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AHQ INSIDER Lake Monticello (SC) Fall Fishing Report – Updated November 28

  • by Jay

November 28

Lake Monticello water levels are in the low 60s.

As expected, tournament bass angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria says that the spoon bite on Lake Monticello is really good right now.  In a few hours of fishing on a recent trip he and his fishing partner caught more than a dozen bass to go with 40-50 perch, and they even landed a smallmouth.   By and large the fish seem to be concentrated in the 25-35 foot range, and Andy says they have been near the bottom to about 5 feet off it.  They have been visible on the graph.  Fish can be found in a number of different deep “holes” as previously described (points, humps, gullies, channels).

With water temperatures dropping the topwater season is tailing off, but fish can probably still be caught on crankbaits fished around riprap.  Andy just hasn’t tried that with the spoon bite so good!

Bass are biting on Lake Monticello - photo courtesy of Andy Wicker
Bass are biting on Lake Monticello – photo courtesy of Andy Wicker

In catfishnews Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the big fish bite is getting better and better, and on recent trips they have caught good numbers of fish in the teens and low-20s.  There are also plenty of big fish around.  The best depth range has been 45-70 feet, and there has been no noticeable difference in success between drifting and anchoring.  Cut gizzard shad and white perch have been the best big fish baits.

November 8

Cooler nights are finally starting to lower water temperatures on Lake Monticello, and as a result Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that the jigging spoon bite is coming on.   The best jigging spoon fishing of the year should be found through the end of the year.

Look for fish off long tapering points and around humps in 30-40 feet of water.  While Monticello doesn’t have any creeks to speak of some fish will also be found schooled up in channels and gullies.  A lot of different spoons will catch fish, and Andy will fish Berry and War Eagle brands among others.  The water is usually so clear that he shies away from bright colors and usually fishes silver, white, chrome and other “natural,” shad colored baits.

Besides spoons a secondary pattern during this season is to fish crankbaits and topwater lures around riprap.  This is primarily an early morning pattern, although all the recent cloud cover may allow it to last longer.  Strike King and Norman Deep Little N crankbaits will both work.  Andy advises sticking to shad-colored baits since the fish are gorging on small threadfin shad as well as white perch.

Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the catfish bite is unchanged from last week.

November 4

Fall is the time when some of the largest blue catfish are caught on Lake Monticello, but right now Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports the bite as “fair.”  The best area to fish is around humps and points that top out in about 40-65 feet of water, and for now anchoring is still a little more consistent than drifting in the same areas.  Both cut gizzard shad and white perch are catching fish.

A fat Monticello blue cat caught recently on Captain Chris Simpson's boat
A fat Monticello blue cat caught recently on Captain Chris Simpson’s boat

New bass report to follow.

October 13

Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that he was not able to get out on Monticello last week for some booked trips because of the hurricane, but he suspects that the catfish bite is improving.  Information will be available here as soon as he has it.

Likewise, Andy Wicker of Pomaria also hasn’t been bass fishing in the last week on Monticello, although he hopes to be able to get out on the lake this weekend.  However, Andy says that with the water temperatures really cooling off it should be getting to that time where he likes to throw a buzzbait or other topwater lure around the bank for the first couple of hours of the day.

September 28

Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports no change with the blue catfish in the past week, and Andy Wicker reports that bass fishing is still pretty tough.

September 21

The blue catfish bite is improving, and while Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) says that it’s still not where it will be soon the big fish action has definitely picked up.  The most consistent way to catch a big fish is anchoring on humps in 40-60 feet of water that are surrounded by deeper water.

A nice Monticello blue cat caught recently on Captain Chris Simpson's boat
A nice Monticello blue cat caught recently on Captain Chris Simpson’s boat

Andy Wicker reports no change with the bass fishing.

September 9

Around the middle of July every year tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that the bass fishing on Lake Monticello slows down, and this year is no exception.  Fishing is still really tough, and Andy says that as good as December through June is on the lake August through October is usually just as bad.

While bass fishermen haven’t been doing much in the main lake recently, Andy has received reports of good fish caught in the smaller recreation lake on the upper end.  That lake has bank grass (water willow) similar to that on Lake Wateree which grows around the perimeter out to about 4 feet, and some nice fish have been caught around the grass recently on Texas-rigged worms.

On the catfish front, Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that things have slowed down with the late summer heat.  The free-line drifting bite has gotten a little tougher for numbers of fish, and the big fish bite has been a bit slow.  However, some good fishing should be right around the corner as temperatures drop, and fall is perhaps the very best times to catch a monster blue catfish on Lake Monticello.

A nice blue catfish caught on Captain Chris Simpson's boat
A nice blue catfish caught on Captain Chris Simpson’s boat

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