Freshwater Fishing Trends - April 16
Fishing trends courtesy www.SCFishingReport.com. Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports.
- Bass: Good. The majority of bass are in the prespawn/bedding phase. Your best bet is during the evenings on sandy flats, especially if there are boulders around and downed trees. Check the creeks with water flowing in and the cover. Use crawdad jigs and anything imitation.
- Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Good. The prespawn is thinning out, but expect more action on spawning and postspawn. Use swimbaits and topwater flukes for the postspawn. When the fish are spawning go with soft plastics. Check a bit deeper, 20-30, for the best action. Along with the usual spawning areas, check the points and secondary points deep.
- Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good. It's pretty wide open on Hartwell as far as the preferred fishing method. Free lining on points, live bait on the bottom and downlines around 25 feet. Fish are even still shallow in some areas. When it's sunny and the water warms up, the spawn will get underway. Right now they are scattered all over.
- Catfish: Good. The spawn is on. Bluebacks got there early. Check around rocks and shallow clay points with flukes and spooks. There may be some prespawn stragglers about, but not many. Later in the day use soft plastics around bedding areas. Try to avoid heavy stained water. Use crankbaits and spinnerbaits.
- Crappie: Very good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that you can still catch lots of mostly smaller fish by trolling with a 1/16 ounce curly tails in the backs of creeks, especially early and late. Fish in 8-12 feet. Most fish are still pre-spawn and full of eggs, but some of the biggest females may have already spawned.
- Bass: Fair to good. Largemouth are bedding and not on the points right now. You can catch lots of spots on shallow, sloping banks. Check cover in five to six feet. Cast scrounger with flukes. The bigger fish are already off the points. Throw a blade runner with a flake. Make sure to reel over the tops of trees. Herring are spawning as well.
- Striper: Fair to good. Some schooling is reported on points. Use super spooks, flukes and a worm hook with an 18 inch leader. Make sure to check shallow as the herring are up there and the fish will pretty much eat anything you throw at them.
- Catfish: Good. Blues have moved mostly up the lake. You can still catch a few on the main channel in about 35 feet of water. Also check the backs of creeks and drifting. Then anchor up shallow and catch some channel cats.
- Crappie: Good to very good. The crappie bite continues to be strong. Long-line trolling with jigs continues to be a consistent fish producer in the mouths of creeks and coves, with most fish suspended 3-8 feet deep in 10-20 feet of water. Fish are also in the very backs, and anglers have the option of trolling all the way to the backs as well as using their favorite shallow water technique (such as casting a minnow or jig under a bobber around cover). Jig color has to be determined by the angler on that particular day as a variety of different colors have been working from day to day.
- Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that, overall, the bite for both big fish and numbers of fish has been pretty good. The most productive pattern has been anchoring on humps and points that allow anglers to fan cast baits from 10 to 40 feet of water. Cut herring, shad and white perch cut into small pieces about the size of a mussel are the best baits.
- Crappie: Good. It's still peak crappie season on Lake Wateree, with some fish pre-spawn and some spawning. Anglers can catch crappie fishing minnows or jigs under corks around bank cover, docks and piers, and they can also target suspended fish both long-lining and tight-lining in 4-10 feet of water. A good number of fish are also being caught around bridges. Fish are moving in and out and will continue to spawn heavily for about another week or two before things start to trickle off.
- Catfish: Very good. Overall fish are making their annual migration upward and laterally – that is, they are moving up the river towards the dam as well as towards the backs of the creeks. A typical pattern is to start out early in the day fishing the river channel, and particularly drops in the river channel. Anglers should put out baits to cover an array of depths, including on the ledge, where the ledge drops off, and the deep hole itself. One depth will be more productive most days, but it may vary from day to day. When there is current running the bite can be “on,” but if there is no current it is worth backing off onto some of the shallow flats in 6-11 feet off the river ledge. Birds will provide clues about where the bait and catfish will be located, but the fish are moving a lot. For right now gizzard shad or perch heads are the best baits.
- Largemouth bass: Slow. Bass are actually still pretty tough. You can't just run the banks and throw your favorite lure, as people want to do in the spring. Big limits are coming soon with sight-fishing for spawning fish or following the spawning herring off points, especially early. Use flukes, spooks, etc. It's all about spawning and following the bait.
- Crappie: Good. The fish are still full of eggs. It may not be that all the fish are out deeper, but the most catchable fish do seem to have pulled out for now. Bream: Good. Bream fishing remains good, and while the fish haven’t moved into the shallows they are still eating. Fishing crickets about 18 feet deep over brush in 30 feet of water is a great way to catch staged up fish.
South Carolina freshwater recreational fishing regulations.