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Bass, catfish hitting nicely; crappie running slow

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COLUMBIA — The following information is provided courtesy www.SCFishingReport.com. Check the site for recent updates and detailed reports. DHEC Fish Consumption Advisories: www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/fish.


Freshwater Report — Mountains Area


Lake Jocassee


Largemouth bass: Very good. Check the backs of rivers, creeks, where bait is fish are. Some trout reported mixed in. Fish from the surface to 40 feet by jigging spoons around bait


Lake Keowee (unchanged from Jan. 2)


Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Good to very good. Bass fishing remains very strong on Lake Keowee, and that catching 20-plus fish on a trip is fairly common as late fall/winter-time schools get tighter. Anglers willing to use live bait can catch even more fish. Bass can still be found chasing bait and schooling on the surface, although schooling back in the creeks has slowed down. Schooling fish related to the main channel can be caught on small topwater plugs.


Lake Hartwell


Stripers: Fair to good. Best bet is with umbrella rigs and some action had by free lining bait. Recent cold temps have made fishing difficult. Some bigger fish have been reeled in on gizzards. Depth are wide ranging from 12-70 feet. Look for the circling birds and find fish. Catfish: Slow. Rain and cold weather have chased the fish deep. There are only a few in the creeks, but some results on cut herring and gizzards. Check from 5-30 feet. Fishing will improve when it warms up. Crappie: Fair. Catching a few on deep brush in 20-30 feet of water on very small jigs or minnows.


Piedmont Area


Lake Russell


Trout: Good. Your best bet comes by trolling minnows and spoons. Keep an eye out for the birds and you’ll find the fish. Catfish: Fair. Some results reported by using cut herring on the bottom.


Lake Thurmond


Largemouth bass: Fair to good. A surprise given how cold it’s been lately. Find fish mostly in the backs of deep pockets in 10-20 feet of water on mop jigs or lead headed flukes. Crappie: Good. Check the coves over brush around 30 feet.


Lake Wylie


Largemouth Bass: Slow to fair. Fish have moved deep due to cold temperatures. Try grubs for bait. If you get a sunny day then move to the flats near the creek channels. If the lake is muddy then use a spinnerbait or rattletraps.


Midlands area


Lake Wateree


Crappie: Fair. Fish around 24 feet by tightlining jigs and minnows. Fish have been deep due to the cold. Check around the State Park to Wateree Creek for the best results.


Lake Greenwood (unchanged from Jan. 2)


Catfish: Good. Drifting cut herring, shad and shrimp in 15 to 25 feet of water near the Reedy and Saluda River channels is working well for channel cats. Crappie: Fair. Crappie are still feeding pretty well. The best fishing has come around bridge pilings in 12-15 feet of water using minnows. Largemouth Bass: Slow. Some fish are being caught on shakey head worms fished on the bottom in 8-15 feet of water, and there is still sporadic schooling activity with a mix of bass, small stripers and white perch feeding on top.


Lake Monticello (unchanged from Jan. 2)


Catfish: Good. Anchoring on main lake humps and points with steep ledges is most effective for putting big blue catfish in the boat; being patient and staying in one spot for a while can really pay off. Cut gizzard shad, big threadfin shad, and white perch seem to be the best baits.


Lake Murray


Crappie: Slow. Some results reported by tightlining. Go shallower in the afternoon when the water warms up. Some can be found on deep brush around 20 feet. Use jigs or minnows very slow. Fish can be hard to find in deep water, so look at the mouths of creeks that split off from the main river in 12-15 feet. Striper: Fair. Check down the lake in the back of the big creeks. Some schooling reported up the river. Use freelining with live bait.


Santee Cooper System (unchanged from Jan. 2)


Striped Bass: Fair. Although still not frequent, reports of striper being caught are picking up. Catfish: Good. Catfish are deep but feeding extremely well in the lower lake; gizzard shad drifted or anchored are very effective.


South Carolina freshwater recreational fishing regulations: www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/pdf/freshfishing.pdf

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