Freshwater Fishing Trends - August 2019

Information on fishing trends provided courtesy of www.anglersheadquarters.com/, South Carolina's premier fishing report source. Customers of the Angler's Headquarters online tackle store have access to daily updates and full-length reports on its site.

SCDNR has a full-service boat/motor titling and licensing office located at:

SCDNR at the State Farmer's Market
326 Little Brooke Lane
West Columbia, SC 29172

The State Farmers Market has convenient parking and easy access to both I-77 and I-26.

Piedmont Area

Lake Russell

Bass: Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that bass should remain in fairly tight, deep schools in August. Fishing with deep-running crankbaits or plastics worms around deep structure will be the best pattern.

Striped bass: Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) reports that this August they are expecting a better bite for striped bass on the lower end of the lake with down-lines. If they start pulling more water from the Hartwell dam then cool conditions on the upper end of the lake could draw striper to that area. 

Crappie: Guide Wendell Wilson reports that fish will stay on deeper brush in August, but they will head for cooler water if the creeks get too warm. They will be caught on jigs and minnows.

Catfish: Guide Jerry Kotal reports that fish can be caught this month in 15-25 feet of water on cut herring.

Most detailed Lake Russell Updates

Lake Thurmond

Bass: Tournament anglers Tyler Matthews and Josh Rockefeller report that in August fish can be caught shallow on buzzbaits and frogs, but there will also be deeper fish caught around humps and offshore brush on soft plastics.

Striper and hybrids: William Sasser Guide Service (706-589-5468) reports that in August fish should stay very deep where they will be caught on down-lined herring in 50-60 plus feet of water. Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that in the mid-lake section fish will be caught on the same techniques but you should be able to fish shallower.

Crappie: William Sasser Guide Service reports that there is traditionally very little fishing activity for crappie in the heat of August, but fish are most likely around deep brush where they can be caught on minnows.

Catfish: Captain Chris Simpson reports that in August fish will continue to move shallower early and late and deeper during the heat of the day. Fan-casting baits at a variety of depths is the best pattern.

Most detailed Lake Thurmond Updates

Lake Wylie

Bass: Tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that during August the bream bedding activity should slow down, but there will still be a lot of bream up shallow and bass feeding on them. Surface lures are a good option. While there will still be an offshore bite, the fish have been beat on for so long that they are getting more picky.

Catfish: Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that during the day this month drifting mid-depths with cut bluegill is the best option, while at night anchoring with cut bait and fan-casting to a variety of depths is the best pattern.

Most detailed Lake Wylie Updates

Midlands Area

Lake Greenwood

Bass: Veteran tournament angler Stan Gunter of Greenwood reports that in July there should be a topwater bite first thing in shallow water, but during the heat of the day fish should be caught deep in 15-20 feet of water on worms.

Most detailed Lake Greenwood Updates

Lake Monticello

Bass: FLW angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that in August the big, deep schools have broken up, and fish have generally returned to middle depths. Finesse-oriented soft plastics are the best way to catch them, and there can also be a topwater bite early and late.

Catfish: Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that through August numbers of fish will be caught free line drifting over deep water, while bigger fish can be caught anchoring cut bait on humps. This is a better month for catching lots of fish than big ones.

Most detailed Lake Monticello Updates

Lake Murray

Bass: Veteran tournament angler Captain Doug Lown reports that August is a tough time to bass fish on Murray, as the water is hot and fish are stressed. Early, late, and at night continue to be the best times to fish with topwater lures and worms in 15-20 feet, and during the heat of the day it’s hard to find a very good pattern. The river offers another option where shallow cover can be fishable even during the day.

Striped bass: Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that in August fish will likely stay deep in the lower pool in 60 plus feet of water. However, if there is some cooler weather look for fish to move into the creeks and up the lake later this month.

Crappie: Captain Brad Taylor reports that fish will continue to hold around brush in August, but fishing is likely to remain tough. The mid-lake should be the best section to fish with minnows and jigs.

Catfish: Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that both because of feeding patterns and boat traffic the night bite will again be much better during August. Dip baits and a variety of cut bait will catch fish in shallow water, and some fish may start to make their way up the rivers.

Most detailed Lake Murray Updates

Lake Wateree

Bass: FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that in August fish will continue to be mixed between shallow and deep, and if temperatures stay relatively cool the shallow bite should remain pretty good. If it gets very hot more fish will go deep. Topwater lures will work first thing, and during the day soft plastics are hard to beat both shallow and deep.

Crappie: Veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that in August fish should stay on mid-depth brush, and his preferred method will be one-pole jigging with Fish Stalker Lures. Fish will probably remain grouped up along the river channel from one end of the lake to the other.

Most detailed Lake Wateree Updates

Santee Cooper System

Bass: Captain Brett Mitchell (803-379-7029) reports that August patterns should remain similar to the July ones, barring some dramatic weather changes. Fishing with topwater lures early and late, and then fishing with soft plastics around trees during the day, remain the best ways to catch fish.

Crappie: Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that this month fish should continue to be caught on mid-depth brush with minnows.

Bream: Captain Steve English reports that in August around the new and full moons waves of bluegill and shellcracker will continue to come shallow to spawn where they can be caught on crickets and worms.

Catfish: Captain Stevie English (843-709-8138) reports that in August night fishing should remain a better way to catch big fish, although at times numbers will be better drifting during the day in mid-depths. At night you can anchor around shallow trees with cut bait.

Most detailed Santee Cooper System Updates

Mountains Area

Lake Jocassee

Trout: Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that in August fish will stay in about 70-100 feet of water, likely as deep as they will get this year. Anglers will want to fish the big water, either near the dam or in the rivers. Trolling spoons should work for most of the month but if the bite gets tougher you can switch over to minnows.

Bass: Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) reports that during August fish will stay relatively nocturnal, and fishing worms off deeper points at night is a good pattern. Fish will also relate to the same areas during the day, but keep a topwater tied on because you never know when fish might start to break the surface.

Most detailed Lake Jocassee Updates

Lake Keowee

Bass: Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that during August fish will remain in a summer pattern where they can be caught early and late off points on topwaters, while during the day fishing deeper with worms is the best option. Look out for possible schooling activity this month.

Most detailed Lake Keowee Updates

Lake Hartwell

Bass: Guide Brad Fowler reports that August is usually about the worst month of the year for bass fishing on Hartwell, but patterns are fairly stable from July. Fish can be caught on drop shots and shakey heads around deep brush piles, but there are also some fish up shallow that can be caught on topwater lures or soft plastics.

Striper and hybrids: Guide Chip Hamilton (864-304-9011) reports that in August fish will move deeper into 60-100 feet of water, and the best bite will be early in the morning. The fish that are shallower than about 50 feet of water will generally be very small.

Crappie: Captain Bill Plumley reports that in August fish should be found suspended over deep water 18-25 feet down in 40-50 feet of water. They will mostly be over open water, although there will also be some fish found in the creeks at night around deeper bridges.

Catfish: Captain Bill Plumley reports that during August channel catfish will bite well in 25-plus feet of water on a variety of baits including cut herring and nightcrawlers.

Most detailed Lake Hartwell updates


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