Freshwater Fishing Trends - July 16
Fishing trends courtesy www.SCFishingReport.com. Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports.
Lake Jocassee: (unchanged from July 9)
- Trout: Fair to good. Lake Jocassee trout fishing remains pretty strong. The intakes are still the place to fish first thing, but fish are very well spread out throughout the main body of water. Trolling both spoons and shiners 30-70 feet deep at speeds less than two miles per hour is most productive. Night fishing at the intakes has slowed down, but anglers putting out lights and suspending cut herring, nightcrawlers and medium shiners can still catch fish.
Lake Keowee: (unchanged from July 9)
- Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Fair. The best pattern right now is fishing for fish suspended around depth changes, including deep points, humps, and drops in 30 or more feet of water. They can also be related to nothing but bait schools. At times bass can be caught with at the top of the water column, and they can also be caught on drop shot rigs, Carolina rigs and shakey head worms. Soft plastics fished around deeper docks will also catch fish. Typically at this time of year there is a pretty good topwater bite around relatively shallow points first thing in the morning, but right now this bite is not as good as usual and you have to fish a lot of points to find feeding fish.
- Crappie: Slow to fair. Captain Bill Plumley reports that crappie fishing remains pretty slow, but the fish that are being caught are around deep brush in about 25 feet of water. They are holding very tight to the brush and will eat minnows.
- Striped bass: Good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that based on current catch rates they are expecting this to be their best summer ever for striped bass. Fish are scattered out across the lake and anglers are catching a variety of different sizes of fish all over the lake, from north to south. Pretty much every area of the lake is producing, but the best catches have been coming off main channel points on down-lines fished in 20-25 feet of water. Action is still picking up in the tailrace below the Hartwell dam and Lake Secession, and anglers who want to fish up there should pull free-lines.
- Catfish: Good. Guide Jerry Kotal reports that catfishing is pretty good on Lake Russell, and his boat is catching good numbers of channel cats in the 1-5 pound range. Fish are scattered out in the backs of coves, creek channels and off points, with 8-20 feet of water being the best depth range. His boat is also picking up occasional flatheads, and while blues can also be found in Lake Russell they aren’t getting many of those.
- Crappie: Fair to good. Captain William Sasser reports that he has not been spending much time targeting crappie, but the fish are still stacked up along the river channel in the same pattern that they have been in. Fish minnows 10 feet down over brush in 15-25 feet of water.
Lake Wylie: (unchanged from July 9)
- Largemouth Bass: Fair to good. FLW Professional and Guide Matt Arey reports that the pattern for catching largemouth bass has been very stable over the last few weeks, and overall the bite remains in the “fair to good” range. Basically, there continue to be two main patterns for catching bass on Lake Wylie right now, although as the summer progresses anglers should be on the lookout for schooling bass. These fish will either be over deep water or on flats near deep water, as at time they will move up shallow at night to feed. Outside of schooling fish, anglers should first look for fish offshore. Even though it’s been hot for a while now Matt says the offshore fishing is still pretty strong and the schools aren’t yet getting finicky (as they will be in August). Schools of fish will be found around humps, deep main lake points, the areas where creek channels swing in front of points, and other depth changes. Lots of fish will be found in 20-30 feet of water, but some will be in 15 feet of water near shallower areas. Deep diving crankbaits, football jigs, Hopkins spoons, Ol’ Monster worms and other big baits will still catch fish at this part of the season, although later in the summer as the fish become accustomed to the pressure fish will get finickier and schools will even relocate.
- Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that as expected on Lake Greenwood the channel catfish bite remains good, and some really nice numbers of channel catfish are being caught in a pattern that should hold up for another month and a half. Chris advises drifting in out and of feeder creeks and coves in 5-18 feet of water with cut herring and shad. At the same time, anchoring on humps and points and fishing dip bait is also just as productive now.
Lake Monticello: (unchanged from July 9)
- Bass: Good. Lake Monticello in the summer is a true deep water bass fishery. Tournament angler Andy Wicker says that he spends most of his time targeting textbook main lake, deep water structure such as points, humps, and drops; even when he is fishing shallower there needs to be deep water nearby. His target depth range is 20-50 feet of water. Areas with brush seem to produce about the same number of fish as structure that has not had brush planted on it. In fact, one of the main impacts of brush is that it limits his lure choice. Instead of being able to fish his usual array of lures (deep diving crankbaits, Alabama rigs, jigs, flutter spoons, and worms) he has to spend more time fishing the worm.
- Catfish: Good. Captain Rodger Taylor reports that catfishing remains strong when there is current flowing, although at other times the bite can be slower. In the backs of the creeks, 2-8 pound fish can be caught, but bigger fish have been absent in the backs recently. Oddly, gizzard shad have been hard to find on Lake Wateree but cut herring will work as bait.
- Crappie: Fair to good. Captain Brad Taylor reports that as would be expected for the heat of summer crappie are in a brush pattern. While the depth seems to vary from day to day he has found the best fishing in 20-25 feet of water in the mid-lake area. While the better fish are being caught on jigs, for sheer numbers of fish minnows have been hard to beat.
- Largemouth bass: Fair. Lake World reports that first thing in the morning anglers can fish a buzzbait around the banks or look for fish schooling off long points and feeding on baitfish that have moved up shallower overnight. Once the sun starts to get up, however, fishing has been a grind and the best pattern has been fishing soft plastics around brush in the 30-foot range.
- Largemouth bass: Slow to fair. Captain Linwood Thornhill reports that fishing continues to drop off as is customary at this time of year, but a few fish can still be caught around grass and cypress trees. For shallow fish he recommends frogs and plastic worms at this time of year. Lots of fish have moved out to drops in the 10-15 foot range, and for these fish Linwood suggests fishing a Carolina rig with a worm.
South Carolina freshwater recreational fishing regulations.