Freshwater Fishing Trends
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The Columbia full-service Licensing and Boat Titling office is now located at:
SCDNR at the State
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.
Bass: Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that in November bass should get out deep around bait schools on both the main lake and in the creeks. They will be caught on jigging spoons once temperatures cool.
Striped bass: Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) reports that in November fish will start out the month still a little scattered, but they will move into the middle section of the lake. This was already starting in October. They will group up tighter as the month progresses, and fishing baits higher in the water column will become more effective.
Crappie: Guide Wendell Wilson reports that November should continue to be an excellent month for Lake Russell crappie. Fish will be caught in both the main lake and the creeks around mid-depth brush with minnows.
Yellow Perch: Guide Wendell Wilson reports that as it gets colder yellow perch will bite minnows well. The fish will be on the bottom in deep water.
Catfish: Guide Jerry Kotal reports that catfish can be found in the creeks fishing with cut herring on the bottom.
Bass: Tournament anglers Josh Rockefeller and Tyler Matthews reports that in November fish should continue to make their move back into the creeks. Square-billed crankbaits should work well around natural rock, and it can also be a good time for flipping jigs around creek docks.
Striper and hybrids: William Sasser Guide Service (706-589-5468) reports that this month fish will head into the backs of creeks and the bite should really turn on. Down-line fishing should still be effective, but 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 November fish should gang 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 November is one of the best months of the year to catch a big catfish on Thurmond, and he has every expectation that very large blues and flatheads will continue to be caught this month. October has been awesome. Anchoring on deep structure is about the most consistent way to catch large big fish 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.
Bass: Tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that in November more fish should move into the creeks as temperatures finally cool. The bite should transition from a topwater bite to crankbaits and spinnerbaits.
Catfish: Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that as it gets colder in November fish should start to group up in deep water where they can be caught drifting or anchoring with cut gizzard shad or white perch.
Bass: Veteran tournament angler Stan Gunter of Greenwood reports that in November bass fishing should continue to improve on Lake Greenwood, and with a delayed fall this should be the month that fish finally start to really get in the creeks following bait schools. Rattle Traps and spinnerbaits should both catch fish, and there could be some schooling activity.
Catfish: Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that drifting the flats with shrimp or cut bait will still work this month. Flathead catfish will also be caught at night on live bream or perch until it gets cold.
Bass: B.A.S.S. angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that in early November fishing an Alabama rig in about 15 feet of water can still be very effective. However, later in the month he will almost exclusively be fishing a spoon around deep bait schools.
Catfish: Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that November is one of the best months of the year to catch 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.
Bass: Veteran tournament angler Captain Doug Lown reports that in November fish will move shallow and relate to the sides of rocky points and areas with hard bottom. A shakey head worm can be very good this month, but if bait is around a #5 Shad Rap fished in small ditches and pockets can work well.
Striped bass: Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that in November more and more fish should move up the river where they can be caught on free-lines, planer boards, and by throwing double rigs at schooling fish. Look for the birds and like clockwork expect good numbers of fish to be above Black’s Bridge by about Thanksgiving.
Crappie: Captain Brad Taylor reports that typically in November fish will be relating to the channels, but they will also be using brush as stopping points as they follow the schools of bait. The best bite is likely to be up the rivers on jigs and minnows.
Catfish: Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that November is usually one of the peak months for catching catfish on Lake Murray. Anchoring with cut bait in the river channels is the best pattern.
Bass: FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that points will be good places to fish this month, but the bite is almost all about where the bait schools are located. Fish will be in the creeks if the bait is there, and if the bait is on the main lake that is the place to look. Shad-colored crankbaits, lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits will all catch fish.
Crappie: Veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that in November fish should get almost completely off of brush and become oriented to the schools of bait. Fish will gradually move up the lake and they should be caught on minnows and jigs.
Catfish: Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that with a mild October things are running a little behind, but this month fish should start to group up better around the deeper bait schools. Drifting is the best way to catch them.
Santee Cooper System
Bass: Captain Brett Mitchell (803-379-7029) reports that when it finally gets cooler in November fish will start to follow shad into the backs. In addition to soft plastics, swimbaits and crankbaits will produce in shallow water. The topwater bite will also persist until temperatures really drop.
Crappie and Bream: Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that this November the bite should continue to improve around mid-depth brush. Both lakes will produce good numbers of crappie vertical fishing with minnows, and as temperatures finally drop bream will get tighter on the brush where they will eat crickets.
Catfish: Captain Stevie English (843-709-8138) reports that in November fish will generally move deeper as water temperatures cool. Drifting in deep water with cut shad should be the best pattern.
Trout: Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that November is usually a tough month for trout fishing on Lake Jocassee, as it is not until the lake really cools down that the fishing gets good again. A warm October has done nothing to hasten the onset of better fishing. Nonetheless, some good trout will still be caught this month, and in general they will be oriented to treetops in deeper water. Trolling live bait is generally the preferred technique.
Bass: Guide Rob McComas (828-674-5041) reports that in November fish should move fully into the creeks and they should become more bait-oriented. In the earlier part of the month topwater lures will work well, but as temperatures cool down underspins and even jigging spoons should come on. As always there should be spotted bass that can be caught deep on main lake points with soft plastics.
Bass: Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that anglers should continue to look out for schooling activity in November, but fishing should be good with spinnerbaits and crankbaits off points. Soft plastics in the 15- to 20-foot range will also produce as will drop shots in the 30-40-foot range.
Bass: Guide Brad Fowler reports that in November fish should be eating bait in the creeks, but while they are unlikely to be feeding on the surface as much as last month they will often still take a bait fished high in the water column. Drop shots and shakey heads fished around brush will also work for spotted bass.
Striper and hybrids: Guide Chip Hamilton (864-304-9011) reports that in November fish should get further into the creek runs, but overall the bite should be pretty stable from late October. Schooling action may slow down and more fish should be caught on down-lines.
Crappie: Captain Bill Plumley reports that in November fish will move shallower, and the best place to look for them will be around deeper docks. Fishing a minnow or jig vertically is the best pattern.
Catfish: Captain Bill Plumley reports that in November bigger blue catfish will come shallower and move out of the timber. They can be caught with cut bait in the creek runs. This is also a good month for flatheads on live bait unless temperatures really drop.
South Carolina freshwater recreational fishing regulations.