Trout: Fair to good. Captain Steve Pietrykowski reports that Lake
Jocassee trout fishing remains pretty strong, but if anything the fish
have gotten even deeper. The best bite continues to be occurring
between about 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., with the fishing not as good first
thing. Fish are still feeding best in the 80-100 foot deep range, and trolling
both Apex and Sutton spoons and live shiners is working well. Fish
slowly at trolling speeds of less than two miles per hour.
(unchanged from Sept. 19)
Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Slow to fair. Guide Brad Fowler reports
that fishing has slowed down on Lake Keowee and catching bass has
gotten pretty tough. The best pattern has been fishing topwater lures
over shallow, rocky points early in the morning, and after that bite dies
off fishing gets difficult. The best pattern once the sun is up has been
trying to pick up occasional fish on Carolina rigs, drop shot rigs and
shakey head worms in 18-30 feet of water around depth changes and
Catfish: Good. Captain Bill Plumley reports that blue catfish remain in
the deep timber where they are difficult to target, but channel catfish
continue to feed well in 5-25 feet of water. Worms, stink bait and cut
herring are all working in the creeks, main lake, or pockets at the right
depth range. Flathead fishing has also been strong, and early, late and
at night fish can be caught on live bream or perch anchored around
brush on points. The best spots are in 5-25 feet of water.
Crappie: Fair to good. Captain Bill Plumley reports that crappie fishing
has improved, with numerous reports of pretty good catches as the
water begins to cool. The best action has been coming 12-15 feet down
in 20 feet of water around brush and bridges. Both minnows and jigs
have been catching fish.
Striped bass: Good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that the lower end
of the lake continues to be producing above average for this time of
year, and right now as many fish are being caught on the lower end
as at the top of the lake. In the lower part of the lake the best pattern
is fishing down lined herring 30-40 feet deep in fairly deep water, while
on the upper end of the lake below the Hartwell Dam the best pattern is
free lining live herring along the river channel.
Black Bass: Good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that bass fishing is
above average for this time of year, and spotted bass are biting well
around brush piles about 25 feet deep. Drop shot rigs are working very
well. Spots are also schooling in the morning on threadfin shad around
main lake points in the main lake. They will take small topwater plugs,
but the best rig is a popper-type topwater bait with a 1/16th ounce white
jig tied off on couple of feet of line behind it. For largemouth bass the
best pattern is to head up the creeks and fish a lipless crankbait in the
channel where it drops off in the 5-10 foot range.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good. Captain William Sasser reports that
striper are basically grouped up around the oxygen system. The best
success is coming from anglers putting in at the Modoc boat ramp and
fishing on the bottom in 30-40 feet of water with down lined herring.
Fish are also being caught at the top of the lake in the Russell Tailrace.
Crappie: Fair. Captain William Sasser reports that the lake seems to be
starting to turn over a little bit and crappie have moved a bit shallower
into brush about 20 feet deep. The best area has been the Georgia
Little River between the Little River Bridge and Raysville.
Largemouth Bass: Fair. FLW Professional and Guide Matt Arey reports
that bass are starting to move into a fall pattern and fish are making
their way into the creeks. Early in the morning fish are schooling in
pockets and the shallow backs of creeks. These shallow fish are less
focused on bream and essentially keyed in on threadfin shad, and they
will take shad imitation lures such as small topwaters and swimbaits.
The other major bite is targeting wolf packs of roaming bass that are
shallow in 2-4 feet of water in the creeks. The most popular lure for
catching these fish has been a jig.
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that for numbers
of channel cats the best pattern is drifting with small pieces of herring
and shrimp, or anchoring with dip baits and shrimp on humps
and points. 15-30 feet of water has been the most productive depth.
To increase your chances of tangling with a monster channel catfish,
or to target flatheads, try anchoring live bait such as bream or white
perch in the same depths. For smaller fish give the anchor bite up to 30
minutes, and for bigger fish be willing to wait up to an hour and a half.
Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that the big fish bite on
Monticello has been pretty consistent lately. Fish are in typical fall spots
as a transition out of the summer pattern seems to be happening earlier
than usual this year. This means that instead of fishing in the backs
of coves Captain Chris is focusing on main lake, deep water humps
and points. Both anchoring and drifting have been effective, with the
productive depth range from 40-65 feet - although than can change
from day to day. Cut gizzard shad, white perch and bream have all
been effective baits for big fish, but if you are looking to catch numbers
of smaller fish it's hard to go wrong with small pieces of cut herring
fished on the bottom or free line drifted.
Catfish: Very good. Captain Rodger Taylor reports that the drift and
anchor bite are both very good on Lake Wateree. The blue catfish bite
has been strong on the shallow flats in 8-12 feet of water, and while
fish have not always been huge there have been some very good numbers
taken. Cut gizzard shad has been a good bait, and cast netting in
Wateree Creek in the morning has yielded good numbers of 4-6 inch
Crappie: Fair. Veteran tournament angler Will Hinson reports that crappie
are starting to make a seasonal change on Lake Wateree. While
some fish can still be caught around brush in the 16-18 foot range,
more fish are now up shallower around brush in 10-12 feet of water.
A few fish are also around docks. Crappie are following the threadfin
shad, and it's a good bet that crappie can be caught tight-lining in areas
where schools of shad are seen on the surface in the morning. Fish are
all over the lake, and the best areas vary from day to day depending on
factors such as wind direction.
Bream: Very good. Lake World reports that shellcracker fishing is very
strong in 4-10 feet of water off points using nightcrawlers. If fish are not
quickly located move to another spot. Bluegill are holding around docks
and can be caught on worms and crickets.
Striped bass: Fair to good. Lake World reports that striper are still
mostly found from the dam to Shull Island, and the majority of fish are
being caught from the surface down to 40 feet of water. There is good
topwater action at times, and standard topwater lures, Striper Delights
trailed by a small spoon, and free lined live herring are all working well.
For deeper fish down lined herring are the best choice.
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that Lake Murray
catfish seem to be moving into a fall pattern a little early. Some fish
(99% channels) can still be caught shallower in the 5-20 foot range, but
blues are also being caught deeper in the 20-40 foot range. The most
consistent pattern is anchoring on points and humps in the main lake,
but the drift is also producing some bites. Cut herring, white perch,
shrimp and dip baits are all working equally as well.
Santee Cooper System
Catfish: Fair. Captain Jim Glenn reports that when water has been
flowing through the canal and creating current the catfish bite in the
canal has been good. Outside of the canal the bite can best be characterized
as fairly slow on Lake Moultrie, even at night which is traditionally
good in the summer. There have been reports of some shallow
water success on Lake Marion recently. Overall, the best bet may be
drifting with cut bait and covering a range of depths, including shallow
and deep water.
Cherry Grove Pier reports that fishing off the pier is hot right now. Huge
schools of mullet are running the beaches, and as a result action from
Spanish mackerel (often in the 4-5 pound range) and bluefish up to
a couple of pounds has been very good. Some nice red drum have
also been caught, and good whiting catches, decent numbers of pompano,
and a few spots have been landed. Reports indicate that the big
schools of spot are up around the Virginia/ North Carolina line. A few
small flounder have also been landed.
Flounder: Very good. Perry's Bait and Tackle in Murrell's Inlet reports
that flounder fishing is very good in the creeks and out at the 3 Mile
Reef. The most popular inshore method is drifting/ trolling and holding
two rods each set up with a double mud minnow tandem rig. There
are also some people catching fish anchoring, casting and reeling the
same rig or a plain Carolina rigged minnow.
Spottail bass: Good. Perry's reports that spottail bass are feeding well
in the creeks and out at the jetties. Live mud minnows, live finger mullet,
live shrimp and a variety of artificial lures will all work.
The Charleston Angler reports that around Sullivan's after high tide in
the morning ladyfish, trout and redfish all were smacking live bait under
corks. The bite was strong whether it was mud minnows or shrimp.
Tarpon: Very good. Haddrell's Point reports that the tarpon bite is very
strong; the mullet run is in full swing and large pods of tarpon are following
the schools of mullet. Bulls Bay, North Edisto, the Charleston
Jetties, etc. have all been producing solid reports of tarpon in the past
week or two. Large mullet, menhaden, blue crabs, and artificials such
as the 10? Hogy will all catch fish.
Flounder: Good to very good. Haddrell's reports that the flounder bite
continues to be very strong. Live minnows, live finger mullet, Zman
PogyZ softbaits, and Zman DieZel minnowZ are all working very well
around the edges of rock piles in 3-8 feet of water. Spanish mackerel:
Good. Haddrell's reports that an end-of-summer blitz on Spanish Mackerel
has been going on just offshore of the beaches on the tideline, and
a #00 Clark spoon or 3/4oz casting jig will produce plenty of fast paced
Beaufort - Hilton Head
Spottail bass: Fair to good. Bay Street Outfitters in Beaufort reports that
some strong tailing action has taken place on the higher tides when
fish can come up in the short grass, and when fish are tailing they have
been susceptible to crab patterns and spoon flies on the fly as well
as Gulp fiddler crabs or Red Ripper spoons. On lower tides fish are
chasing shrimp and getting into very, very shallow water. Captain Dan
"Fishin' Coach" Utley in Hilton Head reports that the redfish are still
spread out in their summer-time patterns. He is finding the best fishing
back in small creeks on the outgoing tide. Mud minnows and cut mullet
fished around oyster beds have produced the best action. Flounder are
a bonus fish when fishing around the oyster beds in the creeks with
mud minnows. Coach reminds anglers they need to be careful and get
out of the creeks at the right times when fishing the dropping tide. Big
tides this week should produce some good tailing activity.
Jack crevalle and ladyfish: Bay Street Outfitters reports that a fair number
of jack crevalle are being caught inshore right now, and they can be
caught on topwater plugs thrown in areas where they are busting bait.
Ladyfish can also be caught the same way, and both species will also
take live bait and especially shrimp.