AHQ INSIDER Lake Wateree (SC) Fall 2019 Fishing Report – Updated October 30 Reviewed by Momizat on . -- October 30 Lake Wateree is at 96.8% of full pool, and surface water temperatures in the morning are in the lower 70s. It’s a good to time to catch catfish on -- October 30 Lake Wateree is at 96.8% of full pool, and surface water temperatures in the morning are in the lower 70s. It’s a good to time to catch catfish on Rating: 0
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AHQ INSIDER Lake Wateree (SC) Fall 2019 Fishing Report – Updated October 30

October 30

Lake Wateree is at 96.8% of full pool, and surface water temperatures in the morning are in the lower 70s.

It’s a good to time to catch catfish on Lake Wateree, but Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) says it’s about to be a great time once it gets colder.

For right now fish are scattered in intermediate depths of 20-25 feet, and the best area to fish is between June Creek and Clearwater Cove.  Work the channel ledges and big flats, and if there is some wind drift with it.  There are also some fish in creeks like Colonel Creek, especially around humps that come up to about 12 feet.

Drifting is generally the way to go, but in the morning you can have some success anchoring on mussel beds.

As it gets colder fish will group up better and the bite should get even better.  The shad will get tighter and fish will be under the bait schools.

Temperatures are finally starting to drop on Lake Wateree, and FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that as that happens bass are setting up on main lake points, steep banks, and in the front third of creeks.  While fish are constantly on the move and their location is all about the bait, rocky points are worth checking.  Because water levels are down the grass is not really in play, but if it comes up with rain fish should relate to it again as they usually do at this time of year.

The best baits right now are shad imitations, including spinnerbaits, square-billed crankbaits, medium diving crankbaits and even buzzbaits in the right conditions.  Shakey heads are almost always reliable on Lake Wateree, and there is also a place for jigs when fish are focused on bream.

On the crappie front, veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that there are still some fish on brush but that bite is getting a little hit-or-miss.  He has found them about 18 feet down over brush in 33 feet of water, and he has also found some good ones suspended over brush in as little as 16 feet of water.

However, overall fish are starting to transition off of brush and begin to follow the schools of baitfish.  These fish are pretty scattered and suspended in 8-17 feet of water, and before concentrating on an area you need to make sure baitfish are present.  The action is getting better at the mouths of creeks and on the upper end of the lake.

Because fish are scattered trolling is a good way to target them, but as they group up more tight-lining will be more popular.

Will Hinson with a couple of big ones caught Saturday

Will Hinson with a couple of big ones caught Saturday

October 15

Lake Wateree is at 97.2% of full pool, and surface water temperatures in the morning are in the mid to upper 70s.  The water has good Wateree color to it – it is not clear but not muddy.

Water temperatures have started to drop, but veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that crappie have not really started to move into a fall pattern where they move off of brush and suspend in the creek channels around bait. Instead, the fish that are leaving the summer brush are at most moving to slightly shallower brush.

Overall fish can be caught from one end of the lake to the other in about 12-22 feet of water over the river channel.  They are suspended around brush, and at the shallower end of the depth range fish are flat on the bottom while at the deeper end they are still suspended a few feet off of it.  While minnows will work Fish Stalker jigs in Mountain Dew and army green are working very well.

Will with a couple of nice ones caught Saturday on Water

Will with a couple of nice ones caught Saturday on Water

There is some seasonal improvement in the bass fishing on Lake Wateree, but FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that overall the fishing is still a little tough. Dearal finished fourth and had big fish in the most recent Wateree Open, but it only took 12 pounds for that finish.  High temperatures are probably to blame for the fishing not having taken off, and this past weekend Dearal still saw temperatures as high as 79 degrees.

Overall the fish seem to be very point-related right now, and the last two weeks tournaments have been won fishing in the 5-10 foot range around points.  This indicates that fish are ready to start moving back into creeks, but at least so far they have not made a major move there.

Early there has been some action on topwater lures, but Carolina rigs, jigs and crankbaits have been working pretty well around points during the day.

October 3

Lake Wateree water levels are at 96.8% of full pool, and surface water temperatures in the morning are back in the low to mid-80s.  The lake is relatively clear.

Even though it is unseasonably hot, veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that crappie fishing remains strong on Lake Wateree.  Fish can be caught up and down both sides of the lake, and he has had some good catches on both ends as well.

Up the lake there are still some fish on shallower brush in about 12 feet of water, but the best concentrations are over the length of the river channel in about 15-22 feet of water.  At the shallower end of the depth range fish are flat on the bottom, while at the deeper end they are suspended about 18 feet down.  Fish Stalker jigs in Mountain Dew and army green are working very well.

Will Hinson with a couple of nice ones caught Saturday

Will Hinson with a couple of nice ones caught Saturday

Bass fishing remains tough on Lake Wateree, but FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that when we finally get some cool weather things should improve rapidly.  Fish are ready to move into fall patterns, and even with the heat there has already been a movement of bait towards the banks.

Look for fish to move shallower into 8-10 feet of water or less in the coming days, and with a healthy amount of grass around the lake it should hold fish.  Shallower points and docks should also fish well.

Bass will also be moving into the creeks following bait as water temperatures cool, and there should be some schooling.  Fish will also suspend around docks under bait.  In the morning topwater lures including buzzbaits, Spooks, and Pop-Rs should work well, and Rattle Traps, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and most anything with flash will also work.  You should also always have a jig handy on Wateree.

On the catfish front, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that right now fish are scattered, and it won’t be until temperatures drop that they really group up.  Also, while there are numbers to be caught right now about 25 pounds is a big fish.

Currently the best fishing is from Dutchman Creek to Clearwater Cove and bait is everywhere.  The best pattern right now is to anchor up early on flats with mussels in about 11 feet of water, and then after that to drift the large flat between June Creek and Dutchman Creek in about 20-25 feet of water.

For right now cut shad or bluegill will work, but when temperatures drop shad or white perch will work better and bluegill will fall out of favor.

September 19

Lake Wateree water levels are at 96.7% of full pool, and surface water temperatures in the morning have dropped to around 82.  The lake is relatively clear.

Crappie fishing remains strong on Lake Wateree, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that even though he has spent more time on the lower end fish can be found from one end of the lake to the other.

Up the lake there are still some fish on shallower brush in about 12 feet of water, but the best concentrations are over the length of the river channel in about 15-22 feet of water. At the shallower end of the depth range fish are flat on the bottom, while at the deeper end they are suspended about 18 feet down.  Fish Stalker jigs in Mountain Dew and army green are working very well.

The cool front may improve bass fishing soon, but for now it remains pretty tough.  FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that the fish they are catching are still coming shallow in the morning on topwater baits, and he has also been catching some fish off of docks.  There have also been some fish caught on points.  First thing they will eat topwater lures fished shallow on the points, but during the day they move deeper on the same points where they will take worms and jigs.

September 13

Lake Wateree water levels are at 96.8% of full pool, and surface water temperatures in the morning are in the mid-80s.  The lake is relatively clear.

Crappie fishing remains strong on Lake Wateree, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that he has had no trouble catching a relatively quick limit on the lower end of the lake from Clearwater Cove to the dam.  Still, fish can be found from one end of the lake to the other.

Up the lake there are still some fish on shallower brush in about 12 feet of water, but the best concentrations are over the length of the river channel in about 15-22 feet of water. At the shallower end of the depth range fish are flat on the bottom, while at the deeper end they are suspended about 18 feet down.  Fish Stalker jigs in Mountain Dew and army green are working very well.

A good Wateree morning for Will Hinson

A good Wateree morning for Will Hinson

With Lake Wateree water temperatures are going the wrong direction, and as a result bass fishing remains pretty tough.  While FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that low water levels may have pulled more fish offshore, anglers have still not reported a lot of success fishing off ledges, humps and points.

The fish that Dearal has been catching are still coming shallow in the morning on topwater baits, and he has also been catching some fish off of docks.  There have also been some fish caught on points.  First thing they will eat topwater lures fished shallow on the points, but during the day they move deeper on the same points where they will take worms and jigs.

Once water temperatures drop a few degrees a better fall bite should pick up.

September 5

Lake Wateree water levels are at 96.7% of full pool, and surface water temperatures in the morning range from about 87 to 91.

Lake Wateree has not cooled off much and as a result bass fishing remains pretty tough.  While FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that dropping water levels may have pulled more fish offshore, anglers have not reported a lot of success fishing off ledge, humps and points.

The fish that Dearal has been catching have been coming shallow in the morning on topwater baits, and he has also been catching some fish off of docks.  There have also been some fish caught on points.  First thing they will eat topwater lures fished shallow on the points, but during the day they move deeper on the same points where they will take worms and jigs.

Once water temperatures drop into the lower 80s a better fall bite should pick up.

There is not a lot of change in the crappie pattern, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish remains related to the river channel around brush in 18-26 feet of water.  However, he has also found some fish on shallower brush in about 12 feet of water – although the best concentrations remain deep along the river channel.  Fish continue to be found from one end of the lake to the other, and they remain flat on the bottom where they are taking Fish Stalker jigs in Mountain Dew and army green.

Chris Hinson with a couple of nice Wateree crappie caught with his father

Chris Hinson with a couple of nice Wateree crappie caught with his father

August 21

Lake Wateree water levels are at 97.6% of full pool, and water temperatures are about 85 degrees. The lake remains clear for Wateree.

With the recent hot weather bass fishing is pretty tough again on Lake Wateree, and FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that from what he has seen fish remain mixed between shallow and deep.  The best shallow action he has found has been coming on steeper banks and around rocks and grass, and topwater baits that mimic a shad have been working the best.

While Dearal has not had a lot of luck with deep fish, it is clear from his graph that they are still out there off points, ledges and humps.  The best suggestion is to really finesse down your approach.

Crappie have moved a little deeper, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish are related to the river channel around brush in 18-26 feet of water.  They can be found from one end of the lake to the other, although Will has been concentrating his angling outside of the middle section of the lake.  Fish remains flat on the bottom and they are taking Fish Stalker jigs in Mountain Dew and army green.

July 29

Lake Wateree water levels are at 97.0% of full pool, and water temperatures are about 86 degrees. The lake is clear for Wateree.

With cooler temperatures bass fishing seems to have improved a little on Lake Wateree, and FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that there has particularly been some improvement in the shallow bite.  There continues to be a decent topwater bite first thing, and fishing jigs and shakey head worms or Texas-rigged worms off the front of docks in 5-10 feet of water has also been working.

The deep bite is also still pretty good, and fish are off points, ledges and humps.  They will take shakey heads, a Carolina rig, jigs, or even crankbaits if they are aggressive.

Fisher Rodgers with a 10-pounder from a farm pond near the lake

Fisher Rodgers with a 10-pounder from a farm pond near the lake

Crappie remain in a similar pattern, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish are still related to the river channel around brush in 12-23 feet of water.  They can be found from one end of the lake to the other, but the biggest concentrations seem to be between Colonel Creek and Dutchman’s.  There are also a bunch of fish within 1000 yards of Clearwater Cove.  Fish are flat on the bottom and they are taking Fish Stalker jigs in Mountain Dew and army green.

July 19

Lake Wateree water levels are at 96.9% of full pool, and water temperatures are 90 degrees and above. The lake is relatively clear.

Even though it’s gotten hot, veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that crappie have not gone terribly deep.  As expected they are related to the river channel, and they are around brush in 12-23 feet of water.  Fish can be found from one end of the lake to the other, but the biggest concentrations seem to be between Colonel Creek and Dutchman’s.  Fish are flat on the bottom and they are taking Fish Stalker jigs in Mountain Dew and army green.

Unsurprisingly bass fishing has gotten tough on Lake Wateree, and FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that while there could be some shallow bite for him there has been very little action around the bank.  Most of the fish seem to be deeper right now, and fish are setting up off points, ledges and humps.  They will take shakey heads, a Carolina rig, jigs, or even crankbaits if they are aggressive.

Dearal Rodgers with a couple of nice deep fish caught earlier this summer on Wateree

Dearal Rodgers with a couple of nice deep fish caught earlier this summer on Wateree

June 24

Lake Wateree water levels are back up to 98.6% of full pool, and water temperatures are around 82-85 degrees.  The lake has a very slight Wateree stain to it but overall looks very good.

There are certainly still some fish shallow on Lake Wateree, but FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgersof Camden reports that better numbers of fish can be found deep where the CATT tournament was won this weekend with about 20 pounds.  And as a result of changes to water levels and water temperatures they have now gone properly deep, for Wateree, into the 10-20 foot range.  Fish are setting up off points, ledges and humps and they will take a crankbait, jig or Carolina rig.

On the crappie front, veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that the pattern is unchanged except that fish are getting even more solidly on brush.

Will Hinson with a couple of nice Wateree crappie

Will Hinson with a couple of nice Wateree crappie

June 20

Lake Wateree water levels have been on a roller coaster but are now down to 97.3% of full pool, and water temperatures are 85-89 degrees.  The lake is muddy on the upper end, and relatively clear on the lower end.

Water conditions are changing virtually by the minute on Lake Wateree, but FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that if you get on the bass right now you can absolutely smash them.  Earlier this week Dearal and his son Fisher caught 30 fish between 2-6 pounds in an afternoon of fishing, and they found them stacked up in a few spots.

In the morning there is some good topwater action and any shad (buzzbait, Pop-R, Spook) or bream (frog) imitation will catch fish shallow.  There is also some good offshore fishing, but it does not seem that the fish are on very deep structure.  Dearal and his son found them mainly in 5-6 feet, and the deepest structure that has produced has been in the 10-foot zone. It seems that fish are staying shallower than in the past on Lake Wateree.  Crankbaits are working well “offshore.”

Fisher Rodgers with a couple of Lake Wateree hawgs caught earlier this week

Fisher Rodgers with a couple of Lake Wateree hawgs caught earlier this week

Water conditions have certainly affected the crappie fishing on Wateree, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that high water has scattered the fish out. They are just now beginning to settle down on brush in the 15-22 foot range.  One pole jigging with Fish Stalker jigs in Mountain Dew or army green has been the best pattern.  Early and late fish are suspended over the brush, but then they will drop down in it when the sun is up.  Fish can be caught from one end of the lake to the other as long as you stay near the river channel.

The Colonel Creek and Dutchman Creek bridges do continue to produce some fish.

June 6

Lake Wateree is down to 97.1% of full pool, and water temperatures have already hit the mid to upper 80s.  The water is pretty clear for Lake Wateree.

Even with the heat crappie fishing has been good recently, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish are biting on brush in 15-22 feet of water. Early in the morning they are suspended high in the brush, but as the sun rises they drop down in it.  Both minnows and jigs are working, with Fish Stalker colors Mountain Dew, pearl white, yellow with black flake, and black emerald the best right now.

The bite is good from one end of the lake to the other, but anglers need to be fishing the main lake near the river channel.  The backs have just gotten too warm.

One exception is the bridges, with both the Colonel Creek and Dutchman Creek bridges producing fairly well.

This Saturday there is a Federation bass tournament coming up, and so FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden can’t say too much.  However, right now he reports that the fishing is strong, with a good bite both deep and shallow.

Shallow fish are still keying on bream beds, and they can also be caught around grass and docks.  Frogs, buzzbaits, swimbaits, and plastic worms will all catch fish around the grass, and jigs and shakey heads are both working around docks.  The deeper fish are still around points and humps in 10-15 feet of water.  Carolina rigs, crankbaits and jigs will all catch these fish.

Dearal Rodgers and his daughter with a nice Wateree catch

Dearal Rodgers and his daughter with a nice Wateree catch

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