Trout: Fair to good. Captain Steve Pietrykowski reports fish are still in the backs of creeks, also some fish are on major points of the main lake, but they are starting to move out to major points and ledges in the main lake and tributaries. Use live bait and troll slower, but you should get a couple of shots at bigger fish per day in the 40 foot range.
Striper: Very slow. Guide Brad Fowler says some limited results reported on U-rigs with most hits coming on the main channel because cold water in backs of creeks is being pushed out. Catfish: Slow. Fowler says the cold water is keeping things slow, but some results around 40 feet on main lake points. Use cut bait.
Crappie: Slow to fair. Captain Bill Plumley reports that some crappie continue to be caught around deep brush. Drop very small minnows or jigs right over the top of brush in 20-30 feet of water.
Catfish: Slow. Captain Bill Plumley reports that with so much rain and cold water entering the lake the blue catfish have stayed out pretty deep. A few can be caught in the creeks on cut herring and gizzard shad, and the best depth range is 5-30 feet of water. This will vary from day to day and over the course of the day, as fish can move up when the shallows warm and draw baitfish. It is almost impossible to catch channels and flatheads when temperatures are this cold.
Striper: Fair. Guide Wendell Wilson says to fish in the 50-60 foot water depth range on the south end of the lake and hold at 25-30 feet deep. Drag bait through the tops of trees by pulling herring, shiner and medium minnows.
Largemouth bass: Fair to good. Buckeye Lures in Augusta reports to fish about 15-25 feet down with mop jigs, in creek channels, leading to spawning areas. Generally the fish are still deep.
Largemouth Bass: Fair. FLW Professional and Guide Matt Arey reports that that fish are in a typical winter pattern, and the bite should get better and better unless temperatures increase and disrupt things. Fishing grubs such as Yamamato single tail grubs behind a ¼ or 3/16 ounce jighead around channel swings, points and at the mouths of creeks is producing, and on sunny days fish will move onto flats to feed. They will still stay near the creek channels, though. 20 feet of water is a good starting depth to target, but the key is finding the bait (schools of shad). Anglers are also having success throwing Alabama rigs in the same areas, and when water muddies up square-billed crankbaits, spinnerbaits and rattling baits are a good bet. As always in the winter on Lake Wylie fish can be caught near the lower and upper hot holes using a variety of shallow water techniques.
Largemouth bass: Slow to fair. Veteran tournament angler Stan Gunter reports the whole lake is muddy and cold. Throw Fire Tiger crankbaits in 3-6 feet of water. Fish the mouths of big creeks and secondary points. Throw jigs around structure, but mostly fish rocky points.
Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that the fishing for big fish continues to be really consistent. Most baitfish are holding in the 40-60 foot range, and in that range and a little deeper the majority of the big fish have been found. The best bait schools are near ledges, points, humps or other depth changes so that you can fan cast to a variety of depths. If you can find bait with some arches under them or up in them, looking like they may be feeding, it’s probably worth dropping anchor.
Largemouth Bass: Slow. Guide Dearal Rodgers reports that the water is cold and muddy, which for him is usually a bad combination. Bites are hard to come by but throwing a #8 Fire Tiger Shad Rap is a decent bet.
Crappie: Slow to fair. Captain Brad Taylor says your best results are around 20ish feet of water, 10-12 down from the river down to middle part of the lake. Try tight-lining up the river. The fish are in a straight wintertime pattern. Use jigs tipped with minnows. The fish go shallow when the sun is up and a couple of sunny days should make improvement pretty quickly.
Santee Cooper System
Striped bass: Fair. Captain Jim Glenn reports some striper catches in the vicinity of Wyboo Creek on Lake Marion. Live bait fishing with gizzard shad will be productive anchoring or drifting for striper. Fishermen are also having some success trolling at night and early in the morning on Lake Moultrie.
Cherry Grove Pier reports the last 4 or 5 days has pretty much been no fishing with the cold weather, before that were some whiting, silver perch, small croaker.
Inshore: Perry’s Bait and Tackle in Murrell’s Inlet reports that before the hard freeze trout and redfish were both feeding pretty well around the jetties and inside the Inlet. Both live bait and artificial shrimp were catching fish, but the cold weather seems to have slowed things down. Some sheepshead are also around at the jetties and a few juvenile flounder are still being caught inshore.
Folly Beach Pier reports that few sharks, stingrays are all that's being caught.
The Charleston Angler reports redfish are still out there. They are eating both cut mullet and cracked blue crab, but with water temps hovering in the mid 40s, the fish are finicky.
Haddrell's Point reports large schools of redfish are prevalent on the low tide flats right now, especially if you can get out on a day with some sunshine where those fish can warm themselves in the shallows. Many have been fly fishing for these reds, but you can also expect some good results free-lining a live minnow or throwing a Savage Shrimp.
Beaufort - Hilton Head
Spottail Bass: Good. Bay Street Outfitters in Beaufort reports that fish are grouped up in large schools. This time of year you need to be subtle in your presentations with the clear water, and on spinning tackle throw as light a jig as you can throw around creek mouths and flats where fish should be sitting. Small paddle tail grubs in light or bright colors – not dark colors – are a good option, as are Gulp! Shrimp. Small #4 and #6 flies in light colors, such as tan kwan flies, are good on fly gear. On the incoming tide fish will be a bit shallower when the mud is warm, and on dropping tides fish will hold a bit deeper. It is worth remember to throw to the edge of schools to avoid spooking fish. Away from the flats some fish can also be caught around deep holes and trees.
Captain Dan “Fishin’ Coach” Utley in Hilton Head reports that despite the stretch of cold weather redfish are still eating. It seems as if there may not be as many schools around the flats where they are normal found, probably because of the weather. The good news is that fishing back in some of the small creeks off the main rivers small, one year old redfish have been schooled up thick and eager to eat Gulp! Shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jighead. Cast into deep pockets around the oyster beds and let the jig sit, then when there is a slight tap-tap reel down and set the hook.