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Welcome to Testone Catfish Charters in Santee Cooper, South Carolina - Home of the Big Blue Catfish
Testone Catfish Charters is located at the heart of Santee Cooper on lakes Marion and Moultrie in South Carolina. World class fishing guide Captain Brandon Testone has fishing charters in Santee Cooper on two lakes, two rivers, two canals and a vast swamp.
Santee Cooper is awesome! 450 miles of shoreline, 171,000 acres of land covered by 756 billion gallons of water. Lakes Marion and Moultrie are famous as the home of the landlocked striped bass and the BIG blue catfish. Along with stripers and catfish are largemouth bass, crappie and bream. All of which offer an exciting challenge for anglers.
Charter fishing guide - Captain Brandon Testone - has over 20 yrs experience catching fish - His speciality is catching Catfish, whether its the blue, channel or flatheads. With Captain Brandon as your fishing guide in Santee Cooper, we try to ensure a great time and rewarding trip is had by all.
Testone Catfish Charters has up to date equipment with a clean, well maintained pontoon boat large enough to give plenty of fishing room for 6 fishermen.
* Kids under 12 are free with a paid adult.
* Private Charters are available -- Contact Us for details.
* 10% discount for active military
* 10% discount for senior citizen 65 and over
If you want the BIG FISH - Your fishing guide - Captain Brandon - will find them but YOU still have to reel em in!
Why choose Testone Catfish charters?
Fishing guide, Captain Brandon Testone, targets trophy size fish in Santee Cooper on lakes Marion and Moultrie. That is after all what you came for right!
Some of the boats out here are old and weather worn - OUR boat is what you see online - New, Clean, Safe and equipped with a GPS, marine radio, sea anchors, and all coast guard required safety items. There is also an enclosure for bad or cold weather.
Leave the little ones behind, fish with me and lets hunt the monsters that Santee is known for! We don't always catch trophies and numbers will vary depending on the conditions, but I will guarantee that I will try to put you on the biggest catfish you have ever caught...and have a blast in doing so!
Charter Fishing Guide - Captain Brandon Testone
Santee Cooper Lakes
Updated - 11/21/2014
Bream & Crappie: Very Good
Crappie: Reports are that crappie fishing has been strong with reports of catching limits every day, with sizes also strong including a recent fish over 3 pounds. Fish have moved a bit deeper, and right now the best fishing bas been dropping minnows 10-18 feet down over brush in 20-35 feet of water. More fish have been caught in the lower lake, but nice sized crappie have been caught in both. This bite should hold up through mid-December.
Bream: Bluegills are very heavy on the brushpiles. Fishing crickets 10-18 feet down over brush in 20-35 feet of water has been the best pattern, which equates to the same areas that crappie are being caught. Bluegill are generally a bit more aggressive than crappie so the best bet for anglers targeting crappie is to move on to the next brushpile if they start catching bream.
Largemouth Bass: Fair
After a slow-down largemouth bass fishing has been better over the past couple of weeks, and fishermen have resumed targeting fish around visible structure in shallow water. This pattern should hold up until water temperatures drop much below 60 degrees or cold fronts push fish to deeper water. There has also been some schooling activity reported in the afternoon and some fish have been caught on swimbaits
Expected seasonal improvement in catfishing has occurred as predicted, and with water temperatures dropping into the mid-60s and then below fishing got much better. In the recent Hills Landing tournament a record was set with a winning total, 10-fish weight of 412 pounds(!), and places 2-7 each had over 200 pounds. In addition to seasonal factors this probably indicates that there has been better growth with the population decline over the past few years, and the protection of big fish may be helping. In his own fishing Captain Jim has found good results drifting cut shad in 8-25 feet on days with a steady breeze. Fish still seem to be scattered but they will begin to move into deeper water in both lakes as temperatures continue to fall, and the bite may get relatively consistent (depending on weather) once water temperatures stay well below 60.
Striped Bass: Good
Striped bass fishing has been good in both lakes. Numerous sub-legal fish have been caught but also some keeper-sized fish over 26 inches have been caught. Fish are often located in the deeper sections of Lake Moultrie and on the edges of drops that run from 35-45 feet of water. Lake Marion fish are scattered along the old river channel and into flooded timber as well as in the mouths of bigger creeks like Wyboo and even further up the creek if bait is sufficient. Anchoring will catch fish as well as drifting live bait and/ or jigging spoons and jigs. Fishermen have also been targeting schooling fish; schooling can be found at various depths in both lakes depending on where the bait is found.
Up to date fishing information for freshwater fishing in lakes Jocassee, Keowee, Hartwell, Russell, Thurmond, Wylie, Greenwood, Monticello, Wateree & Murray.
Winter is prime time to catch a giant blue catfish. "Big blues actually become more aggressive once the water temperature dips below 40 degrees," says Jim Moyer, a veteran guide from Clarksville, Tenn., who has bagged cats close to 80 pounds during winter. "I've had fast action on monster blues in water as cold as 35 degrees." Here's his plan:
The 5 primary trouts are the rainbow, brook, brown, cutthroat and lake trout. Brown trout are considered the most difficult to catch and brookies are the easiest. Pure cold water is key to survival of the trouts and the brook trout is the most sensitive to temperature....
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Santee Cooper Lakes Fishing
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World Class Charter Fishing Guide
Captain Brandon Testone