Bass: Fair. Some anglers report topwater action early in the morning using Zara Spooks or Rebel Pop-Rs. A more consistent bite is coming working a shakey head jig with a 5 inch pumpkin seed worm around the backs of small coves in the main lake area, particularly before the sun gets high. Bass have also been seen cruising the shoreline over the first drop in 10 to 15 feet of water. Some anglers are also still reporting catching fish much deeper with jigs or finesse worms.

Lake Keowee:

  • Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Fair. Early in the morning until 11:00 or so anglers are reporting very good results for spotted bass using soft jerk baits and swimbaits. Spotted bass are schooling in the major creeks above the power station in 10 to 25 feet and hitting well on blue colored rattle traps or strike king red eye shad in black and silver patterns. Also target main lake points in the upper lake area as fish are keying on shad balling up. Carolina rigged worms in watermelon seed and chartreuse pumpkin colors have also been effective later in the day around islands in 25 feet of water. Some doodling and drop shotting action continues to be reported in 40 to 60 feet of water, but overall fish are moving shallower.
  • Crappie: Fair. The crappie bite is beginning to improve slightly, and fish are being found around brush in 8 to 12 feet of water.
  • Bream: Good. Not many anglers are concentrating on them but bream are still shallow for Lake Keowee in 8 to 12 feet of water. Use crickets or worms just off the banks.

Lake Hartwell:

  • * Anglers are turning to smaller boats to put in due to low water levels. The Maryann Branch landing is still usable, but Hartsville State Park is very, very shallow.
  • Largemouth Bass: Very good. Topwater action is hot on Lake Hartwell, and fish orienting to schools of shad balling up are feeding aggressively. If you can find the schools of bait you will find bass. Throw a Zara Spook, Sebile swimbait or a clear Sammy, or fish a crankbait in the schools of shad. Clear, windy days are best – if the wind is calm look for boat traffic to stir the water up and activate bait fish. Main channel points and particularly clay points, visible humps, and even brush piles are all holding fish – bass are scattered. Carolina rigs around structure are another successful pattern.
  • Catfish: Very good. Fish a Carolina rigged nightcrawlers on the bottom, and wind it very slowly across clay points. Dead herring and other cut bait are also effective. Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good. Fish are holding from the dam to where to the Seneca and Tugaloo Rivers split. The Settlers Creek and Lightwood Log areas are both producing striper and hybrids; look for topwater action between 9 and 10 a.m. If you can get on the water Monday that is a very good day – the Corps is not generating power on the weekends, but on Monday when they pull water the fish are really turning on.
  • Crappie: Good. Crappie are feeding very well, and are much shallower than typical for this time of year. The most productive area of the lake is where the Seneca and Tugaloo rivers split – because of lake levels fish are staging there in around 18 feet of water. Bridge pilings and backs of creeks are also effective.

Piedmont Area
Lake Russell:

  • Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Slow. A recent tournament took only 8 pounds to win, with the best biting coming on deep running crankbaits.

Lake Thurmond:

  • White perch: Good to very good. White perch are beginning to group in large schools and can be caught on minnows and jigging spoons.
  • Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good. Cooler water is making the larger striper more active, and the fish are moving from Russell Dam down river toward the lower lake. Fish live herring in 24 to 30 feet on down rods, and when fish are shallower use free lines and planer boards. Cherokee Creek, Lloyd’s Creek, and German Creek should all hold fish moving to winter haunts.
  • Crappie: Good. Crappie are moving shallower, and anglers who have very deep brushpiles which are still wet are doing well fishing jigs and minnows vertically in 15 to 20 feet.
  • Largemouth Bass: Slow to fair. With the lake so far down it is hard to find productive largemouth structure; however, some anglers are having success fishing off points and fish seem to be moving shallower. Try Carolina rigged plastic worms fished deep around points and creek mouths. Occasional schooling activity has been reported, but it is sporadic.

Lake Wylie:

  • Catfish: Very good. From morning to afternoon channel cats have been feeding very well, and catches of 25 to 40 fish are common. Cut baits and shrimp are both productive, and the mouths of creeks are the best places to look. This is the peak time for channel cats, and they will continue to feed voraciously until the first real cold snap.
  • White perch: Very good. Fish are still grouped in very large schools, and 150 fish mornings are possible. Fish in 25 feet of water using small minnows and silver spoons jigged just off the bottom.
  • Largemouth Bass: Good. With cooling temperatures bass fishing has really improved. Fish can be located shallow, and topwater lures, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jig n pigs, and plastic worms are all working. Points have also been very effective areas.
  • Crappie: Fair to good. Crappie fishing continues to improve, and fish can be located around in 18 to 20 feet of water around brush.

Midlands Area
Lake Greenwood:

  • Catfish: Very good. Drifting cut baits and fresh jumbo shrimp at the mouths of feeder creeks is producing coolers full of 1 to 8 pound channel catfish. Most fish are in 10 to 18 feet of water.
  • Largemouth Bass: Fair. Bass are in no particular pattern right now, and floating worms, buzzbaits, and Texas or Carolina rigged worms fished on the bottom are all working.
  • Crappie: Fair. Crappie fishing is improving and best action is coming in 12 feet of water using small to medium minnows fished around brush.
  • Striped Bass: No reports. However, striped bass should turn on within the next few weeks.

Lake Wateree:

  • Catfish: Good. Best fishing is coming down the lake around the mouths of major creeks and in the river channel. Use cut bream and gizzard shad anchored on the bottom.
  • Largemouth Bass: Slow to fair. Lake Wateree bass fishing remains difficult, and few people are catching fish – even those who do are not reporting consistent results from day to day. Look for cooling water temperatures to improve the bite. The best bite is coming using ¼ ounce shakey head jigs tipped with a 7 inch watermelon seed worm around the banks in creeks.

Lake Murray:

  • Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that drifting cut bait in 30 to 50 feet of water is producing channel and white cats in the 2 to 8 pound range and blue catfish in the 10 to 15 pound range. The fish are relating to main lake humps near channel ledges.
  • Bream: Good. Fish in 6 to 12 feet using worms on the bottom. Some action is also being reported fishing crickets.
  • Largemouth Bass: Fair to good. The bass action has improved slightly in the last couple of weeks, and club tournaments have seen slightly improved sacks. Topwater action is being reported early in the morning, particularly on Spooks or buzzbaits fished off points. As the sun rises anglers are concentrating on large numbers of bass running the banks and chasing white perch. Some spinnerbait action is being reported, but the most effective lures remain soft plastics. Carolina rigging with anything green from the banks out to 15 feet is effective, and Dooley’s reports that a relatively new method of drop shotting with a Texas-rigged worm is becoming popular.
  • Crappie: Fair. Crappie are still largely gathered around deep brush in 10 to 20 feet of water, but fish are starting to gather in the mouths of creeks where they will remain all winter. This migration is occurring earlier than usual, and will represent a boon for spider riggers and other drift fishermen.
  • Striped Bass: Fair. Striped bass are beginning to spread out across the whole lake, although the best action is being reported in the area between Bomb Island and Twin Island. A variety of methods are being used, and free lining and planer board techniques are both becoming much more common over relatively shallow areas in 10 to 20 feet of water, especially early in the day. Be sure to look out for sporadic topwater schooling action all day, and particularly in the area between Goat and Shull Island.

Lake Monticello:

  • Catfish: Very good. Drifting large cut bait in very deep water is producing occasional but large blues catfish. Using a smaller bait will result in more frequent hook-ups but smaller fish. The fish are spread out and the feeding zones are in different depths from one day to the next; one day the productive depth may be 40 to 60 feet and the next it could be 90 to 110 feet. Explore all depths and don’t get stuck on the depth that was effective a few days earlier.

Santee Cooper System            
Lake Marion:

  • Catfish: Very good. During the day use salties and cut bait fished around stumps and other submerged structure, or drift in 18 to 55 feet. Early, late, and at night the catfish are moving much shallower and can be caught in only 3 to 4 feet of water using the same baits or stinkbaits.
  • Bream: Good. Bluegill are feeding well over brush piles and other cover like stake beds that have been put down for crappie in 12 to 35 feet. This bite should continue until mid-November. The shellcracker bite is slower.
  • Crappie: Fair. Crappie fishing is improving, and fish can be caught over the same structure as the bream using small jigs and minnows.
  • Largemouth Bass: Good. Water temperatures may start out in the low 60s each day, but as the water warms the bite improves. Best results are coming fishing worms and crankbaits, and some very good days for large numbers of bass are being reported. This pattern should continue until water temperatures hit the low 50s, when fishermen will need to slow their approach and retrieves.

Diversion Canal:

  • Catfish: Erratic. Catfish continue to be caught in the canal on days when water is being pulled through, but other days are slow. Fish on the bottom in 30 feet of water using chicken livers; fish will mainly be eating size but catfish up to 30 pounds have been caught recently on this bait.

Lake Moultrie:

  • Bream: Very good. Bluegill are feeding very well in Lake Moultrie over brush piles and other cover like stake beds that have been put down for crappie in 12 to 35 feet. This bite should continue until mid-November. The shellcracker bite is good, but not as hot as the bluegill bite.
  • Catfish: Good. Despite some tough weather off and on the catfish bite remains strong. During the day use salties and cut bait fished around stumps and other submerged structure, or drifting in 18 to 55 feet. Early, late, and at night the catfish are moving much shallower and can be caught in only 3 to 4 feet of water using the same baits or stinkbaits.
  • Largemouth Bass: Good. Water temperatures may start out in the low 60s each day, but as the water warms the bite improves. Best results are coming fishing worms and crankbaits, and some very good days for large numbers of bass are being reported. This pattern should continue until water temperatures hit the low 50s, when fishermen will need to slow their approach and retrieves.
  • Crappie: Fair. Crappie fishing is improving, and fish can be caught over the same structure as the bream using small jigs and minnows.