Freshwater Fishing Trends
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.
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SCDNR at the State
326 Little Brooke Lane
West Columbia, SC 29172
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These services are no longer offered at 1000 Assembly Street in Downtown Columbia.
Bass: Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that bass should move deeper in July, and if temperatures do what they are expected to do the fishing should improve as schools tighten up. Fishing with deep-running crankbaits or plastics worms around deep structure up to 40 or more feet down will be the best pattern.
Striped bass: Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) reports that in July stripers should be catchable on both ends of the lake, with free-lining working in the upper lake and down-lines working in the lower lake
Crappie: Guide Wendell Wilson reports that fish should move into deeper brush in July, and the fish may start to shift out of the creeks and into the main lake. They will be caught on jigs and minnows.
Catfish: Guide Jerry Kotal reports that fish should go deeper in July assuming water temperatures continue to warm. Fish should be caught in 15-25 feet of water on cut herring.
Bass: Tournament anglers Tyler Matthews of Evans, Ga., and Josh Rockefeller of Augusta report that in July they expect a buzzbait to be the best way to catch quality fish, while numbers of fish can be caught deeper over humps and around brush on worms or jigs.
Striper and hybrids: William Sasser Guide Service (706-589-5468) reports that in July fish should move out even deeper into 40-60-plus feet of water and be caught on down-lined herring.
Crappie: William Sasser Guide Service reports that the population of crappie seems to be outstanding on Lake Thurmond right now. In July fish should be found around brush that sits in 20-25 feet of water. Anchoring and then fishing vertically with minnows is usually the best pattern.
Catfish: Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the best fishing in July will again be in the early morning or late evening. Anchoring on humps and points and fishing with cut bait at a variety of depths is the best bet.
Bass: Tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that during July one group of fish will be shallow feeding around bedding bream, and another group of fish will be offshore in well-known community holes. Shallow fish can be caught on topwaters and deeper fish can be caught on crankbaits and worms.
Catfish: Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that during the day 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.
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.
Catfish: Captain Chris Simpson reports that channel catfish can be caught drifting cut bait or anchoring with dip baits. Flathead catfish can be caught on live bait at night.
Bass: FLW angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that in July most of the fish are in deeper water, and soft plastics will be the best way to catch them. There can still be a topwater bite in the shallows early or at night.
Catfish: Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that in July 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.
Bass: Veteran tournament angler Captain Doug Lown reports that in July the best times to fish are early and late, when fish are most likely to feed. You can fish topwater baits shallow either time. During the day fish will remain oriented to the grass during July, and fishing worms in deeper water around the various types of weed is the best bet. 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 this month the free-line bite should die off and fish will go deeper. They will be caught on down-lined live herring as deep as 60-plus feet, and by about the third week of July the vast majority of the fish will have left the middle section of the lake and almost everything will be in the lower pool.
Crappie: Captain Brad Taylor reports that fish will continue to hold around brush in July, but instead of being found at the mouths of creek they should group up on the main run. The mid-lake should be a good 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 be much better during July. Dip baits and a variety of cut bait will catch fish in shallow water.
Bass: FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that in July fish should be mixed between shallow and deep, and better numbers of fish should go deep as it heats up. Frogs, shakey heads and Carolina rigs will all catch fish.
Crappie: Veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that in July fish will be on brush, and his preferred method will be one-pole jigging with Fish Stalker Lures. Fish will also be found around bridges and deeper docks.
Catfish: Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that in July drifting in the mid-lake area with cut bait is the best way to catch numbers of catfish.
Santee Cooper System
Bass: Captain Brett Mitchell (803-379-7029) reports that the July heat doesn’t help the bite, but there are still some decent patterns this month. The best bet is fishing with topwater lures early, and then fishing with soft plastics around trees later in the day. If it gets very hot or water levels drop, bass could move out deeper.
Crappie: Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that this month fish should continue to be caught on mid-depth brush with minnows, but as it gets very hot they could move a little deeper.
Bream: Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that around the new and full moons waves of bluegill and shellcracker should come shallow to spawn where they can be caught on crickets and worms
Catfish: Captain Stevie English (843-709-8138) reports that in July fishing in the shallows with cut bait at night should be the primary pattern, and fish will also be caught drifting.
Bass: Tournament angler Joe Anders of Seneca reports that during July all three species of bass are likely to feed better early, late and at night in low light conditions, and topwater lures such as Spooks or buzz frogs will work well. During the day smallmouth may be found deeper than spotted bass and largemouth, and fishing deeper structure with football jigs or soft plastics is fairly dependable.
Trout: Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that in July fish should continue to move deeper as the water warms, and they should be found as deep as 80-100 feet this month. Spoons should work for most of the month but if the bite gets tougher you can switch over to minnows.
Bass: Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that during July 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.
Striper and hybrids: Guide Chip Hamilton (864-304-9011) reports that early in July fish should continue to be caught on down-lines in 30-35 feet of water, but as it gets warmer they will move into the same areas in 50-75 feet.
Bass: Guide Brad Fowler reports that typically in July fish will be caught on drop shots and shakey heads around deep brush piles, but mild early summer temperatures and high-water levels could keep fish shallower than usual this summer. If fish are shallow then topwater lures or soft plastics should work.
Crappie: Captain Bill Plumley reports that in July 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 July channel catfish will bite well in less than 20 feet of water on a variety of baits including cut herring and nightcrawlers.
South Carolina freshwater recreational fishing regulations.