Freshwater Fishing Trends - December 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.

The Columbia full-service Licensing and Boat Titling office is now 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.

These services are no longer offered at 1000 Assembly Street in Downtown Columbia.

Piedmont Area

Lake Russell

Bass: Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that in December bass will move deeper in the main lake and at the mouths of creeks. They will be caught on jigging spoons, drop shots and jigs.

Striped bass: Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) reports that December is one of the best months of the year to fish Russell for striper, and fish will group up in the mid-lake. Whether you opt to throw artificial lures at feeding fish or cover water by pulling herring on free-lines and planer boards, following the birds is key.

Crappie and yellow perch: Guide Wendell Wilson reports that in December he will not target crappie, but yellow perch will be caught in excellent numbers. They will be caught on minnows fished around schools of bait.

Catfish: Guide Jerry Kotal reports that December is not a month when very many people will be targeting catfish, but if you concentrate on deep water you can pick up channel catfish or even a big flathead before it gets too cold.

Most detailed Lake Russell Updates

Lake Thurmond

Bass: Tournament angler Josh Rockefeller reports that in December there should be two major groups of fish. Once temperatures get below 55 degrees there will be some bass in the creek ditches that can be caught on The Sled and blade baits. There is another group of deeper fish out on the main lake that can be caught on underspins fished over humps.

Striper and hybrids: William Sasser Guide Service (706-589-5468) reports that during December fish should move to the very backs of the creeks. As the fish get shallower and scattered out in the backs most anglers will switch over to free-lines and planer boards.

Crappie: William Sasser Guide Service reports that in December fish should still be ganged up around mid-depth brush piles and submerged timber in the backs. Generally creeks in the middle and upper part of the lake will fish best, and crappie will eat minnows or jigs.

Catfish: Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that December is one of the best months of the year to catch a big catfish on Lake Thurmond, and if anything fishing is likely to improve on an excellent November. Anchoring on deep structure is the most consistent way to catch large blue and flathead catfish this month. The creeks can be good depending on whether bait has moved into them, and gizzard shad and white perch are hard to beat for the bigger fish.

Most detailed Lake Thurmond Updates

Lake Wylie

Bass: Tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that in December bait and fish will be pulling out of the creeks and returning to the main lake. They will set up in relatively deep water where they can be caught on jerkbaits and Alabama rigs.

Catfish: Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that in December some of the biggest fish in the lake should start to turn on. The chief pattern will be drifting deep water on the lower lake with cut shad.

Most detailed Lake Wylie Updates

Midlands Area

Lake Greenwood

Bass: Veteran tournament angler Stan Gunter of Greenwood reports that in the early part of December there should still be some fish caught shallow in the backs of creeks on spinnerbaits and crankbaits, but as temperatures drop the deep bite should come on. Fishing a jigging spoon, drop shot or even dragging a jig deep around bait should work. An Alabama rig is also likely to be effective.

Most detailed Lake Greenwood Updates

Lake Monticello

Bass: B.A.S.S. angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that in December the best way to catch fish is with a jigging spoon. Concentrate on deep water and use your electronics (or follow the birds) to locate fish.

Catfish: Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that December is perhaps the best month of the year to catch a big fish on Lake Monticello, and both drifting and anchoring in deep water can be very strong. Cut white perch and gizzard shad are the best baits.

Most detailed Lake Monticello Updates

Lake Murray

Bass: B.A.S.S. angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that, while there are some fish which pretty much live shallow all year, in December the greatest number of fish will be found in deep water. Early in the winter is prime time for spoon fishing, and Alabama rigs will also catch fish.

Striped bass: Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that in December on Lake Murray there is no more popular pattern than throwing double rigs around feeding birds. Fish are all over the lake but the best numbers are up the lake.

Crappie: Captain Brad Taylor reports that in December the crappie should really turn on and move into the creek channels up the lake. Tight-lining close to the bottom should be the best pattern.

Catfish: Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that December is another excellent month for catching catfish on Lake Murray. Drifting or anchoring with cut bait in the river channels is the best pattern.

Most detailed Lake Murray Updates

Lake Wateree

Bass: FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that in December fish will be more oriented to steep banks. The best areas have lots of rock and will warm up in afternoon sun. Fish slowly with crankbaits, worms or jigs.

Crappie: Veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that in December most of the Wateree crappie will move towards the top of the lake where they can be caught tight-lining minnows and jigs along the river channel.

Catfish: Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that the December catfish bite depends on water temperature, but if it gets cold then fish should be mixed between shallow and deep. Anchor in deep water early and then try the shallows later in the day when the water warms.

Most detailed Lake Wateree Updates

Santee Cooper System

Bass:Captain Brett Mitchell (803-379-7029) reports that until the spring rolls around fish will be concentrating on shad, and in December that usually means looking for areas with current where the schools of bait are found. Shallow running crankbaits, spinnerbaits and small swimbaits are all good lure choices.

Crappie and Bream: Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that this has been one of the best fall seasons for crappie in some time, and until it gets very cold the bite is expected to stay strong. Late this season the bream bite has also turned on. In December fish will continue to be found around brush, but it will be some of the deeper brush. Minnows will catch crappie and crickets will catch bream.

Catfish: Captain Stevie English (843-709-8138) reports that in December fish should move about as deep as they will be found all year, and drifting steep ledges is probably the best way to catch them. Cut herring, shad or white perch will all work.

Most detailed Santee Cooper System Updates

Mountains Area

Lake Jocassee

Trout: Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that in December an upswing in the fishing will begin, and by the end of the month some of the best trout action of the year will take place. Late December can be a particularly good time to catch a big fish. Fish will move shallower as water temperatures cool, and both spoons and live bait will work.

Bass: Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) reports that in December bass will be in the rivers and creeks, but as the month progresses they will move into deeper sections. Jigging spoons and drop shot rigs will both catch fish.

Most detailed Lake Jocassee Updates

Lake Keowee

Bass: Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that as water temperatures drop fish will go deep – with many very deep – on Lake Keowee. Fishing with drop shots and jigging spoons will probably be the best way to catch them.

Most detailed Lake Keowee Updates

Lake Hartwell

Bass: Guide Brad Fowler reports that in December fish will leave the shallow creeks and head out to the main lake or deep creek channels. Some days they will be suspended, and other days they will relate to the bottom. Fish head spins, drop shot rigs, spoons, blade runners, and even dragging a jig or shakey head will work.

Striper and hybrids: Guide Chip Hamilton (864-304-9011) reports that in December fish will continue to bite down-lines in the creeks until if and when water temperatures get very cold. If that happens look for the bite to slow down, and anglers will need to switch over to trolling umbrella rigs or pulling free-lines with big baits.

Crappie: Captain Bill Plumley reports that in December fish will be caught on minnows or jigs around deep docks or brush in 15-30 feet of water.

Catfish: Captain Bill Plumley reports that in December blue catfish should finally come out of the deep timber, and they should begin to be catchable in the creek channels. A variety of cut baits will work.

Most detailed Lake Hartwell updates


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