AHQ INSIDER Lake Wylie (NC/SC) Fall 2019 Fishing Report – Updated October 29
Lake Wylie is at 96.5% of full pool. Surface water temperatures in the morning are down to about 71 degrees and the lake is turning over in some areas.
Water temperatures are still running a few weeks behind, and perhaps as a result of this Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that the catfish bite is just “good” right now. Numbers are pretty good but normally there would have been some monsters caught by the end of October, and Rodger has mainly been catching lots of 8-14 pound blues with some fish up to the low 20s. As it gets colder the fish will get easier to catch and bigger, and they will also group up tighter.
The best fishing has been in the 16-22 foot range, and while there is tons of small bait in the shallows the overabundance seems to make it harder to catch fish there. Rodger’s boat has also worked deep water down to about 35 feet with only limited results. The mid-lake may be fishing a little better than the lower end right now, and it may take a cold snap to make the bait and fish group up in a tight band in deeper water on the lower end. Overall fish are still pretty scattered, and both anchoring and drifting are having success.
It has been hard to get gizzard shad and so white perch have been the primary bait choice.
There have been some big flatheads caught recently.
It’s a pretty typical fall bass bite on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that anglers should spend a lot of time fishing topwater lures right now. Walking baits, Whopper Ploppers and buzzbaits and are all working for shallow fish. With water temperatures around the 70 degree mark there are fish in both the main lake and the creeks.
There is good schooling action, and for schooling fish walking baits, soft stickbaits and spinnerbaits will all work.
Fish can also be caught on jigs and worms around docks.
Lake Wylie is at 95.8% of full pool. Surface water temperatures in the morning are in the upper 70s.
It has taken about 13 pounds to win bass tournaments recently on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that while the fall bite is getting better is not wide open yet. Before too long there will be full-on topwater activity in the backs of all the major creeks, but temperatures need to drop a little more before that happens. The action remains spotty and fish can be found in some parts of the creeks but not everywhere.
In addition to the creeks there are still plenty of fish on the main lake, and in both locations spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are working pretty well. Fish can also be caught on jigs and worms around docks.
There is schooling activity, but again it is not as good as it will get.
Lake Wylie is at 96.3% of full pool. Surface water temperatures in the morning have risen to around 84 degrees. The lake remains relatively clear, although there are some slightly stained areas in the creeks.
Even though it’s still hot there continues to be some seasonal improvement in the bass bite on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that fish are starting to spread out between the main lake and creeks. Fish seem to have gone as far back as about half-way into the creeks, although of course there are always some resident fish in the very backs. However, the bulk of the fish seem to be waiting on cooler water before moving too far in.
There is already widespread schooling activity, especially early and late, although it is generally individual fish and not large groups coming to the surface at one time. This is taking place on both the main lake and in the creeks.
Topwater baits lake buzzbaits, Whopper Ploppers and walking baits are all working, and fish can also be caught on jigs and big worms around docks.
Overall Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that the blue catfish bite is fair, mainly because fish are so scattered right now. While later in the season bait and then fish will be grouped up in the main channel on the lower end, for now they are only starting to move that way.
The best bet for blues is drifting, and 20-25 feet is a good range to probe. Fish will be around some sort of bottom structure and there will often be a small patch of fish when you catch one. Shad, white perch and bream will all work.
The flathead bite on the upper end of the lake and in the South Fork rates as good to very good, and Rodger reports that anchoring cut gizzard shad, cut white perch or live bream will work.
Lake Wylie is at 96.6% of full pool. Surface water temperatures in the morning are in the low to mid-80s. The water remains relatively clear.
With the cooling temperatures this week on Lake Wylie there is already a marginal improvement in the bass bite, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that topwater action has improved. There is some schooling activity at the mouths of creeks, which should only get better in the next few weeks.
On the main lake there are still some groups of fish up shallow eating bream, and bass can also be caught around docks on jigs or big worms.
There are still some fish in deeper areas in 18-23 feet but that bite should be dying out.
Lake Wylie is at 96.7% of full pool. Surface water temperatures in the morning are in the mid-80s, rising to the high-80s by afternoon. With very little rain the water is relatively clear.
Water temperatures are rising again on Lake Wylie, and without seasonal cooling tournament bassangler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that fishing is pretty tough. In the Thursday Night Tournament Trail championship the winner had about 14 pounds per day, but second place was in the 10-11 pound range.
With water temperatures still very hot there has not been any further movement into the creeks, and the best activity remains early and late on the main lake. There are some groups of fish up shallow eating bream, and bass can also be caught around docks on jigs or big worms.
There are still some fish in deeper areas in 18-23 feet.
Lake Wylie is at 97.2% of full pool. Water temperatures are in the low to mid-80s.
After the slightly cooler weather water temperatures are starting to slowly decline on Lake Wylie, and as a result tournament bassangler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that there are some fish moving off the main lake into the creeks. In the afternoons there has also been some schooling action at the mouths of creeks and in the front sections.
The topwater bite has been improving, with the best activity still early and late. However, daytime fishing has gotten better than the night bite.
There are still some fish in deeper areas in 18-23 feet, but that bite is declining.
Lake Wylie is at 97.1% of full pool. Water temperatures are 88-90 degrees, and the lake remains clear.
It’s still pretty tough bass fishing on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that the Thursday night tournaments are only taking about 11 pounds even with 60-70 boats.
The best action has been an early morning topwater bite, which has been surprisingly good at times. Most of the better fish in daytime tournaments are being caught early and shallow.
Overall there is still a mix of fish scattered out between shallow and deep, as well as in creeks and the main lake. Deeper fish are still out there in 18-23 feet on the usual community holes where spoons, worms and crankbaits can catch them.
There is also some schooling activity starting, but for right now it is mainly small 12-15 inch bass. They are on very small bait and so they can be hard to get to bite.
Lake Wylie is down to 97.3% of full pool. Water temperatures are in the mid-80s, and the lake remains pretty clear.
It’s a pretty stable – and tough – period on Lake Wylie, but tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that a late mayfly hatch this week actually set off a pretty decent shallow bass bite. In addition to the fish already in the shallows eating bedding bream, the mayflies brought in even more bream and bass. These fish will eat buzzbaits and other topwater lures, and there have been some pretty big bass up there feeding.
There is also a decent jig bite around docks.
On the deeper side, in the 18-23 foot range there has been a decent spoon bite reported, and big worms and crankbaits will also catch fish. Offshore fish are getting a little more finicky after being picked on all summer.
Lake Wylie is down to 97.1% of full pool, and water temperatures are about 90 degrees. The lake is pretty clear.
It’s the heat of summer on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that bass continue to be mixed between shallow and deep. It has taken about 13 pounds to win recent tournaments, but with a full moon this week there have been a lot of bream bedding and so the shallow bite has picked up a little. Frogs and prop baits fished in pockets and coves are both working, and there is also a pretty good jig bite around docks.
On the deeper side, in the 18-20 foot range anglers are fishing big worms, jigs and crankbaits.
On the catfish front, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that the bite has gotten extremely tough.
Lake Wylie is back to 98.6% of full pool, and the water remains relatively clear. Morning surface temperatures are still in the low 80s.
On the catfish front, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports a fair bite fishing mid-lake near Crowders Creek. Drifting with cut bluegill in about 22-35 feet has been the best pattern, with fish generally coming in waves near structure. A mix of blues and channels will be caught this way.
At night the best pattern is to head to the riverine portions of the lake where there is moving water, and anchor cut shad, live and cut bluegills and white perch for flatheads and blues. Anchor in an area where you can fan-cast to cover a range of depths, from the edge of the deep channel to as shallow as 3 feet.
Lake Wylie is down to 97.9% of full pool, and in addition to levels dropping the water has cleared up in the last week. Morning surface temperatures are about 82 degrees.
It hasn’t been a full week since the last report, and water conditions have changed completely on Lake Wylie. As a result tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that the deep bass bite has come on again, and with a fair amount of current anglers are doing well fishing big worms, jigs and crankbaits out in the 18-20 foot range.
There is still a good topwater bite, and fishing baits like Whopper Ploppers or Spooks around main lake points and riprap is a good pattern first thing. Fish will still take prop baits and frogs in pockets.
During the day some of these shallow fish seem to sit around docks, and so there is a good jig bite around shallow docks.
Lake Wylie is at 98.9% of full pool but has had some pretty severe flooding in recent weeks. The lake is starting to clear on the upper end, but the bottom ¾ of the lake is still really muddy. Water temperatures are still in the low 80s.
Water conditions have changed the bass bite again on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that as a result of the dirty water the best bite has been shallow. Fishing in 5 feet or less with Chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits is working, and fish can be found around rocks on the main lake. There are also shallow fish in the creeks where the resident creek fish have moved up.
There is still a good topwater bite first thing, and the bream bed bite is still going on. The deep pattern should rebound once water conditions improve.
Lake Wylie is down to 97.2% of full pool, and water temperatures are in the low 80s. Overall the lake is clear.
There is not a lot of change with the basson Lake Wylie, but tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that there do appear to be some better fish out deep. The best action is in 18-23 feet of water, and fish are still aggressive and will take a crankbait, swimbait, big worm, or jig.
Early in the morning there has been a pretty good topwater bite for about two hours, with buzzbaits working especially well. And the bream bed bite should last until fall in pockets with prop baits and frogs.