Fishing Report: Freshwater Report
Trout: Very good. Jocassee Outdoor Center reports that the trout bite is very good early in the day. The fish are being caught trolling spoons and minnows in 70 to 90 feet of water over tree tops. At night some trout are being caught around the intakes in 40 to 80 feet of water on nightcrawlers and minnows but this bite has slowed over the last few weeks. Bream: Good. In the backs of creeks, coves and around waterfalls bream are being caught in good numbers. Fish crickets, worms or small artificials like inline spinners. Catfish: Good. Catfish are being caught at night under lights by fishermen anchored near the intake, often as a by-catch for trout fishermen. Boats can tie off on the shelf and fish about 40 to 60 feet down on the bottom. Black Bass: Fair. Captain Pat Bennett reports that he is having best results fishing rock bluff banks near deep water with a Texas rigged 5 inch green pumpkinseed Zoom straight-tailed worm. Use a slow retrieve. Fish are hitting light and moving off with the bait towards deep water - be sure to set the hook anytime you might have a bite!
Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Good. The Fishing Hole reports that early and late topwaters like the hot Lucky Craft Wonder 80 (available in the store) are working around the Jocassee Dam and in the mid-lake. During the day drop shotting in 30-50 feet is most productive although Captain Chris "Fishboy" Schuber continues to catch good numbers of spotted bass in less than 5 feet of water on Lake Fork Trick Worms. Bream: Good. The bream bite remains strong on Lake Keowee. Small bream can be found around most any shallow structure fishing under a float, but the bigger fish will be holding in slightly deeper water - fish on the bottom with crickets or worms.
Catfish: Very good. Catfishing remains hot in 15 to 20 feet of water in creeks like Reed Creek, Crawford's Ferry, and Lightwood Log. Cut herring and nightcrawlers are still working, and lots of fish in the 25 pound range are being landed. The bite is also very good for 2-6 pound fish. Bream: Very good. Around lighted boat docks and marinas some monster bream are being caught at night in the Tugaloo. Striped and Hybrid Bass: Fair to good. Early in the morning striped bass have been coming to the surface down around the dam; most any topwater lure will catch them when they are feeding aggressively. When fish are not on the surface the most productive pattern seems to be fishing down near the dam around timber in 50-60 feet of water. Use down lines baited with herring fished either 20-30 feet deep over top of trees or fished near the bottom in pockets between the trees. Largemouth Bass: Fair. Less bass reports have come in to local tackle shops over the last couple of weeks but Super Flukes still seem to be working early in the morning. When the sun comes up back off and fish main lake points using Carolina rigged green worms fished very slowly. Crappie: Fair. Crappie reports have slowed but at night fishing around bridges up the Seneca or Tugaloo River should still work. Use Green Monster lights to bring up the fish and use live minnows to catch them.
Catfish: Very good. Captain Wendell Wilson reports that the bite for 2-5 pound eating sized channel catfish continues to be very good. Fish have moved slightly deeper into 15 to 20 feet of water and cut herring fished on flats in the creeks will catch fish both day and night. Crappie: Very good. The most improved bite on Lake Russell this week is for crappie. The fish have moved into a fall pattern and nice sized fish are biting over large brush piles located in 20 feet of water and rising to within ten feet of the surface. Fish about 10-12 feet deep with live minnows. White Perch: Good to very good. Throughout July and August the white perch bite on Lake Russell is hot. Fish minnows vertically in 30 feet of water and keep the bait just off the bottom. Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Good. Schooling action has really come on in the last week and the main pattern on Lake Russell is now targeting schooling fish on the main river channel which are keying in on schools of small shad. While it is possible to cast for these fish when they come up (always keep a Tiny Torpedo tied on and handy) the best way to catch them is to troll through the schools with a shad colored Shad Rap or Norman Little N crankbait. Let out 150 feet of line to get the bait down to about 14 feet and troll over the treetops as slow as the outboard will go. Bass are mainly small and medium sized and are evenly distributed between spots and largemouths. Striped Bass: Good. Up the lake near Sander's Ferry Captain Wilson reports that he has been catching 12-14 pound striper and even landed a 20 pound recently. Free line live herring or cast Super Spooks early in the morning - once the sun gets up the bites slows down. Bream: Fair. Bream are not bedding and so it is hard to locate the larger ones right now. However, small ones are easy to catch in the coves on crickets and worms.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good. The Clark's Hill Herring Hut says that guides generally report that they are on smaller fish right now but some fantastic numbers are being caught. In the lower lake around the dam acres of schooling fish have been coming up to the surface and staying up for several hours. There is also some action being reported up the Little River on the Georgia side. Catfish: Good. The Herring Hut reports that some very large catfish are being caught on Lake Thurmond. Fish cut bait in about 15 feet of water off long sloping points. Crappie: Good. Crappie fishermen are catching fish over brushpiles in 35 feet of water at night. Use either a floating or suspended light and fish minnows vertically. Bream: Good. Nice bream are being caught fishing crickets and worms in 8 feet of water. Below the dam in the Savannah River some nice limits of bream were brought in last week by anglers fishing shallow brush. Largemouth bass: Slow. Largemouth bass fishing remains tough on Lake Thurmond. The best bet is targeting deepwater structure using worms, lizards and deep diving crankbaits. Fish will come shallow when conditions are right, though, and Captain Wendell Wilson reports that he caught an 8 pound largemouth a week and a half ago where it had corralled bait in only 2 feet of water. The bite below the dam in the Savannah River has been much better.
Largemouth Bass: Very good. The Lake Wylie bass bite has been very good much of the summer and is hot right now, especially for numbers of fish. Early and late topwater action is strong on a variety of lures, and bank runners can be caught shallow all day long. During the day and at night bass can be caught on the drops where main channel ledges fall off into deep water; drop shot in at least 15 feet of water. Catfish: Very good. The night catfish bite on Lake Wylie is very good; fish cut bait in the backs of coves. Particularly on weekends the bite can shut down about 9 a.m. when the sun and boat traffic pick up. White perch: Very good. Captain Rodger Taylor reports that the white perch bite continues to be strong and minnows are the bait of choice. River Stop near the entrance to Ebeneezer Park has the best bait-sized minnows. Look for sandy bottoms in 18-24 feet and fish just off the bottom.
Bream: Very good. The bluegill and shellcracker bite remains strong; fish in 4-6 feet of water in the backs of coves and around docks with crickets and worms. White perch: Very good. White perch are balled up in tight schools in the creek runs in the lower half of the lake and they will stay that way until October. In the upper half of the lake they are more scattered across the flats. Sabiki rigs, available at Sportsman's Friend, baited with minnows or worms are a good way to catch them. Largemouth bass: Fair. Bass fishing is unpredictable from day to day. Early and late floating worms in white or chartreuse are working well around block walls and riprap. Later in the day Texas-rigging deep structure with plastics worms in black with red fleck or green pumpkin with red/ green fleck colors are working. Catfish: Fair. Captain Chris Simpson reports that the channel catfish bite is unpredictable from day to day and the fish are moving a lot; night time fishing is more consistent. Overall anchoring has been better than drifting which requires hitting the right spot at the right time. Cut bream and shad are outperforming shrimp, unusual for this time of year. There are also reports of lots of small fish being caught with stink baits off points and coves. Striped Bass: Fair. Striper are scattered but some schooling action has been reported, particularly late in the afternoon. Bass, white perch and striper all seem to be coming to the surface together and eating shad. Crappie: Fair. Look for crappie over deep brush with minnows.
Bream: Very good. Bream have moved deeper into 4-8 feet of water around rocks and docks. Use baby nightcrawlers for shellcracker and crickets for bluegill. Catfish: Very good. Fish off points and islands in 8-20 feet of water with cut herring or nightcrawlers. Striped Bass: Good. The keeper ratio continues to improve and striper are suspended from 40-80 feet deep in the area from Shull Island down to the dam. Live herring fished on down lines are the most popular bait but cut herring fished on the bottom in 45 to 60 feet are also working. There is also a fair amount of success reported trolling in 30-40 feet of water with Road Runners. Lake World predicts that schooling will start towards the end of August. Crappie: Fair to good. Crappie fishing remains fairly strong over deep brush in 15-20 feet of water. Largemouth Bass: Slow to fair. The recent summer night tournament series was won by an angler jigging a large 5 inch spoon off the bottom around bait schools in about 18 feet of water. Catches have generally been down and the shallow bite has been off. The most consistent area of the lake remains up the river and up creeks, particularly early in the morning around gator grass. By 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. that bite generally falls off. Plastic worms in red shad and red junebug have been popular.
Catfish: Good to very good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that the bite for big fish is getting consistent and his boat has caught several fish in the 20s and 30s as well as a 42 and a 47 pounder in the last week. Anchoring over humps in 40 to 60 feet and fishing with cut white perch seems to be the ticket.
White perch: Very good. White perch action is hot down around the dam. Fish on the bottom with worms and minnows and look for offshore humps with hard or sandy bottoms. Striped Bass: Good. Fishing from the state park area down towards the dam is working, particularly zigzagging along the river channel. Live and cut herring are both popular baits right now but trolling white or pearl colored AWD soft plastics (available at A&B Outfitters) will also work. At night setting out floating lights and fishing live herring under a bobber on the edge of the light is productive. Free lining herring or shad (which can be caught in a cast net near the light) on a bare hook is also a good way to catch striper at night. Catfish: Good. Captain Rodger Taylor reports that drifting is producing good numbers of small blue and channel catfish perfect for eating. Anglers looking to catch bigger catfish should anchor near deep ledges, on the sides of deep holes, and in the river channel and fan cast baits. Early in the morning or at night is the best time to fish, and days when there is a current due to uplake power generation are best. The best baits for drifting and anchoring are fresh cut baits including shad, bluegill, and white perch. Some catfish can also be caught at night under lights, and a 35 pound fish was recently caught in the Wateree River behind the dam. Bream: Good. Catching numbers of bream around docks with red worms is easy; finding the bigger fish is more difficult. Bigger bream tend to be a little deeper. Largemouth Bass: Slow to fair. 2009 FLW Co-Angler of the Year Dearal Rodgers reports that there are two main hot water patterns on Lake Wateree - fishing docks proximate to deep water that have lots of brush, and fishing underwater ledges. Jigs are a good bet for dock fishing, and shakey head worms, jigs and DD-22 crankbaits are a good bet for fishing underwater structure. Crappie: Slow to fair. During the day fishing minnows over deep brush is the best bet but at night fishing under lights after 10:00 can be productive.
Santee Cooper System
Catfish: Good to very good. Captain Jim Glenn reports that his boat continues to catch good numbers of blue catfish; the magic depth seems to be deeper water from 35 to 45 feet deep. The fish seem to being feeding similarly both during the day and at night although during the day he has seen the winds die around noon and with it the bite drop off. Drifting with a variety of cut baits is the most productive method right now. Bream: Fair. Bream fishing has slowed substantially in both lakes but in the canal some nice shellcracker are being caught both deep and shallow. Use baby nightcrawlers or red worms.
Largemouth bass: Slow. Largemouth bass fishing has slowed down in the summer heat but Captain Inky Davis reports that he is still catching fish using soft plastics around shallow cover when there is bait around. Crappie: Slow. Crappie fishing has dropped off in the last month; fish around brushpiles in 18 to 20 feet of water with crappie minnows.