AHQ INSIDER Santee Cooper (SC) Summer 2017 Fishing Report – Updated August 10
Santee Cooper water levels are at 75.24 in Lake Marion (full pool is 76.8) and 75.20 in Lake Moultrie (full pool is 75.5). Surface temperatures have dropped to around 82 degree.
Guides continue to report mixed results fishing for catfish on the Santee Cooper lakes, but recently Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) has had some good results drifting in 8-20 feet with cut bait. This isn’t usually a season associated with monster fish, but Jim has been getting solid numbers of nice 4-12 pound blues and channels as well as some better fish like this 23-pound blue.
Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that they have not been pulling water in the canal and so the bite has slowed down there.
Around the full moon there was some very good action for bream up shallow, and Steve’s boat caught a bunch of nice bluegill (as well as the big shellcracker shown below). They were catching 50 an hour when the bite was at its peak. Now that the full moon has passed the better fish have left the shallows and set back up on the brush piles.
Crappie fishing remains slow and after some tough trips Steve says he doesn’t plan to target them again until the first week in September.
Bass report to follow.
Santee Cooper water levels are at 75.38 in Lake Marion (full pool is 76.8) and 75.32 in Lake Moultrie (full pool is 75.5).
The catfish bite on the Santee Cooper lakes continues to be variable, with Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) reporting some scattered bites in mid-depth water as well as positive reports in shallow water late in the day. Overall cut perch and shad have been the best baits.
Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that his boat has found better action in the lower lake than the upper, and that fishing in the canal continues to be strong in the same pattern. He also reports that he has been catching fish shallow in 5-8 feet of water – both day and night! He has heard good reports in deep water at certain times and in certain locations, but not everywhere.
Crappie fishing is still tough, and catches have actually slowed down again.
The bigger bream are still a little scarce, but there were some good bluegills caught off the beds last week. Steve’s boat even landed a big 1-pound 3-ounce fish. On the August full moon there should be another good wave of spawning activity, and there could even be a new moon phase in between.
No change on the bass.
Santee Cooper water levels are at 75.47 in Lake Marion (full pool is 76.8) and 75.42 in Lake Moultrie (full pool is 75.5). Water temperatures are around 83 degrees.
Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that the catfish bite continues to be strong in the Diversion Canal, and when they are pulling water through you can almost always catch fish. Some people are also anchoring at night in the canal, even when there is no current, and having success. This is also a typical summer pattern.
Out on the lakes, Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) reports that fishing is still a little slow even though his boat has caught some big fish up to the 40s. The best depth range has been 10-25 feet, and there have been smaller fish mixed in with 10-pounders, “teenage”-sized fish and some bigger ones.
There are still a lot of small catfish being caught in the Rediversion in the Russellville area from the bank on cut baits and prepared dip baits.
While the crappie bite hasn’t really turned on, even at the time of year when it’s supposed to be slow it has actually improved a bit. In particularly they are catching better numbers of fish. Deep water has been wholly unproductive, and the best pattern right now has been fishing shallow to medium depth brush 8-14 feet down over 15-25 feet of water.
Bream fishing has also been a little off, and the shallow bite just doesn’t seem to have been as strong as it usually is – even around full moon bedding periods. You can catch tons of fish off brush, with the occasional nice one mixed in, but most of the fish are small.
The summer doldrums have set in for bass fishing on Santee Cooper, and even though they are catching a few early and late on topwater baits like frogs it’s overall slow.
Santee Cooper water levels are at 75.68 in Lake Marion (full pool is 76.8) and 75.46 in Lake Moultrie (full pool is 75.5). Water temperatures are around 78 degrees and the water is high and dingy.
As anticipated Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that the catfish bite in the Diversion Canal is strong. There’s a lot of water running through the canal, and as a result the fish are stacking up in there. The best pattern is drifting down the center of the canal (while dodging boats) on the bottom in about 27 feet of water, and a variety of cut baits are working well. There is also a pretty good night bite.
Meanwhile, crappie fishing has gotten tough. Steve says that you can pick up a few fish but overall it is slow.
It’s easy to catch bream over brush right now, but Steve says that most of them are small. There will be fish up shallow bedding with the full moon, but due to water conditions it can be a little tough to spot them.
Bass fishing can be pretty good right now if you know offshore spots, as the period when you could catch a bunch of fish shallow is definitely over. In the tournament last weekend several boats had limits in the mid to high-20s, but they were catching these fish out of deep water.
Santee Cooper water levels are at 75.63 in Lake Marion (full pool is 76.8) and 75.48 in Lake Moultrie (full pool is 75.5). Water temperatures are in the upper 70s to lower 80s, and the lake has good color.
On recent catfish trips Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) reports that they’ve been seeing less of the 2-6 pound fish that were prolific a few weeks ago, but the numbers of better fish have picked up. Good numbers of fish in the 8-pound range have been caught, along with some big fish up to 45 pounds.
Drifting cut shad in 6-35 feet has been the best pattern, with the biggest fish and most bites coming in the high teens and upper 20s. Blue catfish are in the early stage of the spawn which will likely last into late July/ early August. Channels are probably near the peak of their spawn or a little past it.
While Jim hasn’t been fishing the canal, with good water flow through the lakes conditions should be about perfect.
News on other species to follow.