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 474.3 (full pool is 475.00), and water temperatures are in the low 60s. The backs are stained but the main lake is clear.
The bass spawn is underway on Lake Russell, and Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that each day there are more fish on the beds. He has caught a lot of fish in 15-20 feet of water on brush piles with drop shot rigs, but as it has gotten warm again more and more fish are in less than 5 feet of water where they will take spinnerbaits and crankbaits.
Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) is also finding a lot of fish near the banks. In addition to soft plastic, crankbaits, small swimbaits, and jerkbaits will all work. Even as it has gotten warm again there are still decent numbers of fish out in 18 feet, proving that not all the bass come shallow at once.
There have been some excellent crappie catches recently, and Jerry’s boat in one day caught five over 2 pounds and one over 3 pounds. From what he has seen there is a mix of fish that have and have not spawned.
Wendell agrees and thinks more fish are spawning or about to spawn than have already spawned, and from what he has seen the best numbers of fish can be caught with a minnow 3 feet under a bobber fished around the bank. They are either in their spawning areas or very close to them. The bite dropped off at the last cold front but is picking up again as things stabilize.
The striped bass population on Lake Russell seems to be as healthy as it has been in a long time, and Wendell reports that fish seem to be in all the creeks and scattered from the north end to the south of the lake. The best pattern is 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.
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.