Lake Greenwood water levels are at 438.96 (full pool is 440.0) and surface water temperatures are in the lower 70s. The whole lake is fishable, with the lower end clear and the upper end only mildly stained.
With a SC Bass Federation tournament upcoming on Lake Greenwood there is only so much information that can be given out, but veteran tournament angler Stan Gunter of Saluda reports that the majority of the fish seem to be shallow while a few are just starting to go deep to brush. The topwater bite early around sea walls has been pretty good, and there has also been good action around bream beds during the day. During the day you can also fish docks, where both Senkos and jigs will catch fish.
Lake Russell water levels are above full pool at 475.26 (full pool is 475.00), and water temperatures are in the mid-70s. Most of the lake is clear with only a mild stain in some creeks.
The bass fishing is good on Lake Russell, and Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that the fish he is catching are related to both points and pockets. While the bass spawn is basically over the herring are spawning periodically, and throwing to points in 5-6 feet of water you can catch fish on topwaters or worms. You can also fish a floating worm or buzzbaits around the banks in pockets.
It seems to Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) that we are about in the middle of the herring spawn, and perhaps because of that he says that the shallow spotted bass fishing is wide open. Both males and females are around the bank on the main lake about as shallow as they ever come, and going down the bank and throwing a Gulp! swimming mullet on a 1/8-ounce jighead into 4-6 feet of water has been a really good pattern. Even though it’s thought of as a saltwater bait the spots have been tearing it up.
Early in the morning Wendell is also finding a very good bite for largemouth off shallow points with topwaters.
The striped bass and hybrids are also feeding around the banks and off points, and they will take the same swimbaits as well as free-lined live herring. However, Wendell reports that they have mainly been catching smaller fish up to about 5 pounds.
Crappie fishing has been good, and they are ganged up on shallow brush in 10-15 feet of water in the creeks. Wendell’s boat is fishing about halfway down the water column with minnows and jigs both working about the same.
It’s getting to be a really good time for catfish on Lake Russell, and Jerry suggests going into the backs of coves and pockets and fishing cut herring on the bottom. Aim for about 8-10 feet of water. It will not be very long before the fish are spawning.
Lake Thurmond water levels are at 328.24 (full pool is 330.00) and water temperatures are in the mid to upper-70s.
The bass bite has changed a little on Lake Thurmond, but tournament angler Josh Rockefeller of Augusta reports that overall the action is still really good fishing for bass that are targeting spawning blueback herring. Fish are still all over the points in 1-3 feet of water, but Josh has discovered that in addition to the Gunfish he is having to throw swimbaits and swimming flukes on a ¼ ounce jighead. There are still some good fish being caught on topwaters, but overall fish are getting a little more finesse-oriented at this stage of the herring spawn.
Striped bass and hybrids are also focused on the spawning herring, and William Sasser Guide Service (706-589-5468) reports that in the lower lake they are still pushed up very shallow on points around daylight. A lot of people are fishing free lines and planer boards, but it is also possible to catch them on very shallow down lines. Captain Brad Sasser has found fish in the 6-feet and 18-feet range around daylight along the edges of the channel, but after the sun gets up, they scatter out in the same areas and it is hard to find a concentration of fish. Free-lines and planer boards with weights are working, and there is no big group of fish in 20 or 30 feet of water. Fish seem to be making their way towards the lower end of the lake.
In the mid-lake, Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the planer board bite is tapering off but fish are still catchable. The down-line bite is getting better by the day and will soon be easily the best way to generate fast action. The most productive depths in the mid-lake for down-lining are as shallow as 8 feet to 25-30 feet. Fish typically go deeper as the sun gets higher.
Cut bait is still a good way to pick up a big fish.
Brad reports that crappie have moved back onto the brush, and the best brush piles seem to be along the river channels and not back in the creeks. Fish are generally 6-10 feet down in 12-15 feet of water. Double anchoring and dropping down minnows has been the best pattern.
Catfish can still be caught anchoring on red clay points and fan-casting baits at a variety of depths, with Chris reporting that 1- to 10-pound blues and channels in the same shallow areas as striper. Anchoring on humps in the 20- to 35-foot range is the better pattern for bigger, but fewer, blues. Some humps and points will produce a mixed bag of striper, hybrids, blues and channel cats that can fill up a cooler quickly!