AHQ INSIDER Lake Wateree (SC) Spring 2019 Fishing Report – Updated May 21 Reviewed by Momizat on . -- The newest Lake Wateree fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-lake-wateree-sc-summer-2019-fishing-report/ May 21 Lak -- The newest Lake Wateree fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-lake-wateree-sc-summer-2019-fishing-report/ May 21 Lak Rating: 0
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AHQ INSIDER Lake Wateree (SC) Spring 2019 Fishing Report – Updated May 21

The newest Lake Wateree fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-lake-wateree-sc-summer-2019-fishing-report/

May 21

Lake Wateree is at 97.6% of full pool, and water temperatures have already hit 80 and are  moving towards the mid-80s.  The lower lake is clear but up the lake is fairly dirty.

Even though the bass spawn is barely behind us, FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that bass fishing is really good right now.  In the Take a Child Fishing tournament this past weekend a lot of good fish were caught, and it was apparent that fish were spread out between both shallow and deep. Shallow fish are 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.  There is also a group of deeper fish around points and humps in 10-15 feet of water. Carolina rigs, crankbaits and jigs will all catch these fish.

High school champions Brandon Bowers and Fisher Rodgers show off a Wateree hawg

High school champions Brandon Bowers and Fisher Rodgers show off a Wateree hawg

Crappie are setting up on main lake brush, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish can be caught from one end of the lake to the other.  They are scattered in various depths, from as shallow as 12-15 feet out to 18-22 feet.  Early in the day they will be suspended above the brush, but as the sun gets higher they will drop down lower into it.  Jigs and minnows are both working equally well, and in half days of fishing with each Will has caught about the same number of fish.  Because the lake has a little color to it the jig color of choice has been Fish Stalker Mountain Dew.

Fish can also be caught around bridges, with both the Colonel Creek and Dutchman Creek bridges producing.

May 1

Lake Wateree is at 97.5% of full pool, and water temperatures are in the lower 70s.

The bass spawn is largely finished on Lake Wateree, and FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that in the Carolinas Bass Challenge tournament it was clear that fish were mainly in post-spawn mode. He and his tournament partner Trent McLaughlin found a good morning bite on the way to 17.5 pounds and 13thplace, but in the afternoon Dearal found that fish were not acting the way they normally do.  He suspects the bite will get better once the bream move shallower to bed, as they did not see many bream up.  Overall there were only two bags over 20 pounds, with winners Craig Chambers and Derek Cummings boating 22.55.  It can be a tricky time to catch fish.

First thing there is a pretty good bite on topwaters, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits, and it seems that the shad are up shallow spawning.  While they did not see any shad spawning, they saw birds picking them off.  The best action has been around grass or rock points.

Trent and Dearal with their fish Saturday

Trent and Dearal with their fish Saturday

Veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that it’s still a great time for crappie fishing on Lake Wateree, with fish still biting well for most people.  There are a lot of smaller fish up shallow, and with fish scattered in various stages of the spawn, they can be caught from very shallow water out to 25 feet.

Plenty of fish are being caught casting at shallow structure or long-line trolling, but the biggest crappie have recently completed spawning and so they are a little reluctant to eat. The best approach is to tight-line with minnows and jigs and really sit on top of them.  Post-spawn fish are floating around near schools of shad as they recover, from 5-25 feet.  The next step will be that all the fish will get out on brush and move into a summer pattern.

Fish can be caught from one end of the lake to the other, from the muddy to the clearest water, and from the backs of creeks to the main lake.

On the catfish front, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that anglers should expect the blue catfish bite to continue to be excellent for the next several weeks.  Creek mouths in the upper ¼ of Lake Wateree are a good place to start first thing, as well as most vertical changes along the river channel south of the power lines below Cedar Creek dam to the mouth of Wateree Creek.  Cut gizzard shad is always the bait of choice on Wateree, with large threadfin shad and blueback herring a solid second choice.

April 23

Lake Wateree is at 97.5% of full pool, and water temperatures are in the upper 60s and even low 70s.  With the recent rain up the lake is very muddy.

It’s a great time for crappie fishing on Lake Wateree, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish are biting well for most people.  Last week most of the better fish moved shallow and laid their eggs, and this week a wave of smaller fish is up shallow spawning.  There are probably some crappie that have not come shallow to spawn yet, too.

With fish scattered in various stages of the spawn, they can be caught from very shallow water out to 25 feet.  Plenty of fish are being caught casting at shallow structure or long-line trolling, but the biggest crappie have recently completed spawning and so they are a little reluctant to eat.  The best approach is to tight-line with minnows and jigs and really sit on top of them. Post-spawn fish are floating around near schools of shad as they recover, from 5-25 feet.  The next step will be that all the fish will get out on brush and move into a summer pattern.

Fish can be caught from one end of the lake to the other, from the muddy to the clearest water, and from the backs of creeks to the main lake.

Tommy Slice with a 2.59 pound Wateree tournament crappie caught Saturday!

Tommy Slice with a 2.59 pound Wateree tournament crappie caught Saturday!

The bass spawn is in full force on Wateree, and FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that the best bet is to look for areas with beds and throw jigs, worms and lizards.  They will be in and around spawning pockets and shallow cover.

There are early reports that the shad spawn is starting to get underway, which will be a target for post-spawn fish looking to get their strength back.  With limited grass on the lake right now floating docks, rocks, and the grass that is there should be good spots.  Look in coves for spawning shad, although they will sometimes spawn on the main lake too.

Spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, Chatterbaits and square-billed crankbaits are all good for targeting bass eating spawning shad, with a topwater bite just getting started.

On the catfish front, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that anglers should expect the blue catfish bite to continue to be excellent for the next 3-4 weeks.  Creek mouths in the upper ¼ of Lake Wateree are a good place to start first thing, as well as most vertical changes along the river channel south of the power lines below Cedar Creek dam to the mouth of Wateree Creek.  Cut gizzard shad is always the bait of choice on Wateree, with large threadfin shad and blueback herring a solid second choice.

April 5

Lake Wateree is at 97.6% of full pool, and water temperatures are in the lower 60s.  Clarity is pretty normal.

There were some monster bags caught last Saturday in the CATT event on Lake Wateree, with two teams weighing in 25+ pounds and a 7-pound bass brought to the scales.  However, fishing was not easy and weights were not consistently high.

FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that fish have seemed a little finicky, and he wonders if the unstable weather and not being near a moon phase have created issues.  Regardless, the majority of bass are shallow and getting close to spawning or already there. Jigs, spinnerbaits, worms and shakey heads are good options, and for anglers who do not want to fish for bedding fish look for places they set up right before moving into spawning pockets.  Even though there is not a ton of grass right now some of the fish are setting up around it, and docks that are near spawning areas should also be good.

Bruce Peavy and Paul Geddings with a monster 25.57 pound bag Saturday

Bruce Peavy and Paul Geddings with a monster 25.57 pound bag Saturday

Crappie have started to come shallower in Lake Wateree, but veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports they have not come in all over the lake.  It is mostly males that are being caught in pockets in creeks by throwing corks against the bank, but if Wateree crappie do what they usually do overnight fish will make a run from the main lake to the banks.

The best pattern right now is probably to start out trolling or tight-lining in relatively shallow water 3-7 feet deep in areas behind the bridge in Beaver Creek, and then periodically to throw a cork and jig up against shallow cover such as docks, bridges, or blown down trees.  If you find a group of males that have moved shallow it’s not unusual for the females to be 10-200 yards away, but once they join the males the females will probably be there about two weeks.

There is a busy tournament schedule coming up on Lake Wateree, with the Camden Shriners tournament this weekend, the Take-A-Child-Fishing tournament next weekend run by Highway 521 Bait and Tackle, and then after that the Great Falls Shriners tournament out of the state park.

March 22

Lake Wateree is at 97.1% of full pool, and water temperatures are in the upper 50s.  The lake is clearing but still has some color.

Between up-and-down water levels and a week of cool temperatures, FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that Wateree bass are not setting up to spawn yet.  There are some males already looking around in spawning pockets, but the better fish seem to be in prespawn mode.  While this will change quickly with some warm days, they are still around main lake points and steeper banks and have not yet moved into flatter spawning areas.

Most of the fish right now are in 1-8 feet of water, and they are moving back and forth between 5-8 feet and the bank based on weather, wind and other conditions.  Even once they get into full-blown spawning mode expect Wateree bass to continue to move around, as Dearal reports that a peculiarity of Wateree fish is that they can be prespawn in the morning, move up later in the day, and then go back out the next day.

When fish are biting well then crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs are working, but when the bite gets tougher you need to pull out the soft plastics.  A shakey head is the best bet when the bite gets really slow.

Fisher Rodgers shows off a couple of good ones that helped Brandon Bowers and him win with 19.60 pounds last Saturday

Fisher Rodgers shows off a couple of good ones that helped Brandon Bowers and him win with 19.60 pounds last Saturday

Crappie are making their way shallower on Lake Wateree, but veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that while fish are starting to go towards the banks they are not all the way in the backs yet. Fish are in the middle of the creeks from one end of the lake to the other, and long-line trolling about 8-14 feet deep in 15-20 feet of water is the best pattern.  Fish Stalker jigs or curly tail jigs, all tipped with minnows, have been working the best.

Overall the bite is fair and not yet red hot.

March 6

Lake Wateree is at 100.9% of full pool, and water temperatures are around 50 degrees.  In addition to being very full the lake is extremely muddy.

Bass fishing on Lake Wateree is simply tough, and FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that in recent tournaments four fish limits and 13 to14 pounds have been enough for the win.  In the last couple of CATT tournaments they have finished in fourth place with 6 to 9 pounds and no one has managed a limit.  Conditions are just really difficult between the mud and the up-and-down water levels, and bites are few and far between.

The best bet is to fish steep, main lake structure, particularly in areas where the sun hits and warms the water or where bait is present.  Crankbaits and jigs are probably the best baits, and the spinnerbait bite seems to have died off.  There certainly are fish deeper, but at this time of year on Wateree Dearal has the best luck with the fish that move up shallower to feed and so he is still concentrating on less than 6 feet of water.

Jim Davis and Mike Allman took first last Saturday with a four-bass limit

Jim Davis and Mike Allman took first last Saturday with a four-bass limit

Veteran tournament crappie angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that frankly Lake Wateree is a mess right now, and fishing conditions are tough with high, muddy water.  Some fish have been caught recently but the fish are scattered and catches are sparse. Until water conditions improve fishing won’t be a lot of fun.

Right now fish are hunkered down near the bottom in the river channel, but the current is so strong up the lake that they are mainly scattered from the mid-lake area to the dam. The best place to look is 18-22 feet deep in 24-26 feet of water along the main channel, and you need to fish extremely slowly.  Orange, yellow, Ugly Green and black Fish Stalker jigs tipped with minnows are the best bet.

On the catfish front, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that some large fish can be caught up the river.  To improve chances of tangling with a trophy fish anglers should upsize their baits, with gizzard shad heads about the best choice.  For numbers of fish the best option remains to anchor on warmer, sunlit flats on sunny afternoons and fish cut shad on the bottom in 4-8 feet of water.

February 21

Lake Wateree is at 94.9% of full pool, and water temperatures are around 49 degrees.  The water is dirty as it has been all winter but not unfishable.

As cold, rainy weather has arrived bass fishing on Lake Wateree has slowed down, and FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that he has found a very tough bite today on the lake.  The good news is that when you catch one it is likely to be big, but bites are few and far between.

The best bet remains to fish main, rocky points or steep drops in the first third of creeks or on the main lake in areas where the sun hits and warms the water, or where bait is present.  Crankbaits and jigs are probably the best baits, or maybe something with a blade fished very slowly.  There certainly are fish deeper, but at this time of year on Wateree Dearal has the best luck with the fish that move up shallower to feed and so he is concentrating on less than 6 feet of water.

Dearal Rodgers with two nice ones caught today

Dearal Rodgers with two nice ones caught today

There is some good news with the crappie, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish are biting pretty well if you can get in the right spot.  He has found the best action between Dutchman and Wateree Creek on the main river channel, and particularly with the new round of rain above Wateree Creek he thinks there is too much current to fish.  Fishing 22-24 feet deep in 24-30 feet of water is the best pattern, as fish are suspended just off the bottom.  Will is pushing (tight-lining) minnows on Fish Stalker jigs, including black and chartreuse, black and yellow and solid yellow colors.

There are also some fish around Beaver Creek, but with low water levels anglers will want to stay out near the mouth or at least in the front of the creek.  Until the water warms fish will mainly be in 18-26 feet.

On the catfish front, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that when there is good current flow some large fish can be caught up the river.  To improve chances of tangling with a trophy fish anglers should upsize their baits, with gizzard shad heads about the best choice.  For numbers of fish anchor on warmer, sunlit flats on sunny afternoons and fish cut shad on the bottom in 4-8 feet of water.

February 5

Lake Wateree is at 95.1% of full pool, and temperatures are just above 50 degrees.  The whole system is in flux and the lake is not clearing right now. Water levels are dangerously low for using ramps like Clearwater and tournaments may have to be moved to other landings.

If bass fishing was improving a couple of weeks ago it is starting to really improve now, and FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that it seems that as long as water levels stay just north of 50 the fish eat.  Temperatures should reach 53 or 54 by this weekend and he expects a very good bite.

The best bet is to fish main, rocky points or steep drops in the first third of creeks or on the main lake in areas where the sun hits and warms the water.  Crankbaits, jigs and maybe a Carolina rig in five feet or less have been working the best for Dearal.  There certainly are fish deeper, but at this time of year on Wateree Dearal has the best luck with the fsih that move up shallower to feed.

Dearal Rodgers shows off a nice fish caught Saturday on Lake Wateree

Dearal Rodgers shows off a nice fish caught Saturday on Lake Wateree

Crappie reports are fairly limited right now, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that water levels have been so low that there have been some issues putting a boat in.  Nonetheless, there have been some fish caught in the back of Beaver Creek behind the bridge long-line trolling and tight-line pushing 6-9 feet deep in 7-12 feet of water.

Depending on how much current is running there should be some fish in the river area, but if the current is too strong then anglers need to head back down to the lower section of the lake around Dutchman’s, Singleton or Colonel Creek (in addition to Beaver Creek). Since there are some fish in Beaver it’s a good bet that some fish will be moving into the front or even middle of the other creeks or the humps in front of Colonel Creek.

Will still recommends fishing jigs tipped with minnows, particularly Fish Stalker jigs in orange, ugly green and yellow.

On the catfish front, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that in 6-11 feet of water there continues to be a very good shallow bite in the creeks.  The creeks are full of bait, and numbers of blue catfish from 8-25 pounds are very good at anchor with cut bait.

You also still have a decent chance of picking up a nice striped bass on this pattern.

January 25

Lake Wateree is down to 95.1% of full pool, and temperatures have dropped to the upper 40s.

Bass fishing continues to get better on Lake Wateree, and FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that with lower water levels the fish are biting better.  Dearal still recommends fishing main lake points, and crankbaits, jigs and shakey heads are the best baits.  Rocky areas and steep banks are still good to fish, and fishing in the same areas as bait is preferable.

In the last week crappie fishing has improved, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that as the lake has started to settle out and the water has stabilized more of the lake is becoming fishable. While there are more reports from down the lake, it’s worth trying up the lake again and fishing 18-22 feet along the river channel right on the bottom.  Further down the lake fish 10 feet deep off the edge of the old river channel in about 15 feet of water.

As is typical in January there is also some good fishing in the Beaver Creek area, where it is typically a few degrees warmer in the back.  Both long-line trolling and tight-line pushing 6-9 feet deep in 7-12 feet of water will work.

Will still recommends fishing jigs tipped with minnows, particularly Fish Stalker jigs in orange, ugly green and yellow.

On the catfish front, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that in 6-11 feet of water there continues to be a very good shallow bite in the creeks.  The creeks are full of bait, and numbers of blue catfish from 8-25 pounds are very good at anchor with cut bait.

You also have a decent chance of picking up a nice striped bass on this pattern.

January 16

Lake Wateree is way down to a more normal winter level of 95.4% of full pool, but to get it there they have had to push a ton of water through the lake.  It’s still very dirty and temperatures have dropped into the upper 40s and low 50s.

On the catfish front, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that in 6-11 feet of water there continues to be a very good shallow bite for catfish in creeks.  The creeks are full of bait, and numbers of blue catfish from 8-25 pounds are very good at anchor with cut bait.  You also have a decent chance of picking up a nice striped bass on this pattern.

It remains very tough conditions for catching crappie, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish are still trying to stay out of the worst of the current to feed.  The best area remains from Colonel Creek to the dam at the mouth of pockets and coves.

The fish that are being caught are still coming tight-lining about 10 feet down in 15 feet of water where they are suspended.  Will recommends fishing jigs tipped with minnows, and right now he prefers Fish Stalker jigs in orange, ugly green and yellow.

There is still just too much current to fish up the lake.

Will Hinson shows off a nice Wateree crappie

Will Hinson shows off a nice Wateree crappie

Bass fishing remains tough on Lake Wateree, but FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that with dropping water levels conditions continue to improve.  Besides looking for the clearest water possible, Dearal still recommends fishing points since they are pulling a lot of water through the lake and fish are orienting to them.

It’s still a good idea to try to locate the bait schools on your graph and with the help of birds, and then fish around bait, rock, steep banks, and points – preferably the combination of all of them.  Fish are more likely to be in the main lake or the very front of creeks. Bright-colored crankbaits are a good option.

January 9

Lake Wateree is down to only 100.5% of full pool, and the lake ranges from muddy up the lake to heavily stained down the lake.  Water temperatures are around 53 degrees.

The water is high and muddy, but Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that in 6-11 feet of water there is a very good shallow bite for catfish in creeks.  The creeks are full of bait, and numbers of blue catfish from 8-25 pounds are very good at anchor with cut bait.  You also have a decent chance of picking up a nice striped bass on this pattern.

Captain Rodger Taylor shows off a nice Lake Wateree striper

Captain Rodger Taylor shows off a nice Lake Wateree striper

It remains very tough conditions for catching crappie, but veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that warmer temperatures brought a few more fish shallow this past week.   Fish are still trying to stay out of the worst of the current to feed, and the best area has been from Colonel Creek to the dam at the mouth of pockets and coves.

The fish that are being caught are now coming tight-lining about 10 feet down in 15 feet of water where they are suspended.  Will recommends fishing jigs tipped with minnows, and right now he prefers Fish Stalker jigs in orange, ugly green and yellow.

There is still just too much current to fish up the lake.

Bass fishing remains tough on Lake Wateree, but FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that with dropping water levels it has gotten a little less challenging to catch fish.  Besides looking for the clearest water possible, Dearal still recommends fishing points since they are pulling a lot of water through the lake and fish are orienting to them.

It’s still a good idea to try to locate the bait schools on your graph and with the help of birds, and then fish around bait, rock, steep banks, and points – preferably the combination of all of them.  Fish are more likely to be in the main lake or the very front of creeks. Bright-colored crankbaits are a good option.

January 2

Lake Wateree is at 101.6% of full pool, and the lake is muddy from one end to the other.

It remains very tough conditions for catching crappie, and there’s really nowhere on the lake that fish can escape super dirty water right now.  Fish still have to eat, however, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that they are trying to stay out of the worst of the current to feed. The best area has been mid-lake around Colonel Creek, and fish are being caught on the outside of points coming out of coves.

The fish that are being caught are coming tight-lining about 10-16 feet down in 12-18 feet of water where they are suspended.  Will recommends fishing jigs tipped with minnows, and right now he prefers Fish Stalker jigs in orange, ugly green and yellow.

There is just too much current to fish up the lake.

Bass fishing remains similarly tough on Lake Wateree, and FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that it has been hard to even get a boat in the water most of the time.  Besides looking for the clearest water possible, Dearal still recommends fishing points since they are pulling a lot of water through the lake and fish are orienting to them.

It’s still a good idea to try to locate the bait schools on your graph and with the help of birds, and then fish around bait, rock, steep banks, and points – preferably the combination of all of them.  Fish are more likely to be in the main lake or the very front of creeks.  Bright-colored crankbaits are a good option.

December 19

Lake Wateree is at 99.4% of full pool, and water temperatures have fallen into the lower 50s.  Water conditions are very muddy.

Bass fishing on Lake Wateree remains tough, but FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that it is possible to get bit if you cover water.  They are pulling a lot of water through the lake, and as a result fish are setting up pretty well due to the current and becoming more point-oriented.

It’s still a good idea to try to locate the bait schools on your graph and with the help of birds, and then fish around bait, rock, steep banks, and points – preferably the combination of all of them.  Fish are more likely to be in the main lake or the very front of creeks.  Bright-colored crankbaits are a good option.

It’s also a pretty tough time to catch crappie, but veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that even though the whole lake is muddy there are some fish being caught in the middle of Beaver Creek.  Tight-lining plain minnows and minnows on jigs 6-10 inches off the bottom in 10-14 feet of water is working.

There are still some fish being caught on the river ledges, but overall fishing up the lake is very slow.

November 29

Lake Wateree is at 96.6% of full pool, and water temperatures have fallen into the mid-50s. Water conditions are very muddy.

With cold, muddy water coming into the lake it’s no surprise that bass fishing has gotten really tough on Lake Wateree, and FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden report that it’s hard to get even a bite.  Hopefully conditions will warm up and the lake will settle a bit by this weekend.

The best bet to get action on Lake Wateree is to try and locate the bait schools on your graph, and looking for the birds may help do that.  Fish will probably not be suspended out as much with muddy conditions and steep, rocky banks are good places to look.  You want to get out of the wind in these conditions because in calm areas the water can warm a bit on sunny days.  Fire tiger or orange crankbaits are as good a bait as anything.

In a similar vein, veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that crappie fishing has also gotten tough on Lake Wateree.  Still, there have a been a few catches on the lower end as fish have moved down the lake out of the most intense current and mud.

From Colonel Creek to the dam fish are trying to get off the edge of the river channel in sloughs out of the current, and they are sitting off ledges in 16-22 feet of water that provide current breaks.  Fish are suspended 1 ½ to 2 feet off the bottom and they are feeding on bait that falls over the ledge.  Straight minnows are the best option.  As soon as the lake levels out fish should head back up the river in a typical late fall/ winter pattern.

In catfish news, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that there is still an excellent bite for 6-20 pound blue catfish.  Fish can be caught in the lower two-thirds of the lake from June Creek to Clearwater Cove, and the best pattern is drifting with cut gizzard shad.  Concentrate on 22-36 feet of water.

A 28-pound Catawba chain blue cat caught this week with Captain Rodger Taylor

A 28-pound Catawba chain blue cat caught this week with Captain Rodger Taylor

November 14

Lake Wateree is at 99.3% of full pool, and water temperatures have fallen into the lower 60s.

Bass fishing has been pretty good on Lake Wateree, and FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden and his tournament partner landed more than 16 pounds to win a recent local tournament.  They found the fish in the main lake related to shad, and the fish they caught were suspended off the bank around points, rocks, and outcroppings.  Spinnerbaits and Spooks were both catching fish, but the topwater bite is probably done by now.

Dearal has not found much action in the creeks.

A nice sack caught last weekend

A nice sack caught last weekend

Perhaps the most exciting biting on Lake Wateree right now is for striped bass, which have been schooling in similar areas to the bass but further out towards the main channel.  You can also see them in the front of creeks but usually they are on the main lake.

Crappie fishing has improved on Lake Wateree, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish have been up the lake along the channel from about June Creek to above Wateree Creek.  Most people are fishing with either plain minnows or jigs tipped with minnows, and the best fishing has been in about 18-22 feet of water.  Fish are very close to the bottom and want a slow presentation, and so tight-lining about 6-8 inches off the bottom at low speed has been most effective.

If this round of rain muddies up the lake then anglers will want to fish further down; essentially, you need to fish “in front of the mud.”

In catfish news, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that there is an excellent bite for 6-20 pound blue catfish.  Fish can be caught in the lower two-thirds of the lake from June Creek to Clearwater Cove, and the best pattern is drifting with cut gizzard shad.  Concentrate on 22-36 feet of water.

October 19

Lake Wateree is at 98.3% of full pool, and water temperatures are in the mid to upper-70s. The lake was muddy but it is clearing, particularly towards the lower end.

It doesn’t mean you can’t catch fish on Wateree, but veteran tournament crappie angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that the bite is a little slow.  The inflow from the storm brought in so much water that it has scattered fish all over the lake, and so you have to keep moving to find them.  The best action Will has found is around brush in 15-22 feet of water on the main lake, and he has had to fish 6-10 inches off the bottom with minnows or jigs to get a bite.  Cooler temperatures should group the fish up better.

On the bass front, FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that fish seem to be getting into a fall pattern and following the shad. You need to look for bait, either on the graph or in low light conditions near the surface, and then fish whatever grass, docks or rocks are in that area.  Herons and other birds can also provide clues.

The fish Dearal has caught have been in 4-5 feet of water on square-billed crankbaits, Pop-Rs, spinnerbaits and other shad imitating lures.

There has been some schooling activity, and at random times fish will just pop up on the surface.  If you fish around bait you maximize your chances of locating these fish.

September 21

Lake Wateree is at 98.1% of full pool, and water temperatures are in the lower 80s.  The water is dirty.

Just days ago Lake Wateree was over full, but now that the waters have receded somewhat veteran tournament crappie angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish will be back on the brush in 15-21 feet of water. At times and in areas with a lot of current you need to fish in the brush where fish will try to get out of the current, and when the water is calmer they will suspend just over it. Vertically jigging Fish Stalker jigs is still Will’s go-to method for fishing brush, but he also suggests trying minnows as often the fish want the most natural presentation after flood conditions.  It’s a good time of year to start looking on the upper end of the lake once the mud and current settle out.

Weather and very high water conditions have limited bass fishing on Lake Wateree, but FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that there could be an improved shallow bite with the high water levels.  He still suggests concentrating on the main lake and front third of creeks with the summer water (and air) temperatures.

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