Freshwater Fishing Trends - June 13
- Trout: Good. Captain Steve Pietrykowski reports that Lake Jocassee trout fishing remains strong although surface activity has declined recently, even though a few trout can still be seen splashing on the surface. First thing the intakes are the place to fish. Fish are very spread out and trolling 15-65 feet deep over moderate to deep water across the whole lake is productive. Spoons including Apex spoons but especially Sutton 31s have been most effective, with pulling large live shiners only a little less successful. There is also a decent bite at night for anglers pulling up near the intakes, putting out lights and suspending cut herring, nightcrawlers and medium shiners.
- Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Fair to good. Guide Brad Fowler reports that on the recent full moon the last straggler fish appear to have spawned on Lake Keowee, and the spawn should be pretty much over now. As on Hartwell there is starting to be some topwater activity, however fish are not very well grouped up since the spawn dragged out over several months and temperatures have stayed relatively cool – meaning fish are not all at the same stage. In addition to looking for topwater action anglers can catch fish targeting points and humps in 15-30 feet of water with drop shots and shakey head worms, and anglers wanting to cover more water are having some success dragging Carolina rigs. Soft plastics fished around docks will also catch fish.
- Black Bass: Fair to good. Guide Brad Fowler reports that high water levels and the drawn-out spawn have combined to keep fish spread out, and consequently fishing is not as good as it sometimes is this time of year. However, a good topwater bite is developing where fish can be caught suspended off main lake points over relatively deep water. Flukes, Spooks, and swimbaits fished near the surface have been the most effective lures to bring fish up, and periodic topwater schooling activity should be found during the day. The bite for suspended fish may not be as strong as usual this summer, however, because of all of the vegetation that grew up when the lake was down. You can still catch fish beating this bank grass, and just like a few years ago after the last drought this cover should be a magnet for fish for some time. On windy days fish will come out of the grass to take spinnerbaits, but when there is no wind soft plastics including flukes, Senkos and unweighted Trick Worms are working. The herring spawn is finished.
- Crappie: Slow to fair. Captain Bill Plumley reports that crappie can be caught around brush in about 20 feet of water on minnows and jigs. It’s also a good time to target bridges.
Lake Russell: (unchanged from June 6)
- Catfish: Very good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that the catfish bite has gotten even better on Lake Russell. Channel catfish are feeding very well in 4-8 feet of water off points and especially around riprap, and some blues and flatheads are mixed in. Cut herring is tough to beat. In addition to cut bait on the bottom try fishing some cut herring under floats, especially around rock.
- Striped bass: Fair. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that striper are still spread out across the lake, with fish scattered in the creeks, the main lake, and from the top to the bottom of the reservoir. The one constant is that fish are fairly shallow for now, with the heaviest concentration of fish in 15-30 feet of water. The best approach is to cover a lot of water and pull a combination of planer boards and free lines across points in the key depth range.
- Crappie: Fair. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that crappie are moving into an early summer pattern where the best fishing is taking place at night around bridges or in timber under lights. Fish minnows vertically in 30-40 feet of water. The best daytime crappie fishing is about 15 feet down around bridge pilings with minnows.
- Bream: Good. Captain William Sasser reports that shellcracker fishing remains wide open on Clarks Hill. Fish are spawning in blow throughs and a Louisiana pink worm fished on a size 6 hook is hard to beat.
- Black bass: Fair. Buckeye Lures in Augusta reports that bass fishing has slowed down on the lake, but with water levels high and lots of shallow cover fish remain shallow – especially up in the bank grass and brush that grew up when the lake levels were down. Fish are also being caught off points, ranging from very shallow to about 14 feet deep. Carolina rigs and flukes are working as well as anything. A little topwater activity has been reported early but there is very little schooling activity right now.
- Crappie: Fair. Captain William Sasser reports that crappie remain around brush piles along the river channel, and the best fishing is over brush in about 20 feet of water. Anchoring and fishing with minnows has been the best pattern, particularly with groups of people in a boat, but jigs will also catch fish. Good numbers of crappie in the 3/4 to 2 pound range have been caught.
Lake Wylie: (unchanged from June 6)
- Largemouth Bass: Beginning to slow. The spawn is tapering off so check offshore. Hopkins spoons and football jigs are producing.
Lake Greenwood: (unchanged from June 6)
- Largemouth bass: Good. Before 9 a.m. is when topwater around seawalls with floating worms is your best bet. Later in the day check out the brush piles off points with worms in 12-18 feet.
- Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that he is catching fish in the range of 5-40 feet right now, but in the next couple of weeks deep humps with current flowing over them should be ideal spots to locate big, aggressive fish. Big cut gizzard shad and white perch are working for big fish, and if you want to put any size fish in the boat small cut herring is tough to beat.
- Largemouth Bass: Good. Guide Dearal Rodgers reports that fish on Wateree can be found both shallow and deep right now. Topwater lures are working well early in the morning, then later in the day fishing ledges and humps in 10-15 feet of water with shakey head worms, jigs and DD-22 crankbaits should catch fish. A few fish can also be caught on docks in or proximate to deep water. Dearal says that the bluegill are also bedding so it’s a good time to take kids out for some fun!
- Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that the channel cat bite has been good and most importantly consistent lately. Anchoring on main lake humps and points and fishing in 10 to 20 feet has been the most productive pattern for Captain Chris, with herring, shrimp and stinkbait working well. If you don’t get bit in 30 minutes then move to the next spot. Lake World advises pulling up on islands and casting out a mix of nightcrawler and cut herring to catch catfish.
- Largemouth bass: Slow. Veteran Lake Murray tournament bass angler Captain Doug Lown reports that bass fishing has been pretty tough recently, and he only expects 15-17 pounds to be necessary to win big team tournaments right now. Fish are in a transition period between deep water and shallow water as they head to the channel edges where they will spend the summer, and the best pattern is probably to concentrate on rocky points in 10-14 feet of water with Carolina rigs and shakey head worms. Pounding the bank is not very effective, and fish are more keyed on bait schools right now. The first hour of the day throwing a buzzbait, frog or other topwaters is worth trying.
- Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Jim Glenn reports that catfishing has improved recently and in the last week there have been some good catches in the diversion canal. It appears that the fairly continuous flow of current in the canal has drawn in the fish and fishermen have had success drifting with the current. Shallow water fishing at anchor in both lakes has been fair to good, and drifting in Lake Moultrie from 10 to 25 feet has produced some nice blue cats. Channel catfish are being caught with prepared, commercial baits as well as on cut bait. The improvement comes with the apparent more normative seasonal weather pattern and improved water conditions, but it does not indicate an overall improvement in the blue catfish fishery.
- Striped bass: Captain Jim Glenn reports that striped bass fishing season is now closed but it appears that numbers are excellent, even though a large percentage were sub-legal fish.
South Carolina freshwater recreational fishing regulations.