Lake Greenwood water levels are at 438.31 (full pool is 440.0) and surface water temperatures are 60-64 degrees depending upon area of the lake. The whole lake is clear.
Many bass fishermen look forward to the spawning season all year, but sometimes around the thick of the spawn fishing can get tough. Veteran tournament angler Stan Gunter of Saluda reports that is exactly what is going on right now, and it has only taken about 13 pounds to win recent tournaments. Stan believes that fish may be more focused on getting ready to spawn than eating right now, and as a result weights have been down.
Stan suggests looking for fish on the bed. By the next full moon, he expects the spawn to be completely wide open. He also suggests fishing shallow with a floating worm, Bang-O-Lure, or buzzbait. They will also take a spinnerbait or a jerkbait.
Lake Russell water levels are around 474.1 (full pool is 475.00), and water temperatures have spiked into the upper 60s. The lake is getting very clear although the backs are still a little stained.
The bass are spawning hard on Lake Russell, and Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that – even though it’s hard to actually see the beds with a light stain to the water – they are all over the banks. His boat has been fishing 1-3 feet of water in the backs of creeks and catching lots of 2-plus pound fish. There are probably still some fish out on main lake points, but throwing a buzzbait or Texas rig in the backs the action is so good that he has not fished anywhere else.
Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) has been fishing a similar pattern, and he has found the bass willing to eat just about any fast-moving bait. He’s been having a lot of luck retrieving a jerkbait quickly. While the bass are spawning Wendell has not seen any signs of a herring spawn yet, although it cannot be far off.
Like the bass, crappie are all over the banks on Lake Russell. Some of the fish have already spawned, while some have not. Jerry has found the most catchable fish in 1-3 feet of water, as the post-spawn fish that have pulled back out to brush usually don’t feed for a period after spawning.
In addition to casting jigs in shallow pockets, Wendell’s boat has caught fish trolling 1/32-ounce jigs in about 6-8 feet of water just outside spawning areas. From what he has seen the best females are on the banks right now.
There is not a lot of change in the striped bass pattern on Lake Russell, and Wendell reports that fish still seem to be in all of the creeks and scattered from the north end to the south of the lake. The best pattern remains to cover a lot of water and pull herring on free-lines and planer boards across as many shallow points as possible. Most of the fish they have caught have come in 4-5 feet of water. Fishing shallow points is likely to remain the best pattern for some time as when the herring begin spawning that will keep the bass in the same areas.
Lake Thurmond water levels are at 328.21 (full pool is 330.00) while water temperatures are in the low-60s. Down the lake there is 4-5 feet visibility, while some areas up the lake have as little as 4 inches.
It is an outstanding time to bass fish on Lake Thurmond, and tournament angler Tyler Matthews of Evans, Ga., reports that you can pick up about any lure in your tackle box right now and catch a fish. Fish are certainly on the beds spawning, and if so inclined you can catch them sight fishing. In dirty water you can also throw a spinnerbait or chatterbait, and there has also been some good schooling activity. In late April and May, it will be post-spawn fish schooling off points, but right now the schooling action is pre-spawn fish that are feeding on bait in pockets or at the last point before spawning areas. There are even some fish schooling on main lake points with wind. After fish go down, they are often staying in the same areas, and recently Tyler caught 10 good fish in 10 casts on a jig in an area where minutes earlier they had been schooling.
Fish activity has been related to weather recently, and on days when the water temperatures are over 60 degrees William Sasser Guide Service (706-589-5468) reports that striper and hybrids have been up and chasing herring.
Overall fish are relating to the main Savannah River channel in the mid-lake to lower lake, and they are being caught around shoals, blow throughs, humps and off secondary points. In the morning they are generally coming up to 14-19 feet, and then in the afternoon they are pulling back to 23-24 feet.
Almost all the fish are being caught on down-lines, and very few people seem to be fishing anything else. While there are some fish in the creeks far more seem to be relating to the main channel.