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Friday, March 23, 2012 8:10 AM
Freshwater Fishing Trends
Largemouth Bass: Good. Most fish are near the banks and about to start spawning. Most are the small to medium size males with larger females thrown in. Your best bet is soft plastics close to banks and look for shoreline cover.
Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Good. Fish are reportedly bedding something fierce over the last week. Stay close to shore and find cover, especially docks. Soft plastics such as shakey head worms are doing well.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good. Fish are scattered around the lake, but check 20 to 25 feet using downlines and also cut bait with freelines. Catfish: Good. Fish are from 5 to 30 feet.
Crappie: Good. Catching from 8 to 20 feet around the banks with jigs and minnows. Look for shallow brush.
Striped bass: Improving. Guide Wendell Wilson reports the fish have begun to move shallow and are taking jigs better than live bait. Pulling big gizzard shad is always an option.
Catfish: Fair to good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that catfish action has improved, and anchoring on shallow main lake points has turned into a strong pattern. Fan casting cut bait in 15-20 feet of water will catch channels.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good to very good. Best fishing on points by freelining herring in 2 to 3 feet of water. Good fishing at night around the dam and points near the dam with downlines.
Crappie: Good. Fish shallow in 6 to 8 feet with the best results on bobbers with jigs or minnows.
Largemouth Bass: Very good. Reportedly to be experiencing one of the best spawns in years. Get up against the banks with floating worms and any sort of soft plastics.
Largemouth Bass: Good. Sportsman's Friend reports the fish are on the beds and there has been a lot of topwater action with floating worms and some spinning bait.
Crappie: Very good. Reports of many anglers coming back with limits caught, Minnows and jigs off docks in 4 to 6 feet are producing.
Catfish: Good. The baitfish are shallow and the big blues have followed them. Many fish are also feeding on mussels. The most productive depths have been 10 to 40 feet deep, and fishing mid-way to all the way back into the coves has been productive. Shallow humps and points are also producing, and soon main lake points and humps should become strong. Anchoring has been most effective, and right now fish are taking a variety of sizes and types baits. Be sure to experiment.
Largemouth Bass: Good. Warm temps have brought the bass shallow and they can be caught on crankbaits, jigs with trailers, and shakey head worms.
Crappie: Fair to good. Reportedly the fish are 'confused' by the warm temps so early and are hit and miss from shallow to 15 feet, but once you find the sweet spot the fish are biting.
Striped Bass: Good to very good. Feeding well all over the lake. Fish are schooling from the Little Saluda all the way to Bomb Island. Freelines with herring and cut bait off points and humps are producing. Also check downlines that are pulling up smaller fish. Shellcracker: Good. Fish are reportedly on the beds in 2 to 8 feet of water. Worms fished on the bottom are most effective.
Crappie: Good. Most fish are spawning and the best catches are shallow brush on jigs.
Santee Cooper System
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Jim Glenn reports many catfishermen have reported fishing as slow. Only a few reports of good catches the past week or so. Most success has come in shallow water primarily at night or early morning around flooded trees and on the tops and sides of hills and drops both day and night.
Largemouth bass: Fair to good. Captain Jim Glenn reports fish are on beds in some areas. Some success with surface baits is reported around vegetation and adjacent to isolated cypress trees in about 4 feet of water.
Crappie: Good. Captain Jim Glenn reports fishing has been good especially in the Potato, Wyboo and Taw Caw creek areas of Marion. Spawning is underway and post spawn fish are being caught regularly the past few days. A few boats trolling jigs were as successful as others either drifting minnows or fishing structure in open water from 10 to 15 feet especially early in the day or very late evening or after dark.
Striped bass: Fair. Captain Jim Glenn reports fishing has slowed, especially in the upper reaches of Marion up into the river. Striped bass are making their spawning run and are in the rivers and flats.
Saltwater Fishing Trends:
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.
Some keeper size flounder reported caught in the inlets and creeks. Redfish are doing well on live minnows on Carolina rigs and very shallow. Check for sheepshead around the jetties as they are biting.
Haddrell's Point reports trout are finally starting to get consistent trout. Zman PaddlerZ, DOA shrimp, live shrimp, and even a good ole mud minnow are all producing for the specks. Reds continue to shift into their warm water pattern and are being found under docks, on the flats, and around structure/rock piles. Live and cut baits are still a no-fail option for the reds, but Gulp! artificials and redfish magic spinners are also producing. Solid reports of sheepshead have been coming in from the jetties and the nearshore reefs, if you can weed through the abundance of black sea bass to get a bait in front of a sheepshead.
Beaufort (unchanged from March 15)
Redfish: Good. Unseasonably mild winter weather, water temps are more comparable to April, rather than March. This has caused the large, tight schools of flats reds to scatter and break up into smaller packs. Live and fresh cut bait has been out producing artificials, although scented plastics, spoons, and spinners will work on days when they are willing to chase.
Trout: Good. Creel surveys and angler feedback are all pointing towards a much better trout population than last year's. A good number of smaller fish are being caught in the deeper holes with structure in the feeder creeks off the main river.
Sheepshead: Good. Fishing remains strong in the area around docks with heavy growth on their pilings. The lower half of the tide is more productive. Fiddler crabs, and soft baits such as oysters, clams, and mussells are all producing heavy catches.
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