Freshwater Fishing Trends - Jan. 29
Fishing trends courtesy www.SCFishingReport.com. Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports.
- Trout: Fair. Drop your line anywhere from 6 to 50 feet with trolling spoons. Recent reports indicate brownies are predominant right now. Fishing continues to improve with better, bigger fish than last month. Things are slowly beginning to turn on.
Lake Keowee: (unchanged from Jan. 22)
- Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Fair. Guide Brad Fowler reports that so far this winter high water temperatures have kept the bass from grouping up in a traditional winter pattern where the majority of fish are hunkered down on the bottom in deep water. Instead, a lot of fish have been suspended. The recent cold weather should settle the fish into their normal areas, and the best pattern should be deep drop-shotting in 50-70 feet of water, with some fish deeper and others slightly shallower.
- Black bass: Slow to fair. Not a lot of action, but there are some reports of results on umbrella rigs. Also try free lining up the Seneca River and the big creeks. Catfish: Slow to fair. Some blues are doing pretty well in the 30-50 foot range. Recent cold rains pushed everything out of back of creeks and knocked fish in the creek.
- Perch: Very good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that perch fishing remains very strong, with white and yellow perch mixed in with other predatory species around the big schools of bait. Minnows fished just off the bottom are working best. Some very large perch have been caught around timber.
- Striped bass: Fair to good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that the best pattern has been casting Alabama rigs under the birds, which has usually meant over deep water on the main channel. Fish will also take free-lined herring or shiners fished in the same areas. The bite has definitely been better on the lower end of the lake than up the lake, and the lower end of the Rocky River has been particularly strong. Most of all, though, be sure to follow the birds and fish in the areas where they are diving.
- Crappie: Fair. Check in 48-55 feet using a sonar blade and mop jigs. Reports of some schooling in the back of pockets. On the surface start at 25 feet in the creeks and keep going back. The best bite is on points which see sunshine all day and get baitfish.
- Largemouth Bass: Fair to good. Fishing is continuing to improve. Wind is the biggest factor and not just on the docks. The wind makes the fish more active and breaks up their profile. Jerkbait is a good bet if you can find open, clear water. Check the lower end of the lake for those spots. If the water is running then find a hole for fish, especially on the lower end of the lake.
Lake Greenwood: (unchanged from Jan. 22)
- Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that drifting with cut herring and shad is the best way to put channel cats in the boat right now. Day in and day out drifting across and parallel to the river channel is the most productive area, although some days anglers might find the best action off the main lake at the mouth or in the backs of feeder creeks, and some days you mind find the fish scattered across flats. Catfish move a lot with the baitfish, but there almost always seem to be some catchable fish in or near the river channel.
Lake Monticello: (unchanged from Jan. 22)
- Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that the big fish bite has been very strong recently, although it has gotten a little less consistent. As usual when pursuing big fish anglers need to be patient, particularly now when catfish have their choice of millions of slow-moving or even dying baitfish to feed on. Drifting slowly or giving anchored baits plenty of time can have a huge payoff, such as the 97-pound fish landed on Chris’ boat in December. Overall, both drifting and anchoring are working equally well and he most productive depth zone has been 40-70 feet of water. Ledges of gullies seem to be the most productive terrain and white perch and gizzard shad have been the best baits. Free line anglers report good numbers of ½ to 5 pound fish free-lining small pieces of herring over deep water.
- Crappie: Good. Veteran tournament angler Will Hinson reports that crappie are being caught all over the lake right now as, before the extreme cold, water temperatures remained relatively high and fish were pretty active. Fish have been caught around Clearwater Cove in the mouths of pockets just off of deeper water – while they are not about to move up, they are holding in places as if they were staging to go shallower. A lot of fish are also further up the lake around the State Park, and of course there are a lot of fish up the river channel. Regardless of the area of the lake the magic depth seems to be about 18-22 feet of water, with fish almost right on the bottom. The primary technique has been tight-lining with minnows on plain hooks. On warmer days look for fish to move into the creeks in 15-18 feet of water.
- Striped bass: Fair. Captain Brad Taylor reports that good numbers of striper made their way up the river in their annual run, but the rains created muddy water and so a lot of the fish moved back down the lake below the mud line. The fish that stayed up the lake scattered out and became harder to locate, and they seem to be feeding less. Overall the best bet right now is to fish down-lines in 40-45 feet of water down around Buffalo Creek and Rocky Creek, but the rivers may turn on again once the water settles out a bit. Keep your eyes open for schooling fish, and follow the birds, but surface activity has slowed a bit right now.
- Crappie: Fair to good. Crappie are in deep water around 3-42 feet. Best results on the lower lake. Make sure to check electronics to mark fish. With a few warm days fish should be up shallow where they will eat a slow-moving crankbait again soon.
South Carolina freshwater recreational fishing regulations.