AHQ INSIDER Lake Wateree (SC) Fall Fishing Report – Updated February 9
The newest Lake Wateree fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-lake-wateree-sc-spring-2018-fishing-report/
Lake Wateree is at 97.1% of full pool, and water temperatures are in the upper 40s. Up the lake is stained to muddy but the lower lake is still pretty normal for Wateree.
On the crappie front, veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt has been down in Florida where he and his tournament partner just won the Florida State Championship. However, he’s back home on Lake Wateree now where the best pattern has been tight-lining plain minnows 18-21 feet down over 23-24 feet of water near the mouth of Wateree Creek. Muddy conditions have slowed the bite but that’s still the best thing going.
In bass news, FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that on Lake Wateree cold, muddy rising water doesn’t usually equate to a better bite. However, the influence of warmer days is a positive factor. The best bet is still to fish main lake rocky points and in the first part of creeks, mainly in 10 feet of water or less. Alabama rigs, Shad raps, and shakey head worms and jigs are good choices.
There’s no change with the catfish pattern, and Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that in the middle of creeks out to the main channel you can still catch fish drifting cut gizzard shad in 15-28 feet of water.
Lake Wateree is at 96.7% of full pool, and water temperatures are around 46-48 degrees. With recent rainfall the lake is getting muddier.
In bass news, FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that fishing is picking up on Lake Wateree as the fish see longer days and get a bit more active. The best bite has been on main lake rocky points and in the first part of creeks, mainly in 10 feet of water or less. Alabama rigs, Shad raps, and shakey head worms and jigs are working.
On the crappie front, veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fishing has been slow. Some fish are being caught in the rivers, but with cold, stained water headed down the lake conditions are not ideal. The best pattern has been tight-lining 18-26 feet of water with jigs tipped with minnows about a foot off the bottom.
Probably the best Lake Wateree bite right now is for catfish, and Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that his boat has caught a good number of 6-10 and 12-20 pound fish. The shallow bite has become almost non-existent, but in the middle of creeks out to the main channel there has been some good action drifting cut gizzard shad in 15-28 feet of water. The best fishing is when they are running some water. Look for birds to point out areas holding bait and catfish.
Lake Wateree is at 96.7% of full pool, and water temperatures have dropped into the low 40s.
With water temperatures very cold on Lake Wateree, most species have slowed down feeding. On the crappie front, veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that pretty much the only fish that are being caught are up the river run. You have to slow way down and fish in 22-26 feet of water on the bottom, tight-lining with jigs tipped with minnows vertically.
Will also notes that, for reasons that are unclear, when water temperatures get very cold in January or February fish will often move into the back of Beaver Creek. Beaver Creek was so cold recently that there was ice across the back, and so counterintuitively the time may be getting right to fish there. When the crappie move up in Beaver Creek anglers need to fish on the bottom very slowly.
In bass news, FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that very few people have been fishing, but the best bet is fishing around main lake rocks with Shad Raps, shakey heads and jigs. Fish will want deep water nearby but when the sun is up they may move into 5-8 feet to feed, and at other times they may be in 10 feet.
The Lake Wateree catfish bite is almost certainly the best thing going, and Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that his boat is still finding a really strong bite on a variety of different patterns. They have caught fish anchoring up the lake just below the river run, anchoring shallow in the backs of mid-lake creeks, and drifting mid-depths on the middle and lower sections of the lake. Watch for bird activity, and be flexible and open to the unexpected – including catching catfish in the dead of winter in only a few feet of water. Cut shad has been the best bait.
Lake Wateree is at 96.7% of full pool, and water temperatures are around 50 degrees. There is still a pretty strong mud line partway up the lake.
In catfish news, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that his boat has found a very good bite on Lake Wateree recently. The best bait has been shad, and on Rodger’s most recent trip they caught about 200 pounds of catfish with fish up to the high-teens/ twenty pounds. They have caught fish in a variety of patterns, including anchoring shallow in the backs of some mid-lake creeks, anchoring deeper up the lake, and drifting shallower and deeper.
However, the most productive pattern has been drifting in 10-20 feet.
On the crappie front, veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that the crappie are still in about the same pattern as a week ago. Right now most of the boats are around the State Park, and the mouths of Dutchman’s and Taylor Creek are still seeing a lot of action. Tight-lining the channel ledge near the bottom in 18-21 feet of water is still the most popular pattern.
Will notes that even though the upper river run is still muddy, after four or five days for the fish to get used to the mud they will bite again. So, even though the majority of fishermen are further down the lake the upper part should be turning on again.
No bass updates from FLW fisherman Dearal Rodgers of Camden.
Lake Wateree is at 96.8% of full pool, and water temperatures are in the mid-50s. The recent rain muddied up the river run.
CATT owner Brett Collins reports that the bass tournament season has been in a lull on Lake Wateree, but some diehard fishermen like FLW angler Dearal Rodgers of Camden are still out there chasing the fish. While the bite is certainly still tough, Dearal says the best bet is to fish in 5-10 feet of water around rocks. Steep, 45 degree banks with rock can be ideal, but as long as there is deep water close by any rocky area is worth exploring. Crankbaits such as Shad Raps, Alabama rigs and jerkbaits are all working.
On the crappie front, veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish are still concentrated along the river channel. However, since the rain muddied up the water the better fish have been caught just ahead of the mud line near the State Park on the main lake. Fish can still be caught above Wateree Creek but they are smaller and that bite has been a little slower.
The best way to catch them is tight-lining the edge of the channel ledge in 18-20 feet of water just off the bottom by 6 inches to 2 feet.
The most exciting fishery on Lake Wateree right now is the striped bass. Fish are schooling in the coves and at the mouths of creeks, where they seem to be balling up the bait and corralling them. Some largemouth are also mixed in.
Lake Wateree is at 96.4% of full pool, and water temperatures are around 60 degrees.
Bass fishing remains very tough on Wateree, and FLW angler Dearal Rodgers of Camden reports that it has only been taking about 15 pounds to win in recent weeks. Water levels are relatively low and so fish can be found off rocky points or on the ends of docks, and shad are mainly out towards the main lake. Baitfish can also be found at the mouths of creeks or in pockets, but it isn’t worth spending much time heading back into the creeks. The best depth range right now has been 4-8 feet, and crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs in that order have generally been working best. The Alabama rig has also been catching some fish, fairly unusually for Wateree.
On the crappie front, veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that fish are truly starting to get into a winter pattern. That means that fish are being caught in the river channel above Wateree Creek, mostly by anglers tight-lining near the bottom in 18-22 feet with jigs tipped with minnows. Working along the edge of the river channel has been the best bet.
There are also some reports of fish being caught around brush in 18-30 feet of water all over the lake. While the better numbers are up the river, some pretty good fish are being caught on brush.
Striper schooling activity has been reported.