Freshwater Fishing Trends

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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 even though the herring spawn was extended this year bass will move deeper in June. Once the shallow herring spawn is totally finished 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, after a mild month for much of May, a hot end to the month should allow fish to settle into more typical June patterns. They should be 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 will move into deeper brush this month where they can be caught on jigs and minnows. Night-fishing around bridges will also be productive.

Catfish: Guide Jerry Kotal reports that fish will move deeper this month into 15-25 feet where they can be caught on cut herring. May was an excellent month for catfish and expect more of the same at least to start June.

Most detailed Lake Russell Updates

Lake Thurmond

Bass: Tournament anglers Tyler Matthews of Evans, Ga., and Josh Rockefeller of Augusta report that a mild May prolonged the herring spawn, but the hot blast at the end of the month began to push fish into summer patterns. This month fish may be caught early off points with flukes, and after that 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 some recent summers fish have stayed shallow in June, but early signs are that this June will be a more typical month where fish will be caught on down-lines in 35-40 feet of water.

Crappie: William Sasser Guide Service reports that this month 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 June will 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.

Most detailed Lake Thurmond Updates

Lake Wylie

Bass: Tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that typically in June 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 in June the blue catfish should be pretty intent on spawning, which often corresponds to a decline in the bite. This process started at the end of May. Drifting with cut bait for scattered fish will probably be the most productive pattern, and later in the month some good ones may be caught anchored at night.

Most detailed Lake Wylie Updates

Midlands Area

Lake Greenwood

Bass: Veteran tournament angler Stan Gunter of Greenwood reports that by late May the fishing had already gotten tough, but in June there should be a topwater bite first thing in shallow water. During the heat of the day fish should be caught deeper on crankbaits and worms around brush.

Striped bass: Guide Daniel Skipper (864-430-0488) reports that throughout June he will mainly be fishing down-lines. To start the month he expects to fish in about 30 feet, but anglers should keep an eye on the thermocline.

Crappie: Guide Daniel Skipper reports that by the end of May fish were stacked up on deeper brush, and they should stay there straight through June. Minnows will work but some days jigs are even better when you need a reaction bite.

Catfish: Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the best fishing in June can be found anchoring with dip baits or drifting with cut bait or shrimp.

Most detailed Lake Greenwood Updates

Lake Monticello

Bass: Tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that to start the month it will be a transition period, but later in June most of the fish will be in deeper water where they can be caught on crankbaits and spoons. All month there should be a topwater bite in the shallows early.

Catfish: Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that numbers of fish will be caught free line drifting over deep water, while bigger fish can be caught anchoring cut bait on humps.

Most detailed Lake Monticello Updates

Lake Murray

Bass: Tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that in June a good pattern is to fish topwater baits early and late and then to target deeper brush with soft plastics in between. Anglers should keep their eyes open for isolated bass busting on the surface, and there could also be a pattern of targeting fish around bream beds near key moon phases.

Striped bass: Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that in May fish started to move deeper, and this month fish will likely stay deep where they can be caught on down-lined live herring as far down as 50-60 feet. It is unlikely that striper will complete the final push into the lower end of the lake until next month.

Crappie: Captain Brad Taylor reports that in June the dock bite is likely to slow down. Fish will stay on deep brush in the main lake where they can be caught on both minnows and jigs.

Catfish: Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that during the day you need to fish off points and humps, but at night catfish will move closer to the bank. The summer is a good time for dip baits.

Most detailed Lake Murray Updates

Lake Wateree

Bass: Tournament angler Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that generally in June he expects the fish to be mixed between shallow and deep. Frogs, shakey heads and Carolina rigs will all catch bass. Especially during hot periods the best action will be found early and late.

Crappie: Veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish will be found on brush this month, and they can be caught on both minnows and jigs. As it gets hotter they will move deeper towards the river channel.

Catfish: Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that in June the blue catfish will still be in spawning mode, which usually corresponds to a decline in the bite. Drifting with cut bait for scattered fish is likely to be the most productive pattern. When there is current you can also try the river area for a bigger bite.

Most detailed Lake Wateree Updates

Santee Cooper

Bass: Captain Brett Mitchell (803-379-7029) reports that this month fish will start off shallow and deep, but as it gets warmer more fish will move towards drops near wood or trees. Fishing will get tougher as June progresses but topwaters and then Carolina rigs and crankbaits should work.

Crappie: Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that fishing was sporadic at the end of May but they caught some big ones, and this month fish should continue to be caught on mid-depth brush with minnows.

Bream: Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports bedding activity was slow on the May full moon, and so it seems likely that around the new and full moons in June waves of bluegill should come shallow to spawn. They can be caught on crickets and worms. Some shellcracker will also come shallow to spawn although others will be starting to stack up on brush.

Catfish: Captain Stevie English (843-709-8138) report that in June fishing in the shallows with cut bait at night should be the primary pattern, although there should also be plenty of fish caught drifting during the day.

Most detailed Santee Cooper System Updates

Mountains Area

Lake Jocassee

Bass: Tournament angler Joe Anders of Seneca reports that during June there are times when spotted bass, smallmouth and largemouth will all be in the same areas, but they do show a preference for different habitats. Largemouth are more likely to be found around relatively shallow banks with some sort of brush or trees, while spotted bass and smallmouth are more likely to be hanging around deeper rocks and red clay bottoms. Topwater lures and wacky worms will work for shallower fish, while jigs and finesse worm presentations will work for deeper fish.

Trout: Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that in June fish will move deeper as the water warms, and they usually transition as far down as 80-100 feet by the end of the month. Spoons should work for most of the month but if the bite gets tougher you can switch over to minnows.

Most detailed Lake Jocassee Updates

Lake Keowee

Bass: Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that during June fish will be 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. Also keep your eyes open for sporadic schooling activity.

Most detailed Lake Keowee Updates

Lake Hartwell

Striper and hybrids: Guide Chip Hamilton (864-304-9011) reports that for most of June fish should be caught on free-lines early and down-lines after the sun comes up, and if it gets really hot later in the month fish will move as deep as 45-50 feet.

Bass: Guide Brad Fowler reports that after an atypically tough May this could be an unusual June, but usually the majority of the fish head offshore this month where they can be caught on drop shots and shakey heads around deep brush piles. Also keep your eyes open for topwater schooling activity out there. There is a possibility that very high-water levels could keep more fish shallow this month, so don’t rule out fishing around the banks.

Crappie: Captain Bill Plumley reports that crappie fishing slows down in the heat on Lake Hartwell, but fish can still be found around brush 18-25 feet deep close to the bottom. Fishing at night with lights around bridges can also be productive.

Catfish: Captain Bill Plumley reports that during June channel catfish will bite well in less than 20 feet of water on a variety of baits including cut herring and nightcrawlers. The flathead catfish bite should also stay good and fish should be caught on both live and fresh cut bait.

Most detailed Lake Hartwell updates


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