Freshwater Fishing Trends - September 23, 2016

Information on fishing trends provided courtesy of, 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.

Piedmont Area

Lake Russell (Updated September 22)

Bass: Fair to good. Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that he is catching good numbers of small to medium-sized spotted bass fishing a drop shot around deeper timber. To target largemouth anglers should head to the backs of the creeks. Schooling activity is also starting to get underway.
Striped Bass: Fair to good. Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) reports striper fishing has slowed down a bit but they are still catching some nice fish down-lining with live herring in 25-35 feet of water.
Crappie: Fair to good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that some very nice crappie are being slow-trolling minnows around timber.
Catfish: Fair to good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that channel catfish can be caught off deeper points on cut herring.

Lake Thurmond (Updated September 20)

Striper and Hybrids: Very good. Captain William Sasser (864-333-2000) reports that his boat continues to catch nice fish in about 50 feet of water with down-lined live herring. Schooling activity is still only sporadic.
Crappie: Fair to good. Captain William Sasser reports that some nice crappie are being caught in about 25 feet of water around brush.
Bass: Fair to good. Cody Byers reports that schooling activity is starting to get underway, and while sporadic fish can be seen on top all day long. Flukes are a good lure choice for schooling fish, and buzzbaits and Shad Raps will also catch fish.

Lake Wylie (Updated September 23)

Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that some nice catches of catfish have been taking place. The best pattern has been drifting fairly deep water along the main river channel with cut bait. The anchored bite has been pretty slow, particularly when there is no current.
Bass: Slow to fair. Guide and FLW Angler Bryan New (704-421-5868) reports that fishing is still tough, but for the second week in a row the fishing is improving. Sporadic schooling activity can be found scattered all across the lake, and small topwater lures are a good bet for these fish. Charlie’s Worms Finesse Master worms fished on a drop shot rig or shakey head in the same areas where fish are schooling are also effective.

Midlands Area

Lake Greenwood (Updated September 22)

Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the catfish bite has improved on Lake Greenwood. Channel catfish are being caught drifting with cut herring and shad, and flatheads are being caught anchoring with live bream and perch.
Bass: Slow to fair. Stan Gunter reports that bass fishing remains pretty tough, and fish are still holding out in fairly deep water. Fishing a buzzbait early or flipping docks with jigs or worms is as good a pattern as any. Bass fishing should improve once temperatures cool.

Lake Monticello (Updated September 21)

Catfish: Fair. Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the big fish bite is improving, although it’s still not where it will be soon. Anchoring on humps and fishing cut bait on the bottom is the best technique. Fish can still be caught free-line drifting with small pieces of herring or shrimp.
Bass: Slow. Andy Wicker reports that bass fishing is still very tough on Lake Monticello, and unfortunately fishing shouldn’t improve for few more weeks. Some fish can still be picked up around deeper humps and points on spoons and crankbaits, but there is no known hot pattern right now.

Lake Murray (Updated September 21)

Striped bass: Good. Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that as temperatures have dropped the fishing has really picked up, and striper are being caught 30-40 feet deep on down-lined herring.
Catfish: Fair. Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that fishing is starting to pick up, and drifting cut herring on flats is the best way to catch fish right now.
Crappie: Slow to fair. Captain Brad reports that crappie are being caught on minnows fished over brush up the lake along the main river channel.
Bass: Slow. Andy Wicker reports that catching fish is very tough right now, and limits have been very rare in recent tournaments. Some some bass are being picked up on topwater lures.

Lake Wateree (Updated September 23)

Crappie: Good. Will Hinson advises that fish are still in brush along the main river channel. Minnows will catch fish but Fish Stalker Jigs have been working very well.
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that the best pattern is drifting along the main channel in the mid-lake area with cut white perch or shad. Some fish can also be caught early and late anchoring in the shallows, and the heat of the day is generally a slow – and uncomfortable – time to fish.
Bass: Slow. Dearal Rodgers reports that recent tournament weights have been very low, and there just isn’t very much happening on the bass fishing front. Limits are hard to come by and fishermen are really struggling to get bites. A deep bite continues to be pretty much non-existent, and the fish are being caught around shallow cover on jigs, spinnerbaits or soft plastics.

Santee Cooper System (Updated September 20)

Crappie: Fair to good. Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that crappie fishing is picking up over mid-depth brush. Minnows and jigs are both catching fish.
Bass: Fair. Steve Harmon reports that we are coming into a period when bass fishing can be really good, as fish move out of their deeper haunts and towards the banks. Frogs, spinnerbaits and plastic worms fished around shallow cover should all catch fish.
Bream: Slow to fair. Captain Steve English reports that bluegill are starting to stack up on brush piles where they will take crickets and worms.
Catfish: Slow to fair. The catfish bite has been a little tough recently. Try prospecting both shallow and deep with cut bait or dip baits for channel catfish.

Mountains Area

Lake Jocassee (Updated September 23)

Trout: Slow to fair. Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that trout fishing is still a little slow, although some fish continue to be caught. Fish are about 80-100 feet deep, and both spoons and live bait are catching fish. Some nice spotted bass have been picked up as a by-catch.

Lake Keowee (Updated September 22)

Bass: Fair. Guide Brad Fowler reports that fishing has picked up in the last week or two, and weights in the BFL tournament last weekend were better than expected. A number of patterns are catching fish right now, with anglers fishing everything from deep water with drop shot rigs and shakey heads to buzzbaits in the shallows. Schooling activity is increasing.

Lake Hartwell (Updated September 21)

Bass: Fair. Guide Brad Fowler reports that bass fishing has finally started to pick up, and fish are starting to eat topwater lures like Spooks and flukes. There has also been some schooling activity.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Slow to fair. Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) and Guide Chip Hamilton (864-304-9011) report that striper fishing is still a little off but should pick up soon. Fish can be found along the river channel, and while live herring will catch some fish trolling lead core line, jigging spoons and power reeling techniques have been more effective at times.
Catfish: Slow to fair. Captain Bill Plumley reports that channel catfish are scattered out in fairly deep water and particularly at night they will eat dip baits, cut bait, worms and more.
Crappie: Slow. Captain Bill Plumley reports that crappie fishing is slow but the best bet is fishing around deep brush or at night around lighted bridges.

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