COLUMBIA — The following is a freshwater report for the Midlands are compiled by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Largemouth Bass: Slow. Guide Dearal Rodgers reports that the water is cold and muddy, which for him is usually a bad combination. Bites are hard to come by but throwing a #8 Fire Tiger Shad Rap is a decent bet.
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that the lake is muddy which has messed everything up, but before the most recent rain fish were starting to move back into their regular areas and habits as the water cleared. Channel catfish can be caught drifting cut herring and shad in and around the river channel, and on some of the warmer days when the sun has been heating the shallows anglers may find that drifting all the way into the backs of the creeks and coves will pay off. Channel catfish will often be back there feeding on shad that followed the warmer shallower water.
Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that the fishing for big fish continues to be really consistent. Most baitfish are holding in the 40-60 foot range, and in that range and a little deeper the majority of the big fish have been found. The best bait schools are near ledges, points, humps or other depth changes so that you can fan cast to a variety of depths. If you can find bait with some arches under them or up in them, looking like they may be feeding, it’s probably worth dropping anchor.
Crappie: Slow. Captain Brad Taylor reports that crappie fishing has been pretty slow. A couple of possible patterns can catch fish, and one option is to tight-line starting with rods at various depths from 3-12 feet. Later in the afternoon fish can be on the shallower end when water warms. Another option is to fish around deep brush in the 20 foot range. Whether tight-lining or fishing brush vertically, jig or minnows should be fished very slowly.
Santee Cooper System
Striped bass: Fair. Captain Jim Glenn reports some striper catches in the vicinity of Wyboo Creek on Lake Marion. Live bait fishing with gizzard shad will be productive anchoring or drifting for striper. Fishermen are also having some success trolling at night and early in the morning on Lake Moultrie.