Posted - 07/21/2012 : 10:53:35 AM
| i know you'd rather have a report from someone who's been there recently, but this is all i got. SCDNR news release for this week, the fishing reports from that area, good luck sir:
Largemouth Bass: Good. Captain Chris Heinning reports that with hot summer temperatures bass remain in deep water. Some smaller bass can still be caught shallow early around grass and rocky points with shad-style topwater, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits. Better quality bass are coming from deep points, ledges, and underwater humps with deep diving crankbaits in chartreuse color, big worms in junebug, and Carolina-rigged plastics in watermelon/brown colors. Concentrate on depths of 10-20 feet. Also, consider night fishing with black spinnerbaits, worms, or jigs around lighted docks. Crappie: Fair to good. Will Hinson of the Southern Crappie Tournament Trail reports that crappie have moved into a traditional summer pattern, and if you get a hook near a brush pile in the right depth range you should get bit. Most brush piles on the main lake in the 12-20 foot range are holding fish, and early/late or on cloudy days fish will be holding at the top of the brush. When the sun is high and bright fish will be lower down in the brush. Minnows and jigs are both catching fish, and Fish Stalker Jigs in Ugly Greem, Pearl White and Blake Emerald have been working very well. End of the lake doesnt seem to matter as long as you are in the main lake and not up the creeks. Catfish: Very good. Captain Rodger Taylor reports that fish are settling into a summer pattern although some fish are still in a post-spawn mode. There is a very strong bite on the flats in 9-12 feet of water for anglers using cut bait. Cut white perch and shad are both equally strong baits, and small white perch are readily available using hook and line on the flats. This is an excellent time to catch a mess of eating size catfish.
Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that plenty of good eating sized channel catfish are still being caught both day and night by anchoring on humps and points and fan casting out baits. During the day the most productive depths have been 5-20 feet, and at night fish have been as shallow as 2 feet down to about 10 feet. Both shrimp and dip baits have been catching fish, and if you want to increase the chances of catching a large channel or a flathead try putting out half live baits, too. Be aware of the thermocline, though if you retrieve dead baits after just a few minutes then there is no oxygen at that depth and you need to move shallower. To target flatheads most efficiently anchor and fish live bream or perch around heavy cover on ledges that extend from shallow to deep water. Largemouth Bass: Fair. (unchanged from July 12) Sportsmans Friend reports that fish have moved into a traditional summer pattern. Early in the morning some fish are being caught on topwater lures and floating worms fished around block walls and docks, but when the sun comes up this pattern dies very quickly. Fish are also being caught on deep running crankbaits fished about 16 feet down, with the best bite again early. Bass can also be caught on soft plastics fished in 15-20 feet of water around ledges and brush. There is also sporadic schooling activity scattered across the lake, particularly early, late and on cloudy days. Crappie: Very slow. Sportsmans Friend reports that catching crappie is tough. The few crappie being caught are coming at night, caught around deep brush and bridges 15-20 feet down by anglers fishing under a light with minnows.
Lake Monticello (unchanged from July 12)
Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that a lot of big blues are being caught right now on Lake Monticello. Anchoring on vertical ledges dropping from as shallow as 5-10 feet down to as deep as 40-70 feet has been a strong pattern. Cut gizzard shad, white perch, bream and herring all appear to be working similarly.
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that anchoring on points and humps with deep and shallow water around them and fan casting baits at a variety of depths has been most productive. Some days you will find the fish up shallow in the 3-10 foot range, and other days they will be out feeding in 15-25 plus feet of water. There is great variation from day to day, and in order to be successful at this time of year it is essential to be willing to adjust to subtle changes. Cut herring, shrimp and dip baits will all catch fish, but again it is important to be flexible from day to day as catfish preference can very quickly change. Both day and night fishing are productive, with night fishing perhaps generating a bit more frequent bites. Crappie: Fair. Captain Brad Taylor reports that crappie are being caught around deep brush in 20-30 feet of water. Early in the morning and on cloudy days fish are positioned high in the brush, but as the sun gets higher and brighter fish are lower in the brush. Most fish are being caught on live bait, but some are coming on jigs. The best action is in the middle part of the lake, around Dreher Island, Big Hollow Creek and Bear Creek. Largemouth Bass: Slow to fair. Fish seem to have moved into a true summer pattern and gone deep. The best feeding periods are before 9:00, in the evening, and after dark. Fishing after 9 a.m. when the sun is up can be really tough. The best area to work is 15-25 feet of water around rocks and rocky points close to deep water. Shakey head worms are the go-to lure right now, but other soft plastic presentations will also work. Shellcracker and bluegill: Good to very good. Lake World reports that shellcracker can still be caught in 6-10 feet of water. To locate shellcracker look for freshwater clams washed up on the shore and fish nearby with night crawler sections. The bream bite remains hot, and fishing is very strong around docks with crickets. On the upcoming full moon look for heavy bedding activity. Striped Bass: Good. Lake World reports that striper are scattered from Dreher Island to the dam, and from the surface to 80 feet deep. The bigger fish, though, have been caught fishing down-lined live herring about three cranks off the bottom in 60-80 feet of water. Some very good fish can also be caught fishing cut bait in the same areas, but the numbers are lower. Anglers are also catching fish trolling umbrella rigs and Stretch-25s.
Santee Cooper System
Catfish: Slow. Captain Jim Glenn reports that, while there are exceptions, blue catfishing can be characterized as very slow most days and nights. Fish are scattered, and the few active fish that have been caught are coming from shallow water as well as water down to 30 feet by anglers using both anchoring and drifting techniques. Decent numbers of channel cats have been caught recently in deeper water by anglers drifting with cut bait, and some catches have been reported in shallow water on commercially prepared baits as well as cut baits. Fish range from one pound to around eight pounds, with smaller fish generally being caught on prepared baits and larger ones coming on prepared baits and cut baits. Crappie: Good. Captain Steve English reports that crappie have more or less moved into a traditional summer pattern and can be found around mid-depth brush piles. Fishing minnows and jigs around brush in 10-15 feet of water has been the best pattern. Larger fish are being caught in the lower lake, but the numbers are better in the upper lake. Bream: Good. Captain Steve English reports that bream beds are apparent in the shallows on Lake Marion, and around the full moon he expects to see tons of bream bedding. Bream and shellcracker can both be caught in the upper lake fishing worms and crickets around shallow cover. Largemouth bass: Slow to fair. Captain Jimmie Hair reports that bass fishing has been pretty tough on Santee Cooper, but anglers are starting to catch fish in the eel grass. Its important to cover a lot of water, but fish can be ganged up once they are located. The best baits have been fluke-type baits and particularly the Gambler Super Stud fished with a light belly weight in watermelon seed color. The bite in the cypress trees is below average for this time of year, but some fish can still be caught there. Finally, in the lower lake fishing small worms on a Carolina rig in 10-14 feet of water around stump fields and drop offs will catch fish.
South Carolina freshwater recreational fishing regulations: (Pdf file): http://www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/pdf/freshfishing.pdf