Freshwater Fishing Trends - Oct. 23
Fishing trends courtesy www.SCFishingReport.com. Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports.
Lake Jocassee: (unchanged from Oct. 16)
- Trout: Fair. Captain Steve Pietrykowski reports that trout are still very deep on Jocassee. The best depth range is now 80-100 feet of water, and both spoons and live bait will still catch fish. However, spoons and particularly Apex spoons have been working a bit better than shiners. Whether using live bait or hardware it is important to fish very slowly right now.
Lake Keowee: (unchanged from Oct. 16)
- Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Fair to good. Guide Brad Fowler reports that bass fishing has improved on Lake Keowee and there is a pretty good bite. Typical for this time of year, there is a lot of schooling activity found on the lake and topwater lures are working well. There is also a good drop shot bite in the 25-35 foot range. While decent numbers of baitfish and bass will move up the creeks on Keowee in the fall, there is not necessarily a mass movement like on other lakes such as Hartwell. On every lake a population of baitfish and bass will stay on the main lake, and on Keowee that may be even more common.
- Black bass: Fair. Guide Brad Fowler reports that bass fishing had really been picking up, but in the last few days the water has started to turn over and the fishing has slowed down. The whole lake is not turning over yet, but it has started to turn over in certain areas. Apart from the turnover, topwater fishing over deep points has been pretty good over most of the lake and bass and striper are mixed in together. Fish are more or less suspended, and swimbaits and scrounger heads are also catching fish and one day Brad did a lot of good with crankbaits fished off points. This is the time of year when a lot of different baits will catch fish. Some baitfish (and bass) are starting to migrate up the creeks, and the fact that water levels are a little higher than has been typical is also playing a role in that. Finally, be alert to wind direction changes because when the wind changes direction it will change where the fish are located.
- Crappie: Fair. Captain Bill Plumley reports that crappie are being caught at night around bridges 17-25 feet deep in 25-30 feet of water, and some fish are also being caught during the day in the same areas. Fish are also being found in 15-25 feet of water suspended over the tops of brush in about 30 feet of water. Jigs and minnows are both catching fish.
- Catfish: Fair to good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that catfish are still being caught in pretty good numbers. Anchor on main lake points and fish cut herring on the bottom in approximately 10-15 feet of water.
- Striped bass: Fair. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that this can be a tricky time to locate striped bass as they can be very scattered out at this stage of the fall. Traditionally fish should be leaving the tailrace at the top of the lake and the dam at the lower end of the lake and converging in the middle; once temperatures drop further they will become more predictable to locate. Free-lining live herring is the best way to locate fish right now.
- Crappie: Fair to good. Captain William Sasser reports that crappie are beginning to turn on in a traditional fall bite. More accurately, fish are beginning to move into a fall “spring pattern” where they start to move shallower and towards the backs of creeks. For right now fish can be found in about 20 feet of water on the bottom, and they are hanging around near brush and creek channels while making their way towards the backs of the tributaries.
- Catfish: Slow. Try starting relatively shallow in the creeks early in the day, moving out from the back of the creek into deeper water as the day progresses. If the creek bite is not productive then try fishing around offshore structure in 10-25 feet of water when the sun is higher. Drifting or anchoring with cut white perch or cut shad is a good option. Around dusk and after dark flathead catfish can also be caught fishing live bait around brush.
Lake Greenwood: (unchanged from Oct. 16)
- Catfish: Fair. Captain Chris Simpson reports that the Lake Greenwood catfish bite is very inconsistent. One day the fishing will be very good, but the next day the bite will be poor. Anchoring with stinkbait is catching a few fish, as is drifting with cut herring and shrimp. 15-20 feet has been the most productive depth range, with flats the best areas to drift and humps and points the best areas to set up and anchor. A few big flatheads are being caught at night by anchoring on shallow humps and points with plenty of cover and fishing with live bream.
Lake Monticello: (unchanged from Oct. 16)
- Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that the big fish bite is still inconsistent, but as we come into the fall it should get much more consistent. In contrast, the small fish “numbers” bite has been very good. For both big and little fish the best action has come in the 40-60 foot range. Free-line drifting is traditionally a method for targeting smaller fish, while anchoring on points and humps in the key depth range will catch both bigger and smaller fish. To target bigger fish pieces of tougher bait such as gizzard shad, white perch and bream should be used – even relatively small pieces of these baits will stay on the hook a time even if small fish are munching on them, giving a big fish time to locate the bait, run off the small fish and eat. In contrast, to target small fish a range of baits including very small pieces of cut herring and threadfin shad, shrimp, catalpa worms, chicken liver or marshmallows dipped in stinkbait will work.
- Largemouth Bass: Slow to fair. FLW Angler Dearal Rodgers reports that fishing has been pretty tough on Lake Wateree. Shad have moved into the creeks, and the best pattern is to fish topwater lures such as buzzbaits and Zara Spooks first thing. Later in the day the best pattern is to look for suspended fish under docks on flats, throwing spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Dearal is having the most success in the lower and mid-lake, from Beaver Creek to the dam.
- Catfish: No new report from Captain Rodger Taylor. Try drifting the mid-lake flats in 5-12 feet of water with small pieces of cut shad and white perch. Look for catfish in the same areas where shad can be seen schooling and follow the baitfish.
- Catfish: Fair. Captain Chris Simpson reports that this is a transition period on Lake Murray, which means the fish are scattered out and unpredictable. Some fish are starting to move deeper while some are still holding in very shallow water. Particularly on the upper half of the lake the thermocline is a significant factor, and up there not much life can be found below 25-28 feet so fishing there is virtually useless in that part of Murray. Anchoring on humps and points is working, but drifting is also picking up a few fish. Herring, stinkbaits and shrimp can all work.
- Largemouth bass: Fair. Lake World reports that bass fishing has still not really picked up on the lake, but some good fish have been caught on buzzbaits fished around the bank first thing. During the day throwing Carolina rigs off points has been the best pattern.
- Crappie: Fair. Lake World reports that from the mid-lake on up crappie are biting pretty well around brush in 10-15 feet of water. As the fall progresses fish will spread out and move shallower.
- Catfish: Slow to fair. Fish are scattered. Best approach for now is drifting fresh cut baits in 10 to 25 feet in Marion. Some areas of Marion may be more productive anchoring in shallow water when wind is blowing into trees or points in 3 to 6 feet of water. No reports of any one catching more than 4 to 8 blue cats during a regular day time trip. Even night time fishing is slow. Looking for improvement with a temperature drop into November.
South Carolina freshwater recreational fishing regulations.