Freshwater Fishing Trends - May 19, 2016

Information on fishing trends provided courtesy of www.anglersheadquarters.com/, 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 May 26)

Bass: Good. Guides Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) and Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) report that there is a decent shallow bass bite early on topwater lures. During the day bass can be caught on live bait or soft plastics fished off mid-depth points.
Striped Bass: Very good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that solid numbers of large striper have been caught recently on free-lined herring pulled over mid-depth water away from timber.
Catfish: Fair to good. Guide Jerry Kotal reports that channel catfish can be caught in the backs of coves and cuts on cut bait.
Crappie: Fair to good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that pretty good numbers of decent-sized crappie can be caught over relatively shallow brush, but the biggest fish have mostly already headed out to deeper brush.

Lake Thurmond (Updated May 25)

Bass: Slow to fair. Buckeye Lures reports that this is a transition period for bass with the herring spawn over and fish moving out to deeper water. First thing there can be a decent topwater bite but after that dragging soft plastics over humps is the best pattern.
Crappie: Very good to excellent. Captain William Sasser (864-333-2000) reports that crappie are biting very well for anglers fishing minnows over brush in coves just off the main lake.
Striper and Hybrids: Good to very good. Captain William Sasser reports that first thing there is some good schooling activity around the dam, and as the day progresses fish are setting up on the bottom in 25-50 feet of water.
Catfish: Good to very good. Captain William Sasser reports that this is peak catfish season on Clarks Hill and channels and flatheads can be caught around riprap on a Carolina-rigged piece of cut herring.
Shellcracker: Good to very good. Captain William Sasser reports that shellcracker are spawning and can be caught shallow on nightcrawlers.

Lake Wylie (Updated May 25)

Bass: Fair to good. FLW angler Bryan New reports that rising water levels slowed the deep bite a bit in the last week, but it’s still significantly better than any shallow pattern. Carolina rigs, swimbaits, jigs and deep-running crankbaits will all catch fish around offshore structure. Catfish: Good to very good. Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that the pre-spawn bite is still very hot, even as the spawn draws very close – if it has not already started. The best pattern is fishing around river current with cut herring or white perch. .

Midlands Area

Lake Greenwood (Updated May 24)

Bass: Tough. Stan Gunter reports that fish are in a transition period between shallow and deep water and getting bites is not easy. Some fish can be caught early around seawalls on topwater lures, and others are in mid-depth to deeper water where they will take worms and crankbaits.
Striper: Good. Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that striper are being caught on free lines as well as down-lines fished at the depth where anglers mark fish. Schooling should get hot soon.
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that channel catfish can be caught around humps and points on dip baits and cut herring.

Lake Monticello (Updated May 24)

Bass: Fair to Good. Andy Wicker reports that this is still a transition period; while some smaller fish can still be caught shallow on topwater lures and flukes, better fish may be beginning to transition out to deeper humps and offshore structure. Deep-diving crankbaits and spoons will both catch fish.
Catfish: Inconsistent. Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that some days the bite for large blue catfish is very good, but on other days the fishing can be very slow. Similarly, the free-line drifting bite is inconsistent – it may take some more warm weather before it gets more reliable. Small pieces of cut bait are the best option right now for all sizes of fish.

Lake Murray (Updated May 24)

Bass: Fair. Captain Doug Lown reports that first thing in the morning some fish can be found shallow feeding on bait, and later in the day fish can be found around rocky points where they will take Carolina rigs. Throwing topwaters early in the creeks can also catch fish.
Crappie: Excellent. Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that crappie fishing has been very strong with minnows fished over brush in about 15-20 feet of water.
Striped bass: Good. Captain Brad Taylor reports that first thing free lines and planer boards will catch fish, and after that down lines in the 40-foot range have been productive.
Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that fan-casting cut herring and dip baits around humps has been productive for channel catfish.

Lake Wateree (Updated May 26)

Bass: Good. Dearal Rodgers reports that fish can be found both shallow around the grass as well as deeper in 10-15 feet of water around structure, but the best bite is in the transitional zone between shallow and deep water. Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs and soft plastics will all catch fish.
Catfish: Good to very good. Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that catfish remain concentrated along the river channel in the upper one-third of the lake where they will eat cut bait.
Crappie: Good. Will Hinson advises that the largest numbers of fish are moving towards mid-depth brush where they will eat jigs and minnows. With clarity best in the lower lake the best catches have come from that area.

Santee Cooper System (Updated May 25)

Bass: Good. Steve Harmon reports that one group of bass can be found up shallow in 1-5 feet of water where they will eat frogs, but many of the bigger fish have moved out to deeper points and ditches. These fish can be caught on worms as well as spinnerbaits and swimbaits. Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) reports that catfish are moving back and forth between shallow and deeper water, and a ton of small blue cats continue to be caught to go along with some occasional big fish.
Bream: Fair to good. Captain Steve English reports that bluegill and shellcrackers are moving up to spawn around new and full moons, and then heading back to deeper water in between moon phases. Worms and crickets will catch fish.
Crappie: Fair. Captain Steve English reports that crappie can be found around mid-depth brush where they will eat minnows. Fishing in the lower lake has been a little better than the upper lake.

Mountains Area

Lake Jocassee (Updated May 24)

Trout: Good. Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that some nice trout continue to be caught on Jocassee, with numbers and sizes still pretty strong. Fish are being caught on spoons and minnows fished in the 30-80 foot range, and while fish are still spread out over the lake they are starting to group up in the big water.

Lake Keowee (Updated May 24)

Bass: Fair to good. Guide Brad Fowler reports that this is a transition period on Lake Keowee, and with the spawn concluded fish are starting to move towards their summer holes. In the morning there is a decent topwater bite, and after that fish will take soft plastics fished on the bottom off the ends of deeper points and humps.

Lake Hartwell (Updated May 24)

Bass: Fair to good. Guide Brad Fowler reports that this is a transition period for bass as fish start to move from a spring to summer pattern. While many fish are starting to move to deeper water where they will take soft plastics fished deep, there are still fish relatively shallow that will take topwater lures.
Striped Bass: Good. Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) and Guide Chip Hamilton (864-304-9011) report that striper continue to transition down the lake and out of the backs, and they have gotten a little deeper in the last week. The best bite is on down-lined herring fished just off the bottom in 30-50 feet of water.
Catfish: Good. Captain Bill Plumley reports that blue catfish have moved into the 30-foot depth range, but channel catfish are scattered out in the shallow to middle depths where they will eat dip baits, cut bait, worms and more. Flathead catfish can be caught at night on live bait.
Crappie: Fair. Captain Bill Plumley reports that the crappie bite is pretty good around mid-depth brush and bridges on minnows, and night fishing has been a litter better than daytime fishing.


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