Freshwater Fishing Trends - Sept. 24
Fishing trends courtesy www.SCFishingReport.com. Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports.
Lake Jocassee: (unchanged from Sept. 17)
- Trout: Fair. Trout fishing is still decent on Lake Jocassee with fish concentrated in deep water in the main lake. The best depth range is now 60-80 feet of water, and both spoons and live bait will still catch fish. However, live bait has been more productive. In order to beat the daytime heat it is still worth a try to night fishing around the intakes. Suspending medium shiners and nightcrawlers 30-40 feet down is catching some fish.
- Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Slow to fair. Fish seem to want artificials more than live bait with the lower end of the lake better than the upper. Go with topwater first part of the day. Schools in a bit deeper water, getting bigger. Try drop shotting and shakey head. There are some signs the bait has moved into the creeks.
- Bass: Fair. Guide Brad Fowler reports that this is a transition period on Lake Hartwell and bass are fairly scattered. Good numbers of smaller fish can be caught at mid-depths on shakey heads, drop shots, and flukes, but catching bigger fish is a little tough. The topwater bite is still somewhat hit-or-miss, although in the last couple of weeks it has picked up somewhat. In recent tournaments it seems as if the best catches may be coming up shallow, and on certain days crankbaits off wind-blown points have produced. Before long bait should start migrating up the creeks.
- Catfish: Good. Captain Bill Plumley reports that channel catfish are scattered across the lake in 15-35 feet of water, and they will take dip baits, cut bait and night crawlers. Fish are feeding well right now. A few small blues have been caught, but most of the better fish are still out in the trees and relatively uncatchable. Flathead fishing has been pretty good, and at night anglers have been catching flatheads on live bream or perch.
- Bass: Fair to good. Two patterns are emerging. Start with a drop shot rig in about 20 feet, especially around bumps and all over the lake. Also try topwater with tiny torpedoes or Pop-R with a crappie jig trailer. There are also reports of some bass chasing shad in random, larger coves.
- Striper: Fair to good. Some fish can be had in the upper end of the Hartwell Tailrace. Check around 20-30 feet with free lines, herring and gizzard shad.
- Crappie: Fair to good. Captain William Sasser reports that with the water cooling a bit the crappie bite is improving. Not a lot of fish are being caught yet, but some really good sized crappie are biting. The best bet is fishing in the backs of tributaries abound 15 feet down with minnows over tree tops/ brush in about 25 feet of water.
- Bass: Slow to fair. FLW Professional and Guide Matt Arey reports that the bite is still pretty tough, but he predicts seasonal improvement as the water temperatures continue to cool in the coming weeks. While early to mid-September is often a continuation of a later summer pattern, we are approaching a real transition period. While some fish will stay out on the main lake, shad will begin migrating to the backs of creek and the bass will follow them. Shallow fishing should remain strong until the weather cools significantly, and square-billed crankbaits, jigs, and topwater lures will all catch fish. Anglers should also be alert for schooling activity all over the lake.
Lake Greenwood: (unchanged from Sept. 17)
- Largemouth bass: Hit and miss. Fishing around the lake can be tough one moment and productive the next. Check early in the day around docks and sea walls. As temperatures begin to drop over the next few weeks the fish should start moving into creeks. It's worth a look halfway up creeks right now. Use a floating worm and buzzbaits.
Lake Monticello: (unchanged from Sept. 17)
- Catfish: Good. Right now, catch fish in the range of 5-40 feet right now, but in the next couple of weeks deep humps with current flowing over them should be ideal spots to locate big, aggressive fish. There have been fish deep for some time, but they have not been feeding as well as the shallower fish. For now the backs of coves and humps and points have been most productive, and drifting or anchoring have both been working. Big cut gizzard shad and white perch are working for big fish, and if you want to put any size fish in the boat small cut herring is tough to beat.
- Bass: Fair. Tournament angler Dearal Rodgers reports that with Lake Wateree water temperatures still not too far removed from their summer highs bass fishing can still be a little tough, but there are clear signs that a seasonal migration is just getting underway. A lot of shad have moved into the creeks and fish are starting to chase them, and lots of suspended fish can be found roaming around. While bass are still fairly close to the main lake they are starting to head towards the creeks. The best pattern has been fishing for them shallow around most any type of cover, including docks, rocks and grass. Topwater lures have been working pretty well and fish have also been caught on jigs and worms.
- White perch: Very good. Lake World reports that the white perch bite is still on fire, with anglers catching fish anywhere from 5-40 feet of water. Fish are schooled up near the bottom, and for the shallower areas worms are working better while in deeper water jigging spoons have been the best bet.
- Bream: Good. Lake World reports that smaller bluegills are hanging around shallow cover, although better bluegill have been hard to locate. However, the shellcracker bite is strong fishing worms on the bottom in 4-8 feet of water.
- Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that the most productive method for catching channel catfish remains anchoring on humps and points and fan-casting dip baits, shrimp and cut herring. Target ledges that allow baits to be scattered between depths of 5-30 feet. As water temperatures drop over the next few weeks the drift bite will improve, but for now it is still inconsistent.
- Crappie: Good to very good. Captain Steve English reports that crappie fishing remains very strong with parties loading the boat most days. Crappie can be found around brush in 12-22 feet of water, with 16-18 feet the best range. The upper lake has been better but the lower lake is now coming on strong.
- Bream: Good. Captain Steve English reports that big bluegill are finally leaving shallow water and starting to show up on brushpiles in 12-14 feet of water where they will eat crickets and other baits. Recently fishing in the lower lake has been better.
South Carolina freshwater recreational fishing regulations.