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AHQ INSIDER Lake Greenwood (SC) Spring 2021 Fishing Report – Updated January 13

  • by Jay

January 13

Lake Greenwood water levels are down to 436.06 (full pool is 440.0). Most of the lake is now muddy, although the lower end is a bit better, and water temperatures are in the upper 40s. 

The lake is muddy and the temperature is about the same from the dam to the rivers, and as a result Guide Daniel Skipper (864-430-0488) reports that striped bass can be found from one end of the lake to the other. They could also be found on the bank one second and in 25 feet of water the next, and so basically the key is to follow the gulls and loons and try to keep up with them as they roam and chase bait. They are most likely to be found on the main channel but that is not even a given. 

The best way to target the fish is by trolling artificial baits such as umbrella rigs or casting at the birds, and they are on fairly small bait so rig your lines accordingly.  Overall the bite is fairly good. 

While the striper fishing is okay the crappie fishing is just tough, and in the 2-day South Carolina Crappie Association tournament this weekend only two teams had a limit of seven fish both days.  And these are some of the very best crappie fishermen in the state. Between muddy, cold water and ripping current as they try to keep the lake low the conditions are very difficult and Daniel is turning away guide parties. 

While nothing is good the best bet is tight-lining or long-lining in 15-20 feet of water for scattered fish that could be in the creeks or main lake. Jigs tipped with minnows are the best option and fish could be suspended well of the bottom. 

The Lake Greenwood bass are still in winter pattern, which means throwing Alabama rigs around docks, channel swings and points. Tournament angler Stan Gunter of Saluda reports you can also chase the birds like a striper fisherman and cast lures to bass mixed in with striper, and perhaps the best pattern is to fish a jigging spoon in 18-25 feet in the areas where you are seeing birds.

With the dirty water there can also be a shallow pattern fishing a crankbait around rocky points and steep rocky banks in 6-10 feet of water. 

Check out the new Lake Greenwood Catch ’Em Kits with lures hand-picked for each season by Stan.

Stan Gunter with a good Greenwood fish
Stan Gunter with a good Greenwood fish

It’s a decent time for catfish on Lake Greenwood, and Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that with cats drawn to the muddy inflow either following the bait or perhaps looking for something else to eat the best pattern is still to drift creek or main lake areas with fresh water coming in with cut herring, perch or shad. They could be at any depth but 10-25 is a good range to start out searching.

January 8

Lake Greenwood water levels rose more than two feet but are slightly down to 437.36  (full pool is 440.0). Much of the lake is muddy but the water is still fairly clear on the lower end. 

You can still catch Lake Greenwood bass fishing crankbaits around points, and there is certainly still a pattern throwing Alabama rigs around docks, channel swings and the like. However, tournament angler Stan Gunter of Saluda reports that right now one of the best ways to catch bass can be to chase the birds like a striper fisherman. They are of course catching plenty of striped bass this way, but they are also getting spots and largemouth throwing bucktails and small swimbaits. When gulls are swooping down fish are obviously feeding under them, but you can also fish a jigging spoon in 18-25 feet in the areas where they have been and catch fish. Dropping a swimbait or Alabama rig in the same areas will also work. You just need to idle around in areas where you have seen the fish to locate them. 

Check out the new Lake Greenwood Catch ’Em Kits with lures hand-picked for each season by Stan.

While the patterns remain similar the influx of fresh, muddy water has changed the locations of catfish on Lake Greenwood, and Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that unlike some other species cats are drown to the inflow either following the bait or perhaps looking for something else to eat.  The best pattern right now is to drift creek or main lake areas with fresh water coming in with cut herring, perch or shad. They could be at any depth but 10-25 is a good range to start out searching.

December 20

Lake Greenwood water levels are at 435.86 (full pool is 440.0) and surface water temperatures are 54-56 degrees. The upper end is dingy to dirty but the mid-lake down is pretty good and the lower end is clear. 

Even though Lake Greenwood is not yet as cold as you might expect after some chilly weather, tournament angler Stan Gunter of Saluda reports that bass are getting into winter patterns and making a move back to the main lake right now. They are starting to hang around rocky points and steep rocky banks in 6-10 feet of water, but wood close to deep water and channel swings are also holding fish. Square-bills, Shad Raps, and of course Alabama rigs are all working right now. If the water is not too deep a suspending jerkbait is a good option. 

Stan Gunter with some nice fish caught this week
Stan Gunter with some nice fish caught this week

He is on Clarks Hill more these days, but Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that with baitfish starting to gather up pretty thick in or near the main river channel and some of the big feeder creek channels the catfish are right there with them.  On the upper half of the lake they are in 15-25 feet, and on the lower half 25-35 feet.  Drift the areas with the best concentrations of bait with cut herring, perch or shad.

November 24

Lake Greenwood is at 437.52 (full pool is 440.0) and surface water temperatures are in the mid-60s. Up the lake is dirtier while the water down the lake is cleaner. 

It’s one of those tougher times on Lake Greenwood when some anglers are catching fish but many are not, and tournament angler Stan Gunter of Saluda reports that it is still taking about 15 or 16 pounds to win recent bass tournaments.  Fish are in the creeks and shallower pockets on the main lake, and as water temperatures drop the bite is shifting from more of a topwater/ buzzbait bite over to submerged baits. Crankbaits including square-bills and Shad Raps, Rattle Traps and spinnerbaits are catching fish. Alabama rigs are always good in the cool months on Lake Greenwood and that bite is also starting to come on around points and docks. Up the lake flashier, louder and brighter baits are needed while down the lake in the cleaner water more shad-colored baits will work. 

Stan Gunter with a Greenwood bass caught this week
Stan Gunter with a Greenwood bass caught this week

He is on Clarks Hill more these days, but Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that drifting 20-30 feet of water in the main lake is the best way to catch channel catfish on Greenwood right now.  Both shrimp and cut herring will work.  Anchoring on main lake channel ledges with live bream is the best way to catch a big flathead.

November 12

Lake Greenwood is at 438.62 (full pool is 440.0) and surface water temperatures are around 68-70 degrees. The lake was fairly clear before this rain but is getting dirty as water levels rapidly rise. 

Lake Greenwood is fishing okay but not great, and tournament angler Stan Gunter of Saluda reports that it has been taking about 15 pounds to win recent bass tournaments. Even though it’s mid-November warm water temperatures mean that the fish have not gotten way back in the creeks, and so Stan still advises running main lake pockets and the front ¼ of the creeks with a buzzbait all day long. When water temperatures drop a few more degrees then the better pattern will be fishing a Rattle Trap or spinnerbait further back, but the fish just aren’t there right now.

Even though it’s not cold, in the late fall on Lake Greenwood it can be hard to beat an Alabama rig.  Starting now and even more so when temperatures hit the mid-60s Stan suggests running the banks and targeting points and docks with the A-rig. 

He is on Clarks Hill more these days, but Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that drifting 20-30 feet of water in the main lake is the best way to catch channel catfish on Greenwood right now.  Both shrimp and cut herring will work.  Anchoring on main lake channel ledges with live bream is the best way to catch a big flathead.

October 23

Lake Greenwood is at 438.98 (full pool is 440.0) and surface water temperatures are around 72-74 degrees. 

Even as Lake Murray bass fishing has recovered in the past couple of weeks, it’s quite possible that Greenwood is still out-fishing its big brother to the south. Tournament angler Stan Gunter of Saluda reports that the Greenwood bass are still in the creeks following the shad schools, but the most exciting development this week is that there has been good schooling activity over brush piles in 15-18 feet of water in the main lake. You can also fish flats on the main lake that have stumps.  

When fish are not schooling it’s hard to beat picking up a buzzbait and just putting the trolling motor down and fishing the creek banks.  While you generally want to follow the bank contour to fish, there are also times that fish will get out in the middle of the backs of creeks. Square-billed crankbaits and Shad Raps are both effective for these fish which will still generally be in 10 feet of water or less. Since the fish are following shad you need to concentrate on areas with bait. 

He is on Clarks Hill more these days, but Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that drifting flats in 18-25 feet of water with herring, shrimp and white perch remains the best way to put channel catfish in the boat. Anchoring on channel ledges with live bream is the best way to catch a big flathead.  

October 9

Lake Greenwood is down to 438.97 (full pool is 440.0) and surface water temperatures are around 72-74 degrees. 

The tailwaters of Lake Greenwood make up the headwaters of Lake Murray, but with the way they are fishing for bass right now you would think they were hundreds of miles apart instead of that the two lakes sit right beside each other. According to veteran tournament angler Stan Gunter of Saluda that is largely because of blueback herring, and right now it is in Greenwood’s favor that there are no herring to deal with. 

As a result bass are doing what they are supposed to do in the fall, and they have gotten back in the creeks following the shad schools. Catching fish is really as simple as putting the trolling motor down and fishing the banks in the creeks, and a buzzbait has been very hard to beat recently. Shad Raps and square-billed crankbaits will also work well. 

While you generally want to follow the bank contour to fish, there are also times that fish will get out in the middle of the backs of creeks.  They will still generally be in 10 feet of water or less, and of course you should look out for schooling and have a topwater tied on. 

Since the fish are following shad you will get more bites in areas with bait. 

He is on Clarks Hill more these days, but Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that drifting flats in 18-25 feet of water with herring, shrimp and white perch is the best way to put channel catfish in the boat.  Anchoring on channel ledges with live bream is the best way to catch a big flathead.

An impressive flathead caught with Captain Chris Simpson
An impressive flathead caught with Captain Chris Simpson

September 17

Lake Greenwood is down to 439.68 (full pool is 440.0) and surface water temperatures have dropped into the lower 80s. The lake is in good shape with fairly good water clarity from top to bottom (before today’s rains). 

Even as water temperatures have dropped a couple more degrees there’s not a lot of change from last week on Lake Greenwood, and veteran tournament angler Stan Gunter of Saluda reports that bass are still schooling a bit on the lake. This will only get better. For right now the fish are schooling off points or over brush piles – they are living in the brush but will come up to feed. Until water temperatures drop more the action is mostly taking place on the main lake, but look for bait to start to transition into the creeks soon and for bass to follow them. Sammys, Tiny Torpedos and Gunfish will all work.

When you don’t see fishing schooling for now the primary pattern is still to fish the brush in 15-20 feet with a big worm or crankbait. And be ready with a topwater when the fish come up schooling.

You can also throw a Pop-R or floating worm around sea walls first thing. 

Stan Gunter caught this pig last week 
Stan Gunter caught this pig last week

He is on Clarks Hill more these days, but Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that right now drifting across flats in the 10-20 foot range with shrimp, shad, herring and white perch remains the best way to put channel catfish in the boat.  Anchoring on points near the river channel is the best way to catch a big flathead.

September 11

Lake Greenwood is at 439.05 (full pool is 440.0) and surface water temperatures have dropped into the low to mid-80s. 

Some seasonal changes are starting to take place on Lake Greenwood, and veteran tournament angler Stan Gunter of Saluda reports that bass are starting to school more on the lake. This will only get better. For right now the fish are schooling off points or over brush piles – they are living in the brush but will come up to feed. Until water temperatures drop more the action is mostly taking place on the main lake, but look for bait to start to transition into the creeks soon and for bass to follow them. Sammys, Tiny Torpedos and Gunfish will all work.

While it won’t be long until other fall patterns kick in, for now the best primary pattern is probably to fish the brush in 15-20 feet with a big worm or crankbait. And be ready with a topwater when the fish come up schooling.

You can also throw a Pop-R or floating worm around sea walls first thing.  

Stan Gunter with a good one caught recently
Stan Gunter with a good one caught recently

He is on Clarks Hill more these days, but Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that right now drifting across flats in the 10-20 foot range with shrimp, shad, herring and white perch is still the best way to put channel catfish in the boat.  Anchoring on points near the river channel is the best way to catch a big flathead.

 

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