AHQ INSIDER Santee Cooper (SC) Spring Fishing Report – Updated May 19 Reviewed by Momizat on . -- May 19 Santee Cooper water levels are at 75.41 in Lake Marion (full pool is 76.8) and 75.35 in Lake Moultrie (full pool is 75.5).  Water temperatures are in -- May 19 Santee Cooper water levels are at 75.41 in Lake Marion (full pool is 76.8) and 75.35 in Lake Moultrie (full pool is 75.5).  Water temperatures are in Rating: 0
You Are Here: Home » Featured » AHQ INSIDER Santee Cooper (SC) Spring Fishing Report – Updated May 19

AHQ INSIDER Santee Cooper (SC) Spring Fishing Report – Updated May 19

May 19

Santee Cooper water levels are at 75.41 in Lake Marion (full pool is 76.8) and 75.35 in Lake Moultrie (full pool is 75.5).  Water temperatures are in the upper 70s, and particularly Lake Marion is muddy – while the lower lake is a little better.

While there haven’t been a ton of changes in the catfish action on the Santee Cooper lakes, Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) reports that the big fish bite has slowed somewhat during the day.  They are still catching lots of 2-6 pounders, with the occasional 12-14 pound fish mixed in, mostly drifting.  The big fish reports that have come in have been at both ends of the depth range.  Some big fish have been caught in less than 15 feet of water, while some have been in over 38 feet.  It’s fair to say the bigger fish are scattered out.

Overall the very small fish that were deep earlier in the year have moved shallower, and they can be caught most consistently in the 6-15 foot range now.  That may be related to the location of the mussels they are feeding on.

Captain Steve English’s (843-729-4044) boat advises that bream fishing has been a little off this spring, and there aren’t the numbers of shallow spawning fish that are usually caught.  On the brush the fish are pretty small.  The slow bite may be related to the very stained conditions.

Crappie fishing has also been a little slow, and while Steve’s boat is still having the occasional 20- or 30-fish day overall numbers are down.  The fish they are catching are about 8-16 feet deep over brush in 14-30 feet of water.

There are still some bass being caught shallow, but there are not the numbers of super-shallow fish that were showing up a few weeks ago.  Post-spawn fish are starting to head out to deeper water.

April 23

Santee Cooper water levels are at 75.19 in Lake Marion (full pool is 76.8) and 75.15 in Lake Moultrie (full pool is 75.5).

On the catfish front, Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) reports that it’s been a good period for catching fish on the Santee Cooper lakes.  Broadly, the bigger fish are scattered at various depths but generally shallower, while the smaller cats are concentrated in deeper water.  In very deep water (for spring) greater than 30 feet most of the fish are in the 1 pound and smaller range right now, and in middle to deeper water from 15-28 feet there are concentrations of 2-6 pound fish.  On recent trips when anglers want to increase their chances of tangling with big fish, understanding that numbers will be lower, Jim’s boat has targeted 5-12 feet of water.  In addition to nice blues in the teens on up to 30 plus pounds, they have caught some solid channel catfish in the same depth range.

Cut shad has been working well, and on days when there is no wind the bite has been noticeably slower.  A healthy breeze makes for the best fishing right now – as is often the case.

A nice 30 pound fish caught recently on Captain Jim Glenn's boat

A nice 30 pound fish caught recently on Captain Jim Glenn’s boat

 

A portion of the day's catch with Captain Jim Glenn

A portion of the day’s catch with Captain Jim Glenn

March 31

Santee Cooper water levels are at 74.71 in Lake Marion (full pool is 76.8) and 74.48 in Lake Moultrie (full pool is 75.5).  Water conditions are extremely clear for Santee and temperatures range from the mid-60s all the way up to the lower 70s.

In catfish news, Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) reports that the big blue catfish have turned on in the Santee Cooper lakes.  In a scouting trip on Wednesday he fished areas that historically have produced big fish for him at this time of year, and in 3-12 feet of water he caught a 24-pound fish as well as three more over 30 pounds.  Drifting cut shad has been the ticket.

A 30-plus pound catfish caught Wednesday on Captain Jim Glenn's boat

A 30-plus pound catfish caught Wednesday on Captain Jim Glenn’s boat

On the crappie front, skyrocketing water temperatures mean that the crappie spawn is winding down and will very soon be pretty much over.  The best fishing has moved back out to brush, and Captain Steve English’s (843-729-4044) boat caught some fish in shallower brush piles this morning.  However, they have had the best luck catching white crappie 20-22 feet down over brush in about 30 feet of water.

In the lower lake Steve reports that he has been up shallow looking for bream, but there have not been a lot of signs of shellcracker (which usually move up first) shallow.  They are still catching fish in the lower lake around deeper brush.

March 31

Santee Cooper water levels are at 74.71 in Lake Marion (full pool is 76.8) and 74.48 in Lake Moultrie (full pool is 75.5).  Water conditions are extremely clear for Santee and temperatures range from the mid-60s all the way up to the lower 70s.

In catfish news, Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) reports that the big blue catfish have turned on in the Santee Cooper lakes.  In a scouting trip on Wednesday he fished areas that historically have produced big fish for him at this time of year, and in 3-12 feet of water he caught a 24-pound fish as well as three more over 30 pounds.  Drifting cut shad has been the ticket.

On the crappie front, skyrocketing water temperatures mean that the crappie spawn is winding down and will very soon be pretty much over.  The best fishing has moved back out to brush, and Captain Steve English’s (843-729-4044) boat caught some fish in shallower brush piles this morning.  However, they have had the best luck catching white crappie 20-22 feet down over brush in about 30 feet of water.

In the lower lake Steve reports that he has been up shallow looking for bream, but there have not been a lot of signs of shellcracker (which usually move up first) shallow.  They are still catching fish in the lower lake around deeper brush.

March 27

Santee Cooper water levels are at 74.69 in Lake Marion (full pool is 76.8) and Lake Moultrie (full pool is 75.5).  Water conditions are extremely clear for Santee and temperatures range from about 60-65 depending on location.

It’s that time of year when some monster tournament bass bags are caught on the Santee Cooper lakes, and tournament anglers Steve Harmon and Bryan Cook know a thing or two about catching those big spring females.  Steve and Bryan finished with about 26 pounds for 3rd place in the CATT event on Saturday, and on Sunday they weighed in a whopping 32 pounds to win the Goose Creek Bass Club Open!

Steve says that right now locating fish on the Santee lakes is a “no-brainer”, and fish are coming shallow to spawn.  In late February a wave of male fish came shallow and made beds, but then the cold weather backed those fish off.  For a variety of reasons Steve doesn’t think that many females moved up and actually spawned in February, and so it was really more like a “false spawn.”

This time around the big females have moved up, and this is the real deal.  Early in the morning anglers can look for cruising fish or bass holding around depressions or grass, and this is a good time to throw buzzbaits or swimbaits.  As the sun comes up anglers need to look shallow for fish on beds.

Steve anticipates that this pattern will hold for the next few weeks, and he points out there are a couple of unique factors this spring.  First, water levels are a lot lower than usual for the spring and he believes this is confusing a lot of fish.  You just can’t go to the same places you fish every year, as no two springs are the same.  Additionally, the water is extremely clear for Santee.  This can make for some good sight-fishing, but also makes the fish more skittish.

Steve Harmon and Bryan Cook with their 32.33 pound bag weighed in yesterday!

Steve Harmon and Bryan Cook with their 32.33 pound bag weighed in yesterday!

Catfish, crappie and bream reports to follow.

Leave a Comment

© 2016 scfishingreport.com |

Scroll to top