Freshwater Fishing Trends - April 28, 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.
Lake Russell (Updated April 13)
Bass: Good. Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that largemouth at all three stages of the spawn can be caught on Russell, while spotted bass seem to be mostly pre-spawn. Both moving baits and soft plastics will catch fish in the shallows.
Crappie: Good. Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) reports that the better crappie have now spawned, but the bulk of the fish are still in relatively shallow water where they can be caught on minnows and jigs.
Striped Bass: Fair. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that good numbers of striper are mid-way up the rivers, and they will take live herring presented on free lines and planer boards.
Catfish: Fair. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that catfish can be caught around rip-rap on cut herring.
Lake Thurmond (Updated April 27)
Bass: Good. Buckeye Lures reports that some bass are bedding and a very few are still pre-spawn, but most bass fishermen are thinking about the blueback herring spawn. Bass are shallow around points chasing herring, and they will take topwaters, flukes and soft plastics fished on the bottom.
Striper and Hybrids: Good to very good. Captain William Sasser (864-333-2000) reports that striper are also hanging around shallow points and they will eat free-lined herring, cut bait and artificial lures.
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. Captain William Sasser reports that shellcracker are spawning and can be caught shallow on nightcrawlers.
Crappie: Fair to good. Captain William Sasser reports that crappie are in the backs of creeks where they can be caught on minnows fished vertically.
Lake Wylie (Updated April 28)
Bass: Good. FLW angler Bryan New reports that the spawn is winding down on Lake Wylie, and with it the shallow bite is falling off. Shad are spawning but bass aren’t really keyed in on them yet, but fishing in deeper water with jigs, crankbaits and more is getting pretty hot.
Catfish: Good to very good. Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that catches of medium to large blue catfish have been good, and flatheads are also starting to show up. The best pattern is fishing around river current with cut herring or white perch.
Lake Greenwood (Updated April 14)
Bass: Good. Fish are shallow on Lake Greenwood, and Stan Gunter advises that the biggest wave of bass should spawn on the April full moon. Topwater lures as well as floating worms will catch fish.
Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) says that catfish are biting well in the shallows on drifted cut bait.
Lake Monticello (Updated April 14)
Bass: Good. Andy Wicker reports that another very good wave of fish should spawn on the April full moon. Soft plastics in the shallows work well for pre-spawn and spawning bass, and post-spawn fish will take topwater lures.
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that catfish continue to be caught in 20-40 feet of water on small pieces of cut bait.
Lake Murray (Updated April 14)
Bass: Fair. Captain Doug Lown reports that cool temperatures and wind have made for some tough fishing, but expect a lot of fish to move up next week
on the full moon. Smaller soft plastic baits will catch fish.
Striper: Good. Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that striper are scattered out around the lake from 3-50 feet of water. Free-lines, planer boards, and cut bait fishing have all been catching fish.
Crappie: Fair to good. Captain Brad Taylor reports that a lot of post-spawn crappie are pulling out to deeper docks, bridges and brush.
Catfish: Fair. Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that catfish have backed out into deeper water with the cool weather but they will take cut bait.
Lake Wateree (Updated April 24)
Bass: Fair to good. Dearal Rodgers reports that bass at all three stages of the spawn can still be found on Lake Wateree, but the numbers are tilted heavily towards spawning and post-spawn fish. The shad spawn is starting and spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and shallow-running lures are catching fish.
Catfish: Very good to excellent. Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that catfish are 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 a few straggler fish are still up shallow but most fish have pulled out to the middle of creeks where they will bite jigs fished at mid-depths.
Santee Cooper System (Updated April 14)
Bass: Good. Steve Harmon reports that a large group of fish are post-spawn, and another big wave should move up to spawn on the April full moon. Pre-spawn fish can be caught around shallow cover on soft plastics while post-spawn fish have pulled out slightly deeper.
Crappie: Good. Captain Steve English reports that crappie can be found in the shallows as well as around mid-depth brush where they will eat minnows.
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Jim Glenn reports that the best catfish bite is coming in 20-30 feet of water on cut shad.
Striped Bass: Fair to good. Captain Jim Glenn/ Pack’s Landing reports that the striper spawn continues and fish are being caught in the top of the system on artificials, live herring and cut herring.
Bream: Fair to good. Captain Steve English reports that bluegill are staging in anticipation of the full moon, while a few shellcracker are already shallow.
Lake Jocassee (Updated March 17)
Trout: Fair to good. Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that while they are not wearing out the fish right now, some decent trout are being caught on Lake Jocassee. In the past week or so his boat has caught three fish over 5 pounds as well as plenty of fish in the 3-4 pound range. There are also plenty of sublegal stocker-sized fish to be caught. Fish are highly scattered out, and anglers are catching fish around pretty much all of their normal spots. Sam says it's rare to hear of someone fishing in their preferred area where they have confidence and not catching fish. The flip side of this is that there are no real hot spots right now. Some fish are being caught in the big water around the dam, and there are also fish up in the rivers and in the very backs. Trout are being caught from the surface down to 50 feet, with 30-40 feet being the best range. They are hitting both bait and hardware, although the bite is a bit better on hardware. 2-3 inch spoons have been the best bet, and Sam always has the most confidence in Sutton Spoons. Doctors and Apex Spoons have also been catching fish.
Lake Keowee (Updated March 30)
Bass: Good. Guide Brad Fowler and Brock Taylor report that fish at all different stages of the spawn can be caught on Lake Keowee right now. Very shallow fish focused on bedding will take soft plastics, and pre-spawn and post-spawn fish feeding on bait will take spinnerbaits, swimbaits, drop shot rigged worms, etc.
Lake Hartwell (Updated April 26)
Bass: Fair. Guide Brad Fowler reports that weights have been a little down in recent tournaments, but bass are feeding shallow around spawning blueback herring. They will eat a variety of lures on the top, middle and bottom of the water column, and bass are also still spawning.
Striped Bass: Good. Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) reports that stripers are being caught around points across the lake. Anchoring with live bait as well as variety of other techniques will catch fish.
Catfish: Good. Captain Bill Plumley reports that channel and blue catfish are both feeding well in 2-20 feet of water.
Crappie: Slow. Captain Bill Plumley reports that crappie are showing up again around bridges and brush where they can be caught at night on minnows.
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