Lake Marion is at 74.5, 2.3 feet below full pool, and Lake Moultrie is at 74.6, .9 feet below full pool. Surface temperatures are below 50 degrees and so shad are stressed and/or dying.
Bream & Crappie: Fair - Good
Crappie: Crappie remain in deep water over brush piles, and he is catching fish 20-28 feet down over brush in 30-42 feet of water on minnows. Good electronics allow anglers to mark fish so that they can concentrate on the most productive brush.
Bream: Bluegill can be caught off the back of the same brush where it drops off into deeper water using a cricket fished on a drop-shot rig.
For both species the best bite by far has been in the lower lake and fishing in the upper lake has been tough.
Largemouth Bass: Fair
Overall bass fishing can be a little tough, but on sunny afternoons fish can move up shallower and become more active. Fishing crankbaits in 8-12 feet of water Steve caught six fish in the 3 – 6 ½ pound range recently under these conditions.
Catfishing has essentially been slow recently, and winds and weather have limited fishing on the lakes. Catfish can be found both deep and shallow right now, with anchoring the best bet for success. Try fishing for cats around suspended bait in deep water, or in wind-blown shallow areas. Catfish (and striper) may be keying on stressed or dying threadfin shad, and gulls will be feeding on dying shad across the system. When they are found in shallow water wading birds will be picking up shad on the surface. Catfish will rise to the surface to feed on these same baitfish, and even when this happens over deeper water fishing right under the surface can be effective. Note that mid-day fishing can be strong. Jim also reports that some fish have been caught up in the swamp/ river area at the top of Lake Marion, particularly when the water was first rising. Once water levels began to fall the bite also declined.
Striped Bass: Fair
Striper anglers should continue to follow the bait schools, as striper will be keying on stressed and dying threadfin shad with water temperatures below 50 degrees. Feeding gulls may give away the locations of the bait, and fishing live bait, trolling lures, or jigging spoons will all catch fish.
Up to date fishing information for freshwater fishing in lakes Jocassee, Keowee, Hartwell, Russell, Thurmond, Wylie, Greenwood, Monticello, Wateree & Murray.
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Famous for their spectacular fights - Lurking in Sante Cooper Lakes and rivers is a fish that, pound for pound, provides the most spectacular fight among freshwater game fish. Known for its strength and fighting ability once hooked, the hybrid striped bass (also known as wiper bass) provides excellent sport fishing.
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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: