Freshwater Fishing Trends
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Bass: Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that in March bass should pull into shallower water, and depending on weather and water conditions there could even be some early spawners late in the month. Generally, look for fish to get into the creeks, and expect crankbaits and spinnerbaits to be effective for both spots and largemouth.
Striped bass: Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) reports that in March fish will be scattered all over the lake, but they will also move shallower. Pulling live herring on free-lines and planer boards is usually the best pattern.
Crappie: Guide Wendell Wilson reports that in March fish will start to move shallower, and depending on weather conditions there will often be a strong spawn this month. It can happen very fast once air temperatures get into the 70- to 80-degree range, and usually the biggest fish spawn first. There may even have been a few slabs that spawned at the end of February! Trolling jigs is usually the best pattern until fish are actually bedding, when they can be caught casting jigs or minnows shallow.
Catfish: Guide Jerry Kotal reports that in March catfish will start to bite better again, and they can be caught on shallow points with cut herring.
Most detailed Lake Russell Updates
Bass: Guide Josh Rockefeller (706-513-6152) and tournament anglers Tyler Matthews of Augusta report that in March fish should pull shallow, with substantial numbers of bass on beds spawning by the end of the month. The fish do not all spawn at once and so by later in the month it will be possible for fishermen to target pre-spawn, spawning and even post-spawn fish. Soft plastics are hard to beat, but this month a spinnerbait and jig should also be very effective for shallow fish on Lake Thurmond.
Striper and hybrids: Little River Guide Service (706-210-3474) reports that in March fish will move shallower off channel points, and first thing in the morning there should be a really strong bite right at daybreak. After that it will be more of a grind with down-lines, although some anglers will pull planer boards across points.
Crappie: Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that – except for the wind – March is one of the best months of the year for catching crappie on Lake Thurmond. Generally, fish are feeding heavily in preparation for the spawn and then actually spawning, and they will be shallow in the backs of creeks and coves as well as along the banks around cover. Long-line trolling, tight-lining, and casting a cork with a jig/minnow at the bank will all catch fish.
Catfish: Captain Chris Simpson reports that March can also be a good month for catching large catfish on Lake Thurmond, although again the wind can be problematic. Anchoring in shallow water where fish are feeding on threadfin and gizzard shad is generally the best pattern.
Most detailed Lake Thurmond Updates
Bass: Tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that it would be rare for very many bass to spawn on Lake Wylie in March, but this month fish will be migrating in the direction of spawning areas and getting into pre-spawn mode. By late February they were already making their way out of the main lake towards creeks and staging areas. Crankbaits, Alabama rigs and soft plastics can all be effective as they actually move shallower.
Crappie: Captain Chris Nichols (704-860-7951) reports that by the end of February mostly female pre-spawn fish were stacking up in the creeks, where they will stay suspended in spawning coves until they are ready to lay eggs near the banks. Since not all crappie spawn at once this is a prolonged patterns that will last through March (and April). The best way to target these fish is trolling jigs. By the end of February, you could also catch mostly male pre-spawn fish by casting jigs and minnows at cover in 7-10 feet of water, and that pattern will also continue. At times in March (and April) both species can be caught around the banks when they are actually spawning, but males generally stay there longer while females simply deposit eggs and then leave.
Catfish: Captain Rodger Taylor reports that in the beginning of March fish can still be caught drifting deep water with cut bait on the lower end, or anchoring baits in the lower lake creeks, but as the month progresses more fish will move up the lake. By April most of the catfish will be concentrated in the upper-quarter of Wylie. Anchoring with cut shad is the best pattern.
Most detailed Lake Wylie Updates
Bass: Veteran tournament angler Stan Gunter of Greenwood reports that typically April is a bigger spawning month than March on Lake Greenwood, although this month there could be some fish on beds after a warm early spring. Still, typically the primary pattern in March is targeting pre-spawn bass which are staging around points and at the mouths of creeks. They like to gravitate towards brush, and jigs, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, worms or soft plastics will all catch fish.
Striped bass: Guide Josh Wilson (864-871-6305) reports that by the end of February most of the striped bass had moved shallow into the creeks following bait, and with warming temperatures they are likely to stay there in March. Pulling free-lines, planer boards and umbrella rigs will all catch fish, and crappie fishermen trolling jigs will also catch plenty.
Crappie: Captain Roland Addy (864-980-3672) reports that by the end of February the crappie had already started to bite better, and more fish had started to move into the creeks. This process will accelerate in March. Long-line trolling in the creeks with jigs and jigs tipped with minnows should be very effective. Some fish may be up against the banks, but usually this bite is strongest in April.
Catfish: Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that drifting cut herring, shad or white perch in mid-depths should again be the best pattern in March.
Most detailed Lake Greenwood Updates
Bass: Tournament angler Eric Enlow of Union reports that that because Lake Monticello is a power plant lake it is not unusual for there to be some fish that spawn early in March, but generally this month fish will be moving into the pre-spawn phase and then starting to bed partway through the month. Pre-spawn fish can be caught off secondary points on Carolina rigs and crankbaits.
Catfish: Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that in March fish should move shallower where they can be caught on long points that extend out into the lake. Cut bream, gizzard shad, white perch and even herring will all work.
Most detailed Lake Monticello Updates
Bass: Tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that depending on weather and water temperatures a fair number of Lake Murray bass could spawn in March, and there have actually been years where the spawn started in late February. This could be an early year. As bass start to stage and prepare to move into spawning areas spinnerbaits and square-billed crankbaits should be effective, and soft plastics will also be strong once fish get close to spawning.
Striped bass: Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that generally this month fish should continue to migrate into the creeks and be caught on free-lines, planer boards and cut bait as the shallows warm. There will also be fish caught on down-lines.
Crappie: Captain Brad Taylor reports that a significant number of crappie should spawn on Lake Murray this month. Fish will move shallower into creek runs and then set up on structure adjacent to spawning areas before they lay eggs. Long-line trolling is likely to be effective and later in the month fish will also be caught against the banks with minnows and jigs.
Catfish: Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that in March fish should move shallower as they move towards pre-spawn mode. Fish will be scattered across the lake and they will eat a variety of cut baits.
Most detailed Lake Murray Updates
Bass: FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that if the moon and water conditions are right then fish could spawn at the end of March, but generally he looks for March to be about pre-spawn bass. Fish will move shallower and into the creeks, and they will set up around rocks and grass. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs will all work.
Crappie: Veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that in March fish will start to go shallower and into the creeks in preparation for an early-April spawn. The mouths of creeks are good places to long-line troll, and as we get further into the month fish will get closer to the backs where they can also be caught against the banks with jigs and minnows. With a very warm late February things could happen faster than usual this year.
Catfish: Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that in March catfish on Lake Wateree will start to transition up the river channel. Anchoring with cut gizzard shad is generally the best pattern.
Most detailed Lake Wateree Updates
Bass: Captain Brett Mitchell (803-379-7029) reports that in March fish will start to move shallower in preparation for the spawn, and many fish will go onto beds this month. Some were already thinking about spawning if not actually bedding in later February. As the month progresses look for fish to move into the blackwater ponds and pockets seeking the warmest water. This month pretty much any lures will be in play, from Chatterbaits and spinnerbaits to topwaters to soft plastics.
Crappie: Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that March fishing will depend on the weather, but fish will pull into the creek channels in preparation for the spawn and many should spawn. They will suspend over brush before actually moving to the banks. Jigs and minnows will both catch fish.
Bream: Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that March fishing will depend on the weather, but fish will pull into the creek channels in preparation for the spawn and many should spawn. They will suspend over brush before actually moving to the banks. Jigs and minnows will both catch fish.
Catfish: Captain Stevie English (843-709-8138) reports that in March fish should be caught anchoring in shallow water during the day. Cut perch, bluegill and herring will all work.
Most detailed Santee Cooper System Updates
Trout: Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports that since Jocassee typically warms slowly, in March cold-water trout will probably still be as shallow as they can be found all year. They will be scattered over the whole lake, and they will take both live bait and artificials. The latter part of February saw lots of big fish caught and March should continue that trend.
Bass: Tournament angler Joe Anders reports that for much of the month the fish will still be deep, and they are mostly likely to be suspended in the channels. The key to locating bass is finding bait, and they will take Alabama rigs, jerkbaits, small jigging spoons and more. Later in the month fish should start to think about sliding up into shallower water. Fishing around trees with soft plastics is a good pattern once this begins.
Most detailed Lake Jocassee Updates
Bass: Guide Charles Townson (864-324-2065) reports that in March most of the fish will be moving up and into pre-spawn patterns on Lake Keowee, and in the warmest middle section of the lake they could actually begin to spawn. There were some reports of spawners in late February. Finesse worms, wacky-rigged Senkos, and jigs are all good lure options.
Most detailed Lake Keowee Updates
Bass: Guide Brad Fowler reports that it is possible that some Lake Hartwell bass could spawn in March depending on water conditions and the moon phase, even as April is a much stronger month for spawning fish. This month expect bass to be moving towards the banks as they get into pre-spawn patterns and begin to stage adjacent to spawning areas. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits and a variety of soft plastics will all work.
Striper and hybrids: Guide Chip Hamilton (864-304-9011) reports that March is a transition month on Lake Hartwell. The beginning of March usually looks a lot like February, and fish should start out the mornings deeper off points just like they have been. However, the afternoon artificial lure bite which was already coming on late in February should quickly get really good on sun-drenched banks. Then as water temperatures hit about 60 degrees the fish will be shallow all day, and they will mostly be caught from about 3 to 4 feet of water. For some anglers the preferred pattern is to beach the boat on points and cast out live bait, while others will prefer to fish planer boards. In a nutshell March is “when it starts!”
Crappie: Guide Rodney Donald (864-356-0143) reports that by the end of February some of the better crappie were already on shallower brush piles, and by March even more fish will be shallow. An early spawn is expected this year, with significant numbers of fish spawning in March but continuing into April. While some people will be trolling, Rodney will generally be single pole fishing and 90 percent of the time on Hartwell he will be casting a jig with a black head and chartreuse tail.
Catfish: Captain Bill Plumley reports that to start out the month fish will still be deep, but by the middle to end of March the better blue catfish should move shallower into the creeks. Cut shad and cut herring will be the best baits.
Most detailed Lake Hartwell updates
South Carolina freshwater recreational fishing regulations.