Freshwater Fishing Trends
Black Bass: Slow. Water temperatures are beginning to creep up, but the bite remains tough. Most of the fish still seem to be suspended offshore where they are difficult to locate. Try looking for bait schools on your graph, and then lower down a jigging spoon or drop shot rig. Water temperatures only need to warm a few more degrees before fish should begin moving towards the banks and prepare to go into prespawn feeding mode.
Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Fair. The best fishing is in the mid-lake area around the warm water discharge, where smaller fish have moved shallow and can be caught on jerkbaits and flukes. The best spotted bass fishing remains in 50-80 feet of water, where fish are bunched up around depressions, creek channels and ditches. Fishing drop shot rigs, jigging spoons and doodle rigs. Largemouth bass are still difficult to catch right now.
Catfish: Fair to good. Fish are moving into creeks with herring and shad anchoring around 4-18 feet producing.
Striper/hybrid: Good. Check the creeks where there are threadfin shad. Use small bait mostly in 4-30 feet.
Largemouth Bass: Fair to good. Fishing is improving as the water warms and the spawn can't be far away. Bass are feeding on threadfin shad and so small jigs that have the appearance of bait broken away from the large school are hard for fish to pass up.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good. Fish are reported feeding well in front of the dam. Down lines at 20-30 feet with herring. Also some action with planer boards in creeks.
Crappie: Fair to improving. Check under docks in 4-5 feet and under brush in creeks. Buffalo Creek is warmer and starting to spawn.
Largemouth Bass: Good. About to spawn and very active with spinner bait and jigs.
Largemouth Bass: Fair. Fish are reported scattered around the lake, but it won't be long before spawning will get underway. Right now check docks and secondary points. Crankbaits are producing.
Largemouth Bass: Fair. Sportsman's Friend reports the bass fishing changes from day to day. Check in 8 to 10 feet of water, but they expect the fish to begin moving to the back of coves soon. Crankbait and worms near cover are producing.
Crappie: Fair to good. Sportsman's Friend reports the fish are feeding well using minnows in 4 to 6 feet near shallower brush.
Catfish: Good. The bite for blue catfish in the 10-20 pound range is still good, and for patient anglers big fish are still available. Many shad and catfish remain glued to the bottom, and the most productive depth range has been 50-65 feet. Anchor around shad schools that are not tight to the bottom and slightly broken up, which indicates that fish are feeding on them.
Largemouth Bass: Improving to Good. Captain Dearal Rodgers reports the fish are caught staging on points at the mouths of creeks and coves. They are relating to cover around rocks, stumps, trees, and grass from 2 feet out to 5 feet and our retrieve was medium to slow. Crankbaits and Rattletraps were the ticket. Captain Chris Heinning reports that bass fishing has improved and fish are being found shallow. Bass can be caught on crankbaits, jigs and trailer and shakyhead worms. Work depths of 6 feet or less.
Crappie: Fair. Fish shallow in 3 to 9 feet with tight lines in front of the boat. Jigs and minnows are the best bet. Crappie are expected to start spawning soon.
Largemouth Bass: Good. Captain Chris Heinning reports he is catching the most fish in mid to lower lake section on crankbaits (crawdad/shad color), jerkbaits (shad), shakyhead worms (watermelon), and jigs (brown). The water is warming and more and more bass are moving up shallow. First they will transition areas from deep to shallow so it's good to check out rocky points and underwater humps.
Striper: Good. The best fishing is midlake down to the dam with free lines and cut bait off points. Some plugs are reported to be producing.
Santee Cooper System
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Jim Glenn reports that blue cats are still scattered in various depths, but are making the transition to more shallow water. There are reports of catches of blue cats in as little as 3 feet of water, especially during windy conditions. Drifting in 10 to 20 feet on into deeper water will produce blue cats. Shad and herring are available in the area now and are the baits of choice.
Striper: Captain Jim Glenn reports schooling should be getting underway on both lakes soon. As the water warms, fishermen will begin to fish the upper reaches of the Santee, Wateree and Congaree Rivers for striped bass. Fresh cut and live herring will be the preferred baits in the rivers.
Saltwater Fishing Trends:
(Sporadic reporting due to winter conditions)
Little River - Grand Strand - Charleston - Beaufort - Tides - S.C. marine recreational fishing regulations (PDF file). Saltwater Fishing License site.
Fishing trends courtesy www.SCFishingReport.com. Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports.
Perry's Bait and Tackle reports the recent warm weather has really brought out the redfish. Use cut bait for best results.
Haddrell's Point reports quality Wahoo have come in from around the southwest banks area of the ledge, as well as some blackfin holding around Georgetown hole. Pull smaller baits for the blackfin such as the junior sized cedar plugs or small ballyhoo behind a sea witch skirt.
Haddrell's Point reports a great blackfin bite off of the Beaufort/Savannah area down around the "Triple Ledge" and "Deli" areas.