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AHQ INSIDER Lake Monticello (SC) Spring 2020 Fishing Report – Updated March 13

  • by Jay

March 13

Lake Monticello water temperatures have risen into the upper 50s to lower 60s, and there is still a moderate stain to the water. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

In the next week or two the first bass on Lake Monticello will be on beds, but B.A.S.S. angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that even during the first few waves of spawning fish he still favors fishing secondary points leading into big bays and pockets. Pre-spawn (and later post-spawn) fish will be in 5-15 feet of water, and Carolina rigs as well as crankbaits are both very effective.  

Another prime pattern is fishing in the backs of protected pockets and bays with floating worms. 

On the catfish front Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that the best bet for catching fish is to anchor on long points that run out into the lake, or in the backs of coves.  Anchor baits in 10-25 feet at a variety of depths, but on sunny days be open to fishing even deeper.  Cut bream, gizzard shad and white perch will all work.

February 28

Lake Monticello water temperatures are in the mid-50s, and for Lake Monticello the water is very dirty. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

Especially with the most recent cold snap bass on Lake Monticello are still a little deep, but B.A.S.S. angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that on the first warming trend he expects fish to start to move towards secondary points leading into big bays and pockets. 5-15 feet will be an ideal depth range, and Carolina rigs can be very effective. Crankbaits will also pick up fish in the pre-spawn period. 

Because of the influence of the power plant the lower end is usually a little ahead of the rest of the lake and fish can spawn early in March.   

For catfish Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that as we move into March the best bet for catching fish is to anchor on long points that run out into the lake, or in the backs of coves.  Anchor baits in 10-25 feet at a variety of depths, but on sunny days be open to fishing even deeper.  Cut bream, gizzard shad and white perch will all work.

A nice one caught this week on Monticello

February 18

Lake Monticello water temperatures are in the mid-50s. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

It’s a pretty straight-forward pattern to catch bass right now on Lake Monticello, and B.A.S.S. angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that the best bet is to run a shallow-diving crankbait from the bank out to 10 feet of water first thing. Rocky areas continue to fish better, and fish also still prefer steeper areas with access to deep water.

Later in the day fishing a Carolina rig with a green pumpkin straight tail worm is most productive. Fish will be related to points in 10-20 feet of water. 

For catfish Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that anchoring is still working better than drifting as fish remain grouped up relatively tight. While you want to target an array of depths, long points with about 30 feet of water on both sides have been fishing the best.  Gizzard shad and white perch are the baits of choice.

January 31

Lake Monticello water temperatures are in the lower 50s, and the water is mostly clear. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

There are a couple of different ways to catch bass right now on Lake Monticello, and B.A.S.S. angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that one productive pattern is to fish from the bank out to 10 feet of water with a shallow running crankbait. The best bet is just to go down the bank and target rocky areas. Even though the fish are shallow they want access to deep water, so steeper areas are ideal, but they will not necessarily be on points. The main lake instead of pockets is the best area to run this pattern, and you are mainly targeting smallmouth.

The other productive pattern is to fish deeper in the same spoon or Alabama rig pattern that worked in the fall. Deep fish are still highly oriented to bait schools, and with the bass often hunkered very close to the bottom you may not be able to mark the fish. Besides marking bait on your electronics, birds can also tip you off to where the bait is holding. Be prepared to spend as much time looking for fish as actually fishing if you opt to go deep. 

Channels, points, and steep drop-offs can all hold fish, and 25-40 feet is the most likely depth range. 30-35 feet is usually the key zone. 

The catfish bite has picked up a bit on Lake Monticello, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that right now anchoring is working better than drifting as fish are bunched up pretty tight. While you want to target an array of depths, long points with about 30 feet of water on both sides have been fishing the best.  Gizzard shad and white perch are the baits of choice.

Some big fish caught with Captain William Attaway
Some big fish caught with Captain William Attaway

December 20

Lake Monticello water temperatures are in the mid-50s, and the water is typically clear. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

The bass remain in a pretty consistent pattern on Lake Monticello, and B.A.S.S. angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that basically if he is on the lake right now he will be fishing a spoon or Alabama rig. Part the way through January that pattern will change, but for now the bite remains very stable.

The fish are still highly oriented to bait schools, and with the bass often hunkered very close to the bottom you may not be able to mark them. Besides marking bait on your electronics, birds can also tip you off to where the bait is holding. Be prepared to spend as much time looking for fish as actually fishing. 

Channels, points, and steep drop-offs can all hold fish, and 25-40 feet is the most likely depth range. 30-35 feet is usually the key zone.

Andy Wicker with a big one
Andy Wicker with a big one
The catfish bite has slowed a bit on Lake Monticello, but Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that they have been catching some nice fish anchoring in 40-55 feet of water. Early or late fish may go shallower, as shallow as 25-30 feet. Humps, ledges and long points will all hold catfish, and gizzard shad and white perch are the bait of choice right now.

 

November 21

Lake Monticello water temperatures are in the lower 60s, and the water is typically clear. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

 

By now the bassare in a pretty reliable pattern on Lake Monticello, and B.A.S.S. angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that from now until January he will generally be fishing a spoon on Monticello. 

In the summer and winter on Lake Monticello Andy will generally be fishing way points and checking particular spots, but the late fall spoon bite is one time when he will be more interested in following bait than looking for particular spots. Loons can tip you off to where the bait is holding, but he will also spend a lot of time idling around and graphing to see where the mega clouds of bait can be found. The bass can sometimes be so tight to the bottom that you can’t see them, but the bait will be visible. 

Channels, points, and steep drop-offs can all hold fish, and 25-40 feet is the most likely depth range. 30-35 feet is usually the key zone. At times fish will get up off the bottom when they are actively feeding, but sometimes they will hold tight to the lake bed.

There will also be some times when an Alabama rig is the best bait this month. 

Thecatfish bite continues to improve on Lake Monticello, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that this is the very best time of the year to catch a big fish. Anchoring or drifting in 40-55 feet is the best way to catch a big fish, and long points and humps close to deep water and timber are the best places to target. 

White perch and bream are the best baits right now.

 

 

October 25

Lake Monticello water temperatures are in the lower 70s, and the water is typically clear. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

Fishing an Alabama rig in the 15-foot range is still a good way to catch basson Lake Monticello, but as it gets later in the fall B.A.S.S. angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that he will generally be fishing a spoon on Monticello. The first few hard cold snaps can really turn on the spoon bite, but temperatures have already cooled enough that fish will eat it.

In the summer and winter on Lake Monticello Andy will generally be fishing way points and checking particular spots, but the fall spoon bite is one time when he will be more interested in following bait than looking for particular spots. Loons can tip you off to where the bait is holding, but he will also spend a lot of time idling around and graphing to see where the mega clouds of bait can be found. The bass can sometimes be so tight to the bottom that you can’t see them, but the bait will be visible. 

Channels, points, and steep drop-offs can all hold fish, and 25-40 feet is the most likely depth range. 30-35 feet is usually the key zone. At times fish will get up off the bottom when they are actively feeding, but sometimes they will hold tight to the lake bed.

As temperatures drop thecatfish bite is improving on Lake Monticello, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that it is getting to be the best time of the year to catch a big fish. Anchoring in 40-55 feet is still the best pattern, but drifting should come on strong very soon. Long points and humps close to deep water and timber are the best places to fish. 

White perch and gizzard shad are the best baits.

 

September 30

Lake Monticello water temperatures are back up to the mid-80s, and the water is typically clear. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

Even though fall has yet to really arrive, FLW angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that the best approach to catch bassis to do what generally works in October. First, early in the morning fish can be caught around the banks with lures like walking baits or Whopper Ploppers. 

Second, because Monticello numbers are usually out deep, look for schools of fish in 15 plus feet of water. Andy advises that without a doubt the best way to catch them in the fall is with an Alabama rig. 

With temperatures still hot there is not a lot of change in thecatfish bite on Lake Monticello, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that means that the best thing going is still fishing for numbers of fish using the free-line drifting method. Small pieces of herring drifted in the top of the water column over deep water will catch fish of a variety of sizes, mostly in the 1-5-10 pound range, but with the chance at the occasional bigger one.

Still, with the next cool spell fish should start to group up in 50-60 feet of water and before long the fall drifting bite should be on. Once you find the depth where fish are holding on a given day follow that contour and fish should be there. 

Fish can also be caught at anchor, but by mid- to late October drifting can so good it’s hard to try anything else.

White perch and gizzard shad are the best baits, and as summer fades bream become less effective. 

 

September 19

Lake Monticello water temperatures are in the low to mid-80s, and the water is typically clear. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

It’s getting to be a better and better time to bassfish on Lake Monticello, and FLW angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that the shallow topwater bite should be improving each time the water temperatures drop. By late September and into October one of the best bites is early in the morning around the banks with lures like walking baits or Whopper Ploppers. 

Still, Monticello is a lake where the best numbers are usually out deep. Right now they are starting to school up in deeper water in 15 plus feet, and Andy advises that without a doubt the best way to catch them in the fall is with an Alabama rig. 

There’s not a lot of change in thecatfish bite on Lake Monticello, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that means that the best thing going is still fishing for numbers of fish using the free-line drifting method. Small pieces of herring drifted in the top of the water column over deep water will catch fish of a variety of sizes, mostly in the 1-5-10 pound range, but with the chance at the occasional bigger one.

The big fish bite is still pretty tough, but you can fish on deep humps or long points in 40 to 70 feet by anchoring lines at different depths along the structure to see how deep fish are holding on a particular day. Until temperatures drop big fish won’t bite much during the day, but if you want to improve your chances of catching a good one fishing from midnight until about 9 a.m. may be the best window. 

During the day a lot of the bigger fish may be suspended 40-60 feet down, and so one alternative pattern is to fish with down-lines as if you are after striper. It can be a hit-or-miss pattern but some good ones can be caught this way.

 

September 4

Lake Monticello water temperatures are in the mid-80s, and the water is typically clear. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

As expected seasonal cooling has improved the bassbite on Lake Monticello, and FLW angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that in particular the shallow topwater bite has come on first thing in the morning. Some nice smallmouth are being caught. 

During the heat of the day the most consistent fishing is still in 10-15 feet of water, and fish are generally related to any significant piece of cover be it a brush pile, isolated piece of wood, rock pile, or stump. Use your electronics to identify the best cover.

The best bite is still coming by down-sizing to the smallest, most finesse-oriented baits. Roboworms on a drop shot will work as well as anything.

Thecatfish bite is still in a summer pattern on Lake Monticello, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that means that the best thing going is still fishing for numbers of fish using the free-line drifting method. Small pieces of herring drifted in the top of the water column over deep water will catch fish of a variety of sizes, mostly in the 1-5-10 pound range, but with the chance at the occasional bigger one.

The big fish bite is still pretty tough, but you can fish on deep humps or long points in 40 to 70 feet by anchoring lines at different depths along the structure to see how deep fish are holding on a particular day. The big fish just aren’t biting much during the day, but if you want to improve your chances of catching a good one fishing from midnight until about 9 a.m. may be the best window. 

During the day a lot of the bigger fish may be suspended in 40-60 feet of water, and so one alternative pattern is to fish with down-lines as if you are after striper. It can be a hit-or-miss pattern but some good ones are being caught this way. 

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