SC Fishing Report (Freshwater)- Week 11


Published: March 19, 2009

Lake Thurmond

Lake Thurmond is still at 321. 

Striped and Hybrid Bass:  Good to very good.  The fish are moving down the lake towards the dam and some nice catches of large numbers of 8 to 10 pound fish are being reported mid-lake.  Down towards the damn around Bait Cove on the South Carolina side nice fish are being picked up.  The predominant method remains using planer boards, and particularly running them across points and over humps.  Some downlines are also being used, too.  It is unclear what cooler temperatures this weekend will do. 

Crappie: Good to very good.  Broadway Tackle in Augusta reports that in the Plum Branch area fish are already up against the banks and spawning, and anglers are wearing them out.  Lower down the lake the Herring Hut reports that the crappie are still deep although some very good numbers of fish are being caught, including by bank fishermen fishing on steep banks over structure. 

Largemouth bass: Fair.  Clark’s Hill bass fishing is still tough, and weights in tournaments continue to be low.  The bass are not in a consistent pattern right now.  The best bets right now are jigs, jointed shad raps, and Strike King Series 3 crankbaits.  As water temperatures rise fish should move shallower and get more aggressive. 

DHEC Fish Advisory: Only one meal per week of largemouth bass.

Savannah River

Largemouth Bass:  Good.  The bass bite has been fairly strong in the tailwaters of the Thurmond Dam and further down, and some anglers even report action on topwater lures. 

Yellow Perch: Fair.  Large catches of yellow perch never really materialized this spring; some good fish have been caught but not in large numbers. 

Lake Russell

Lake Russell is down more than a foot to 472.

Largemouth Bass: Good to very good.  Downlake water temperatures are still very cold, and the best fishing is coming using green pumpkin jigs fished over tree tops.  However, the best Lake Russell bass fishing is coming up the lake in the riverine areas in the very warmest water.  Fish in these areas have moved about halfway back of coves and creeks and, while not yet shallow, are feeding very well.  Carolina rigged worms, shaky heads, jerkbaits, and crankbaits will all work. 

Crappie: Fair.  The crappie population is down right now but some fish are being caught over deep tree tops.  Up the rivers fish may be shallower. 

DHEC Fish Advisory: Only one meal per week of largemouth or spotted bass. 

Midlands Area

Lake Greenwood

Lake Greenwood is at 438.

Crappie: Very good.  Crappie action is hot in 12 to 15 feet of water at the forks of the Reedy and Saluda Rivers, and also below the 72 Bridge in the Quarters Creek area.  Drifting and spider rigging using minnows and jigs is effective, and black and chartreuse is the go-to color. 

Catfish: Good to very good.  Captain Chris Simpson reports that drifting cut bait across shallow flats is catching good numbers of channel catfish.  Fish are scattered and so action will be slow for a while and then frantic for a few minutes when you drift through a pod of fish.  The big feeder creeks off of the lower main lake are also producing very good catches. 

Largemouth Bass: Fair.  The largemouth bass action has been spotty with no clear pattern, and up and down air temperatures through next week are likely to keep the fish confused.  Some anglers are fishing deep while others are targeting fish staging for the spawn.  Carolina rigged worms are a good choice for prospecting. 

Striped Bass: Fair. Few striper reports are coming in, but the best striper action is being reported trolling deep in the area around Goat Island. 

No DHEC fish advisories.

Lake Murray

Lake Murray is over 358; main lake temperatures remain cold but surface temperatures in some areas were over 60 degrees before the cold snap. 

Bream: Good to very good.  Shellcracker fishing remains strong in 2 to 10 feet, particularly up the lake.  Use red worms and cut nightcrawlers. 

Catfish: Good.  Captain Chris Simpson reports that drifting cut bait across flats 5 to 15 deep is putting a mixed bag of blues, channel catfish, and white cats in the boat.  Some fish are still deep but many are making their way to shallower water. 

Striped Bass: Fair.  Fishing on the lower end of the lake is improving, and live bait and bucktails are both working.  Lots of 18 to 20 inch fish continue to be caught but getting keepers is difficult.  Up the river there is still good schooling activity being reported, and free lining is working from Billy Dreher Island on up.  A 17.5 pound fish was weighed in at Dooley’s on Saturday morning which was caught on a free lined herring. 

Largemouth Bass: Fair.  Largemouth bass fishing has improved as temperatures have risen in the last week, but the bite is still not hot.  Fish are starting to move towards the banks, although dropping temperatures may push them back out to deeper areas.  For now shallow water fishermen should look for the very warmest areas possible in the backs of coves and cuts; sometimes the biggest fish are the first to move shallow.  Texas-rigged worms, Carolina rigged worms, and jigs are popular choices. 

Crappie: Fair.  Down the lake crappie action is almost non-existent, but up the rivers the bite is off and on.  Most anglers are concentrating on the Kempson’s Bridge area in 8 to 20 feet, and purple and yellow jigs are the go-to color.  Once temperatures stabilize look for the fishing to improve. 

No DHEC fish advisories.

Columbia Area Rivers

Bream: Very good.  In the Congaree River some really nice shellcracker catches continue to be made fishing blue and red worms around willow trees above the 77 bridge.  The fish will move laterally depending on temperatures but are still around and hungry.

Crappie: Good.  In the Eastman area on up to the I-77 Bridge crappie fishing continues to be strong.  Fish live minnows up against shallow brush and trees against the bank. 

Striped Bass: Good.  Striper are really starting to move back into the Congaree, and the area from the Gervais Street Bridge down to Carolina Eastman is starting to heat up.  Most action is coming on cut bait fished on the bottom, but some anglers are starting to throw lures.  There are some reports of fish being caught as far up as the Gervais Street Bridge. 

Catfish: Good.  From Rosewood landing down some nice blue catfish are being caught on the bottom use live and cut herring. 

Trout Fly Fishing Report: Patterns like red, green and copper copper john, prince nymph, and red fox squirrel with legs have been producing the best.  Use sizes ranging from 12 to 16.  Some blue-winged olive hatches have been seen on the river during warmer times but little dry fly activity is being reported.

DHEC fish advisories: Largemouth bass and bluegill should only be eaten once a week, and bowfin (mudfish) should only be consumed once a month.

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