Freshwater Fishing Trends - Sept. 25
Fishing trends courtesy www.SCFishingReport.com. Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports.
- Trout: Fair to good. Trout fishing remains pretty strong, but if anything the fish have gotten even deeper. The best bite continues to be occurring between about 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., with the fishing not as good first thing. Fish are still feeding best in the 80-100 foot deep range, and trolling both Apex and Sutton spoons and live shiners is working well. Fish slowly at trolling speeds of less than two miles per hour.
- Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Slow to fair. Fishing has slowed down on Lake Keowee and catching bass has gotten pretty tough. The best pattern has been fishing topwater lures over shallow, rocky points early in the morning, and after that bite dies off fishing gets difficult. The best pattern once the sun is up has been trying to pick up occasional fish on Carolina rigs, drop shot rigs and shakey head worms in 18-30 feet of water around depth changes and rock.
- Catfish: Good. Blue catfish remain in the deep timber where they are difficult to target, but channel catfish continue to feed well in 5-25 feet of water. Worms, stink bait and cut herring are all working in the creeks, main lake, or pockets at the right depth range. Flathead fishing has also been strong, and early, late and at night fish can be caught on live bream or perch anchored around brush on points. The best spots are in 5-25 feet of water.
- Crappie: Fair to good. Crappie fishing has improved, with numerous reports of pretty good catches as the water begins to cool. The best action has been coming 12-15 feet down in 20 feet of water around brush and bridges. Both minnows and jigs have been catching fish.
- Striped bass: Good. The lower end of the lake continues to be producing above average for this time of year, and right now as many fish are being caught on the lower end as at the top of the lake. In the lower part of the lake the best pattern is fishing down lined herring 30-40 feet deep in fairly deep water, while on the upper end of the lake below the Hartwell Dam the best pattern is free lining live herring along the river channel.
- Black Bass: Good. Bass fishing is above average for this time of year, and spotted bass are biting well around brush piles about 25 feet deep. Drop shot rigs are working very well. Spots are also schooling in the morning on threadfin shad around main lake points in the main lake. They will take small topwater plugs, but the best rig is a popper-type topwater bait with a 1/16th ounce white jig tied off on couple of feet of line behind it. For largemouth bass the best pattern is to head up the creeks and fish a lipless crankbait in the channel where it drops off in the 5-10 foot range.
- Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good. Striper are basically grouped up around the oxygen system. The best success is coming from anglers putting in at the Modoc boat ramp and fishing on the bottom in 30-40 feet of water with down lined herring. Fish are also being caught at the top of the lake in the Russell Tailrace.
- Crappie: Fair. The lake seems to be starting to turn over a little bit and crappie have moved a bit shallower into brush about 20 feet deep. The best area has been the Georgia Little River between the Little River Bridge and Raysville.
- Largemouth Bass: Fair. Bass are starting to move into a fall pattern and fish are making their way into the creeks. Early in the morning fish are schooling in pockets and the shallow backs of creeks. These shallow fish are less focused on bream and essentially keyed in on threadfin shad, and they will take shad imitation lures such as small topwaters and swimbaits. The other major bite is targeting wolf packs of roaming bass that are shallow in 2-4 feet of water in the creeks. The most popular lure for catching these fish has been a jig.
Catfish: Fair to good. The best pattern is drifting with small pieces of herring and shrimp, or anchoring with dip baits and shrimp on humps and points. 15-30 feet of water has been the most productive depth. To increase your chances of tangling with a monster channel catfish, or to target flatheads, try anchoring live bait such as bream or white perch in the same depths. For smaller fish give the anchor bite up to 30 minutes, and for bigger fish be willing to wait up to an hour and a half.
- Catfish: Good. The big fish bite on Monticello has been pretty consistent lately. Fish are in typical fall spots as a transition out of the summer pattern seems to be happening earlier than usual this year. This means that instead of fishing in the backs of coves focusing on main lake, deep water humps and points. Both anchoring and drifting have been effective, with the productive depth range from 40-65 feet – although than can change from day to day. Cut gizzard shad, white perch and bream have all been effective baits for big fish, but if you are looking to catch numbers of smaller fish it’s hard to go wrong with small pieces of cut herring fished on the bottom or free line drifted.
- Catfish: Very good. The drift and anchor bite are both very good on Lake Wateree. The blue catfish bite has been strong on the shallow flats in 8-12 feet of water, and while fish have not always been huge there have been some very good numbers taken. Cut gizzard shad has been a good bait, and cast netting in Wateree Creek in the morning has yielded good numbers of 4-6 inch gizzard shad.
- Crappie: Fair. Crappie are starting to make a seasonal change on Lake Wateree. While some fish can still be caught around brush in the 16-18 foot range, more fish are now up shallower around brush in 10-12 feet of water. A few fish are also around docks. Crappie are following the threadfin shad, and it’s a good bet that crappie can be caught tight-lining in areas where schools of shad are seen on the surface in the morning. Fish are all over the lake, and the best areas vary from day to day depending on factors such as wind direction.
- Bream: Very good. Shellcracker fishing is very strong in 4-10 feet of water off points using nightcrawlers. If fish are not quickly located move to another spot. Bluegill are holding around docks and can be caught on worms and crickets.
- Striped bass: Fair to good. Striper are still mostly found from the dam to Shull Island, and the majority of fish are being caught from the surface down to 40 feet of water. There is good topwater action at times, and standard topwater lures, Striper Delights trailed by a small spoon, and free lined live herring are all working well. For deeper fish down lined herring are the best choice.
- Catfish: Fair to good. Murray catfish seem to be moving into a fall pattern a little early. Some fish (99% channels) can still be caught shallower in the 5-20 foot range, but blues are also being caught deeper in the 20-40 foot range. The most consistent pattern is anchoring on points and humps in the main lake, but the drift is also producing some bites. Cut herring, white perch, shrimp and dip baits are all working equally as well.
- Catfish: Fair. When water has been flowing through the canal and creating current the catfish bite in the canal has been good. Outside of the canal the bite can best be characterized as fairly slow on Lake Moultrie, even at night which is traditionally good in the summer. There have been reports of some shallow water success on Lake Marion recently. Overall, the best bet may be drifting with cut bait and covering a range of depths, including shallow and deep water.
South Carolina freshwater recreational fishing regulations.