Freshwater Fishing Trends - Oct. 30
Fishing trends courtesy www.SCFishingReport.com. Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports.
- Trout: Slow to fair. Trout fishing is in the traditional October/ November slow period, but in a month or two fishing should improve. Later in the fall there will be some action throwing Rooster Tails and small spinners around the shoreline, but for now slow trolling with minnows and spoons is the best technique.
- Black Bass: Slow to fair. Smaller fish can be caught on soft plastics fished around the laydowns.
- Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Fair. Spotted bass can be caught on the main lake in 10-25 feet of water around points and humps. Drop shot rigs are working the best. Fish have not started to move up the creeks in big numbers yet, but they should as temperatures cool.
- Catfish: Good. Blue catfish are starting to move up into 30-40 feet of water where they are catchable on cut gizzard shad and herring, and as temperature drop the blue bite will get better and better. For now the channel catfish are still the best thing going, though, and they can be caught off points in 16-25 feet of water.
- Striped and Hybrid Bass: Fair. As the lake begins to turn over and multiple fronts have come through fishing has gotten tougher, but intermittent schooling activity can be found everywhere from the mid-lake area down to the dam. Most of the schooling takes place in the morning, but there is also some late afternoon activity. Throw topwater plugs at these fish.
- Crappie: Slow to fair. Crappie can be caught around brush in 16-20 feet of water on minnows, but the hardest part is finding brush at the right depth with water levels down 12 or so feet. Most anglers’ favorite brush piles are only in 3-4 feet of water.
- Black Bass: Very good. Spotted bass are bunched up in 18-25 feet of water around crappie brush piles, and they are feeding so aggressively that they are running off most of the other fish. Look for schools of bait on your depth finder before choosing an area to fish, and then lower a drop shot rig baited with either a medium minnow or a four inch finesse worm to the bottom.
- Catfish: Fair. Some good channels are suspended around shad schools in 18-25 feet of water and he has occasionally picked them up bass and crappie fishing. To target catfish specifically try anchoring cut blueback herring on the bottom in 15-20 feet of water.
- Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good. On the Georgia Little River, fish can be found from above the Little River Bridge to Raysville, and on the Savannah River fish can be found from Parksville to the 378 bridge. Most fish are being caught on down lines, with hybrids found roughly 20 feet deep and striper about 50 feet down – both in 70-80 feet of water.
- Crappie: Fair to good. Crappie have moved shallower onto flats and into the backs of creeks, and the best pattern is fishing minnows around brushpiles in these areas. Fish are about 15 feet down over brush in 20-25 feet of water.
- Black bass: Slow to fair. Bass on Clarks Hill are still very much oriented to the hydrilla, and first thing in the morning throwing a buzzbait up shallow around grass is the best bet.
- Catfish: Good to very. The bite in the middle section of the creeks seems to be better than out on the main channel, and the morning and late afternoon seem to be the most productive times to fish. Four out of five fish caught in this section of the creek right now seem to be channel catfish, but blues in the 3-5 pound range – as well as some much bigger fish – are mixed in. Fresh cut shad, bluegill and white perch are all working well.
- Largemouth Bass: Fair. Fish can be caught out on the main lake all year round, but right now good numbers of shad have moved to the backs of the creeks and bass have followed them. There is a pretty good topwater bite , and Zara Spooks have been working well.
- Bream: Good. Fish bream are up against the bank, with bigger fish generally found a bit deeper. Bream fishing should remain good until water temperatures drop significantly.
- Catfish: Good. Plenty of good eating sized channel catfish are still being caught anchoring on humps and points and fan casting out baits. During the day the most productive depths have been 5-20 feet, and at night fish have been as shallow as 2 feet down to about 10 feet. Both shrimp and dip baits have been catching fish.
- Largemouth Bass: Fair. Bass are still in a transition period, with some fish caught shallow and others deep. Some bass have been caught on Alabama rigs fished around creek channels, at the mouths of pockets, and inside pockets and coves. Other fish have been caught on plastic worms fishing on the bottom in relatively deep water from 12-15 feet down.
- Catfish: Slow to fair. The bite on Lake Monticello has been inconsistent as of late. The fall drift bite on Monticello is traditionally excellent.
- Largemouth Bass: Very good. Bass fishing continues to improve with bigger and more bass biting well. Fall bass will follow the baitfish to the back of creeks and pockets, feeding up before winter. They will use multiple pieces of structure and move a lot, so be versatile by fishing a variety of cover and using multiple types of lures.
- Crappie: Fair. Crappie are in a transition period. Fish are starting to move off of brush piles now, and while some fish can be found around brush they have gotten scarcer. Anglers might have to fish 20-30 brush piles to pick up a limit.
- Striped Bass: Good. Striper are on the move with good numbers of fish found from Spence Island all the way up to Macedonia Church. One productive pattern has been fishing in the mid-lake creeks with planer boards in 2-40 feet of water.
- Shellcracker and bream: Good. Fishing is picking up again in 2-10 feet of water using worms. Bream are still biting well in 4-10 feet of water around shallow cover on crickets.
- Catfish: Fair. Anchoring on points, humps and other depth changes with deep and shallow water around them and fan casting baits at a variety of depths is still the best pattern. The general depth zone has ranged from 5-30 feet, and there is great variation from day to day and even during times of day. Cut herring, shrimp and dip baits will all catch fish, and generally being in the right area and at the right depth is more important than the bait choice.
- Largemouth Bass: Fair. The best pattern for catching tournament-grade largemouth has been to look for bass mixed in with striper that are schooling on top. Pencil poppers are one of the best baits for catching these fish.
- Crappie: Slow to fair. Crappie are in a transition period and they haven’t fully jumped into a fall pattern yet. Some of the best places to fish are around brush on the side of creek channels or adjacent docks, and covering a lot of water is essential. Fish should generally be aggressive so jigs are a good bet.
- Crappie: Good to very good. Crappie fishing has been strong and fish are really ganged up on brushpiles. Numbers of fish are down from last year, but on both lakes the sizes have been outstanding. Fish remain suspended about 8-18 feet down around the tops of brush piles in approximately 15-28 feet of water. Minnows have been working too well to try anything else.
- Bream: Good. Some small bream remain in the shallows, but most of the better fish are stacked up on mid-depth brush piles in 16-22 feet of water. Fish about 8-14 feet deep with crickets.
- Catfish: Slow to fair. There is no real productive Santee Cooper catfish pattern to fish most of the time, and cooling water temperatures will have fish scattered until later in the winter. Quality catchable fish are not being caught with any regularity right now, but just recently Lake Marion seems to be producing slightly better numbers of quality fish.
South Carolina freshwater recreational fishing regulations.