Lake Greenwood

Lake Greenwood water levels are at 435.07 (full pool is 440.0) and water temperatures remain in the lower 50s. The lake is still very dirty and especially with the latest round of rain they should continue to pull a lot of water through the lake.

Lake Greenwood fishing has not changed much recently, although tournament weights are slightly down. Still, veteran tournament angler Stan Gunter of Saluda reports that bass continue to bite and a shallow pattern still dominates. There have been some good reports on spinnerbaits, and of course a lot of anglers are still fishing a crankbait in shallow, rocky areas. Alabama rigs, usually so popular at this time of year, are still worth throwing but just not as good in the dirty conditions.

Continue to follow the birds to locate fish and keep your eyes open for schooling striped bass.

Lake Russell

Lake Russell water levels are right around full pool (475.00) and water temperatures range from about 48-50. The backs of creeks are stained, with the front of creeks less stained, and the extreme lower lake is fairly clear.

Winter bass fishing on Lake Russell has been pretty good this week, and Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that his boat is catching fish in 30-57 feet of water with a jigging spoon and drop shot rig. They are mainly focusing on the main lake and mouth of creeks. Some fish are on the bottom and some are suspended.

Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) is still finding a mixed bag of species in about 38 feet of water, but this week they have mainly caught spotted bass and yellow perch.

It’s been a good week for striped bass and hybrids on Lake Russell, and Jerry’s boat has been catching them with a jigging spoon as well as on Alabama rigs in the same areas where he is bass fishing. The best fishing is coming on the lower end of the lake, and the birds are not really helping point to the fish right now. Jerry has seen some fish swirling on the surface and is having success casting to them.

Anglers can also pull free lines in the same areas.

Lake Thurmond

Clarks Hill water levels are up to 327.97 (full pool is 330.00) and with all the rain and wind the lake is staying pretty dirty. Water temperatures are in the upper 40s to lower 50s.

It wasn’t quite enough for a tournament win recently, but tournament bass angler Josh Rockefeller of Augusta reports that they are still finding numbers of good 3-plus-pound fish very shallow and catching them on a ¾-ounce Buckeye Lures jigging blade. They found the fish shallow in both clear and dirty water, with some of the fish stacked up on shallow brush and others still relating to points adjacent to ditches. Everything was in about two feet of water with deeper water nearby. Following the loons remains a great way to locate fish, and they will keep you from fishing dead water. They have still not found a deep bite although some anglers may be catching fish around deeper rock.

On the striper and hybrid front, William Sasser Guide Service (864-333-2000) reports very little change in the pattern. They are still catching fish from 15-20 feet deep down to the bottom in about 30 feet of water, and most of the action is still the creek mouths. Down-lines are still working well but you can also pull free-lines and planer boards. As with the bass, bird activity is showing where the bass are and the bite is overall pretty steady. Most of the action remains concentrated up the lake and out the river arms. Overall the fishing remains very good.

The crappie bite is still pretty good, and William Sasser Guide Service reports that they continue to catch fish near submerged timber in the South Carolina Little River. Trolling jigs about 10-12 feet deep in 20-25 feet of water has been the best pattern.

The bite for big catfish remains highly inconsistent, and Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that locating the big blues from one day to the next remains very tricky. Baitfish can be found from a few feet deep down to 60 feet of water, which means that there are fish from the mouth of the creeks all the way to the backs as well as around main lake humps and points.

Under the circumstances the best approach is still to cover more water than usual, and anchoring on highly travelled areas for 30-45 minutes and then moving on if there are no bites is the best pattern.