AHQ INSIDER Lake Wateree (SC) Summer Fishing Report – Updated August 10
Lake Wateree is at 97.6% of full pool and before the recent rain clarity was very good for Wateree. Water temperatures were still in the upper 80s as of two days ago.
Bass fishing on Lake Wateree is still really tough, and FLW angler Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that the few fish being caught are generally coming in the morning. The prime locations are rocky points and grass, and around rocky points either walking or popping topwater bites have had the best success. Around grass either throwing a frog or flipping a jig, worm or creature bait has worked best. The cloudy weather this week could improve the fishing for the FLW Junior World Championships taking place on Lake Wateree in conjunction with the Forrest Wood Cup on Murray.
The crappie pattern is essentially unchanged according to veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt. Fish are still on brush in 15-20 feet, although dropping water temperatures could shake things up a bit if the change is significant.
Lake Wateree is at 97.3% of full pool and by Wateree standards the lake is very clear. Water temperatures are in the upper 80s and even higher.
Even though it’s gotten hotter, the crappie fishing has gotten better over the last couple of weeks according to veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt. He reports that the fish are now on brush in the 15-20 foot range, mostly on the main lake and scattered from one end of the lake to the other. They aren’t on all the brush piles in that range, but by now they seem to be on about 85% of them as the heat has made them more structure-oriented. Early in the day they are suspended over the brush, and as the sun gets up they sink down towards the bottom. Fish Stalker jigs have still been the best bet.
It’s definitely the dog days of summer for bass fishing on Lake Wateree, and on a recent trip FLW angler Dearal Rodgers of Camden read 91 degrees when he got out on the water in the afternoon! Accordingly he spent the afternoon and evening trying to find a deep bite, but as other anglers have found it still continues to be basically non-existent. The best bite remains shallow around the grass.
On the catfish front, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that right now with fish essentially in a post-spawn period the best bet is to get out early in the morning and fish out of June Creek or another landing in the mid-lake. He advises anchoring around mid-lake humps that might rise to within 7 or 8 feet of the surface on a flat of 12-15 feet of water. There are a lot of mussel beds in this area, and fan-casting a bunch of rods at various depths is the best way to pick up fish. If rods don’t move anchored up after a few spots then you can turn to drifting to cover more water. At this time of year most of the fish won’t be giant but you could catch a good one up to the mid-20s or bigger. Cut gizzard shad is the best bet.
Lake Wateree is high at 97.5% of full pool; up the lake dirty water can be found, but overall clarity is pretty good for Wateree down around Clearwater Cove. Water temperatures range from the low to mid-80s.
The bass fishing on Lake Wateree has been decent recently, but it’s only been taking about 16 pounds to win tournaments. Tournament angler Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that with water levels pretty high there is still a good shallow bite in the grass, and anglers can throw frogs, swim jigs, and Chatterbaits at the fish. On cloudy days the topwater bite can last longer, and you can always flip the grass. Perhaps because water temperatures haven’t gotten super hot, or as result of good water levels, the offshore bite has not really materialized this summer.
CATT director Brett Collins concurs that the best bite has been shallow, and anglers just aren’t catching them deep. A couple of weeks ago there was a good bite around docks, but right now grass is the best cover.
On the crappie front veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish remain in a pretty typical summer pattern – on brush. The fish are generally around brush in 12-20 feet of water, and for the first hour of the day they are suspended in the top. As the sun rises they get close to the bottom and hold very tight to the cover. Will has found the best bite on Fish Stalker jigs in ugly green, yellow with black flake, pearl white and black and chartreuse colors. Fish are pretty much on the main lake, from one dam to the other. It’s just gotten too hot for there to be much action in the creeks.
Lake Wateree is high at 97.6% of full pool, with the lower end fairly clear for Lake Wateree but the upper end stained although not muddy. Water temperatures are around 80 degrees.
The bass fishing on Lake Wateree has been pretty good recently, and a few weeks ago tournament angler Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that the best action was flipping shallow cover. There was also a pretty good bite around docks, particularly when the bream spawn was hot (it may fire up again).
However, ever since water levels rose significantly and then stayed up the grass bite has been the key. For Dearal fish haven’t been wanting to eat topwaters fished above the grass, but a Zoom Speed Worm or jig swam through the grass has been working well. When there is a little wind they will eat a spinnerbait.
There are some fish out deep already but more should head out there once water temperatures rise a few more degrees.
On the crappie front veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish have moved into a pretty typical summer pattern. That means they can be found around brush, although at this stage of the season it’s only the 12-18 foot brush instead of the very deep stuff they will be on later. Early in the morning they are on top of the brush, and as the sun comes up they sink down in. Fish Stalker Ugly Green, pearl white and blue and white jigs have been working.
Fish can be found around brush pretty much over the entire lake – as long as you stick to the main lake. While there may be some fish at the mouths of creeks where they join up with the river you don’t want to go any further back than that. There are also some fish being caught around the bridges.