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January 5, 2004 DNR News (803) 734-3950

FRESHWATER FISHING TRENDS

MOUNTAINS-PIEDMONT AREA

LAKE JOCASSEE: Largemouth Bass: Fair, slow retrieves with plastic worms, casting Carolina-rigged worms, and topwater plugs Good catches in the early morning. A recent catch of a 5 pound fish has be reported. Trout: Good, trolling with Apex lures, Sutton spoons and Yozuri baits from surface to 30 feet deep. Also try free-lining large minnows for trout. These fish are averaging 3 to 5 pounds. A recent catch of a 6.12 pound brown trout has been reported. Also good catches reported with crippled herring jigs in shallow water and with live minnows. Smallmouth Bass: Slow, drifting large minnows and brown hair jigs around rocky points and rocky banks. Crappie: Slow, Try small minnows and jigs around brush piles. Catfish: Fair, using nightcrawlers or cut bait on bottom. Bream: Good, using popping bugs and red worms around banks and brush. Water temperature averages 59 to 61 degrees.

LAKE KEOWEE: Largemouth Bass: Excellent, Try doodling and drop shotting Carolina-rigged worms in green or red colors and jigging spoons in 30 to 50 feet of water in the mouths of creeks and off rocky points after mid-morning. Fish in the 1 to 3.5-pound range reported Crappie: Very Good, using small minnows and jigs in 10 to 15 feet of water around brush piles and bridge pilings. Catfish: Good, using jumbo minnows, nightcrawlers and cut bait on the bottom. Recent catches of 10 to 12-pound fish reported. Bream: Fair, using redworms around brush piles and around stumps. Also, try fishing around bridge pilings. Water temperature is 57 degrees and clear.

LAKE HARTWELL: Largemouth Bass: Excellent, using 5 to 6-inch lizards, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, topwater lures, and Trick worms fishing off points. Best catches reported at dawn and dusk Also try fishing in coves. Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good, using umbrella rigs also live herring with down-rods in deep water around river channels 15 to 30 feet deep. Trolling activity has increased, try depths of 15 to 25 feet of water. Schooling activity on the lake has increased. Crappie: Fair to good, using medium minnows, grubs and small jigs. Fish are moving into deeper water around brush piles. Catfish: Fair, using cut herring, nightcrawlers, shrimp and chicken livers on the bottom. Bream: Fair, using redworms and crickets around brush piles and cover.

LAKE RUSSELL: Largemouth Bass: Fair, try spinnerbaits around bush in creeks and shallow running crankbaits. Yellow Perch: Very Good, fishing medium minnows deep and jigging spoons. Striped and Hybrid Bass: Excellent, early morning with bucktails, cut and live herring and jigs especially when water is running below dam. Reports of 9 to 10-pound fish being caught. White Bass: Poor, using bucktails, spinners and live bait below dam. Crappie: Very Good, using minnows around brush piles and bridge pilings. Also try fishing jigs along banks with cover. Catfish: Good, using cut bait and nightcrawlers on the bottom. Bream: Good, using red wigglers, pinks, crickets and nightcrawlers. Water temperature is 56 degrees and clear.

LAKE THURMOND: Largemouth Bass: Good, casting plastic worms. Also, try Little Cleos and spinnerbaits. Also, try casting shallow running baits. Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good, using Cleos, Berry Spoons and KastMasters. Also, try large minnows and live herring. Fish are being caught in the 20-pound range. Crappie: Good, using small minnows and jigs around brush tops. Some limits being caught. Catfish: Good, using cut bait and nightcrawlers fishing on the bottom. Bream: Good, using Louisiana pink worms and jumbo redworms around the banks.

LAKE WYLIE: Largemouth Bass: Good, casting bass jigs and medium running crank baits. Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good, using Spoons and Bucktails. White Bass: Good, fish are schooling in the afternoon. Crappie: Excellent, using small minnows and chartreuse jigs around rip-rap, docks and brush tops. Some crappie has been reported caught in the 1 pound and over category. Also limits are being caught. Catfish: Good, using nightcrawlers on the bottom. Shellcracker: Fair, using redworms and crickets on the bottom. Bream: Good, using earthworms, redworms and crickets around the banks.

LAKE GREENWOOD: Largemouth Bass: Good, jigging slow in 25 to 30 feet of water with pig & jig and crank bait. Report of 2 to 5 pound fish are being caught. Stripers: Excellent, behind the dam using flukes and bombers and Good in the lake using berry spoons and live bait. Try fishing small spinners and jigging Berry Spoons in 25 to 30 feet of water. White Bass and White Perch: Good, fish are schooling. Try using small spinners and jigging spoons. Crappie: Good, using small to medium minnows and mini jigs over brush in 20 to 25 feet of water. Catfish: Good, using cut bait and blood bait off points in 8 to 15 feet of water on the bottom. Bream: Slow, using redworms along shore and docks. Water level has stabilized at about 3 feet below full level.

MIDLANDS AREA

LAKE WATEREE: Largemouth Bass: Good, casting bass jigs and medium running crank baits. Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good, using Spoons and Bucktails. White Bass: Good, fish are schooling in the afternoon. Crappie: Excellent, using small minnows and chartreuse jigs around rip-rap, docks and brush tops. Some crappie has been reported caught in the 1 pound and over category. Also limits are being caught. Catfish: Good, using nightcrawlers on the bottom. Shellcracker: Fair, using redworms and crickets on the bottom. Bream: Good, using earthworms, redworms and crickets around the banks.

LAKE MURRAY: Largemouth Bass: Good, in 1 to 8 foot of water and on the inside of the grass line on small shad rap and spinnerbaits. Also Carolina rigged and Texas rigged worms are being used. Striped Bass: Fair, try live herring on free line with a cork. Schooling activity has been reported in all hours of the day from Shull Island to the Gap. Try a double rigged set-up with buck tail, trailing it with an ice fly. Cast this set of lures to schooling fish. Also try a striper delight. Crappie: Fair, using jigs and small tuffy minnows trolling in creek runs and fishing brush piles in 20 to 25 feet of water. White Perch: Good, try jigging spoons and tuffies or worms. Catfish: Fair, using cut herring and nightcrawlers on the bottom. Bream: Good, try fishing redworms and crickets in 10 to 20 feet of water along the grass wall. Limits are being caught. Shellcrackers: Fair, using redworms and baby night crawlers in 4 to 15 feet of water and on the bottom. Water is clear and 57 degrees.

SANTEE COOPER SYSTEM

LAKE MARION: Largemouth Bass: Good, using artificial worms, topwater rebel lures, fishing along the banks and point early in the morning. Striped Bass: Fair, using shad and live herring with down rod in about 24 to 30 feet of water. Trolling shad and herring has been productive. Some fish weighing 15-pounds are being reported caught. White Perch: Slow, Try jigging off the bottom with Hopkins spoons. Crappie: Fair, Crappie are starting to bite in 20 feet of water, using small and medium minnows around deep brush piles, bridge pilings and piers. Catfish: Excellent, fishing with live herring and cut shad off the bottom in deep water. Recent catch of a 45-pound catfish has been reported. Bream and Shellcrackers: Good, using redworms, in 8 to 10 feet of water and limits are report.

LAKE MOULTRIE: Largemouth Bass: Good, casting, spinnerbaits, plastic worms and lizards along docks and structure. Striped Bass: Good, fishing live herring in 30 feet of water with down-rods. Fish are schooling try flex-it spoons jigging and casting Striper Swipers in schooling fish. Trolling through schooling fish has also been productive. Striped bass in the 8 to 18-pound range are being caught. Limits of these fish are being reported daily. Crappie: Fair, Try small to medium sized minnows around fish attraction areas and brush piles. Catfish: Excellent, using cut shad, herring, menhaden, live large shiners and nightcrawlers 40 to 50 feet deep. Fish are being caught in the 30 to 40-pound range. Bream: Good, using crickets, public fish attractors. Fish are in 8 to 25 feet of water on beds. Shellcrackers: Fair, try redworms and green worms along the banks along river runs and points. Catches reported t in the canal area in the 2 to 4 pound range.

REPORTERS: The S.C. Department of Natural Resources appreciates the cooperation of fishing trend reporters for South Carolina's major lakes: Jocassee - Hoyett's Tackle; Keowee - Fishing Hole; Hartwell - Lake Hartwell Fishing and Marine; Russell - Tony's Bait and Tackle; Thurmond - Bladon's; Wylie - Catawba Tackle; Greenwood - Sportsman's Friend; Wateree - Wateree Marina; Murray - Dooley's Sport Shop; Marion - Lanes; and Moultrie - Atkins Boat Landing.

- Written by John Lucas -

For South Carolina freshwater fishing regulations: http://www.dnr.state.sc.us/etc/rulesregs/img/freshfishing.pdf

 

 

 

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