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AHQ INSIDER Lake Monticello (SC) Spring 2022 Fishing Report – Updated January 6

  • by Jay

January 6

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

For reasons that are unclear Lake Monticello always fishes a little differently than other lakes, and tournament bass angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that recently out on the lake he has seen tons of birds feeding around bait. However, he never catches bass around the birds and this year has been no exception.  Instead, he has caught a bunch of perch (catfish can also be found near the birds.)

However, that doesn’t mean the bass were not around bait and he found some good fish around bait schools in 35-45 feet of water. The bait and fish were within 5-10 feet of the bottom, and they wanted a spoon. An Alabama rig would probably also work but he has not fished it recently, and when the fish seem a little finicky right now Andy is turning to a drop shot. Channels, points, and steep drop-offs all remain good places to look.

Andy has also marked a lot of crappie recently but they seem very lethargic. 

Thecatfish remain a little fickle on Lake Monticello, but Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that they are still catching some nice fish anchoring off deep points if you are patient. Gizzard shad and white perch are the baits of choice right now.

December 22

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

The bass are still in a pretty consistent pattern on Lake Monticello, and tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that right now he is still exclusively 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. 

The catfish bite remains pretty reliable Lake Monticello, even if the big fish eating better on some days than others, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that the best results are coming anchoring in 40-55 feet of water. Early or late fish may 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.

December 15

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

The bass are still in a pretty consistent pattern on Lake Monticello, and tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that right now he is still exclusively 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. 

Thecatfish bite has gotten a little more predictable on Lake Monticello, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that the best results are coming anchoring in 40-55 feet of water. Early or late fish may 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.

A big catch last week with Captain William Attaway
A big catch last week with Captain William Attaway

December 2

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

The bass have settled into a pretty consistent pattern on Lake Monticello, and tournament 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. 

Thecatfish bite has been a little unpredictable 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 19

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

With more cold weather on the way this weekend the cool weather patterns should get even stronger on Monticello, but tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that bass fishing on the lake is already all about spoons and Alabama rigs. From now until winter sets in Andy will be following bait more than looking for particular spots, which is one reason the Alabama rig fished deep can be a good complement to the spoon for covering water. 

Birds are just arriving and will tip you off to where the bait is holding, but Andy also spends 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. But most importantly remember that right now fish are on the move near bait.   

It’s still the best time of the year to catch a bigcatfish on Lake Monticello, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that both anchoring and drifting are producing well. The best depth range to catch a giant is about 40-65 feet, and long points and humps close to deep water and timber are the best places to target. 

White perch and gizzard shad are the best baits right now.

November 11

Lake Monticello water temperatures have dropped into the lower 60s, and the water is typically clear. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

It’s the best time of the year to catch a bigcatfish on Lake Monticello, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that both anchoring and drifting are producing well. The best depth range to catch a giant is about 40-65 feet, and long points and humps close to deep water and timber are the best places to target. 

White perch and gizzard shad are the best baits right now.

  A 52-pounder caught this week with Captain William Attaway
A 52-pounder caught this week with Captain William Attaway

Last weekend’s cold snap has put water temperatures about right for this time of year, and tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that things are where they need to be for the deeper bass bite with spoons and Alabama rigs. From now until winter sets in Andy will be following bait more than looking for particular spots, which is one reason the Alabama rig fished deep can be a good complement to the spoon for covering water. 

Birds are just arriving and will tip you off to where the bait is holding, but Andy also spends 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.  But most importantly remember that right now fish are on the move near bait.

November 5

Lake Monticello water temperatures are in the upper 60s, and the water is typically clear although stained around the banks with recent winds. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

Warmer temperatures have the bassa little behind schedule on Lake Monticello, and tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that even though in mid-November he has usually settled into fishing a spoon and Alabama rig on Lake Monticello this year there was still a decent shallow topwater bite as of earlier this week. That should last until temperatures get into the lower 60s. 

The deeper bite is also getting started, and from now until winter sets in Andy will be following bait more than looking for particular spots. This is one reason the Alabama rig fished deep can be a good complement to the spoon. Loons are just arriving and will tip you off to where the bait is holding, but Andy also spends 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.  But most importantly remember that right now fish are on the move.  

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 40-65 feet is the best way to catch a giant, 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 20

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures have dropped to the mid-70s and the lake is relatively clear. Water levels fluctuate daily.

As water temperatures drop the Lake Monticello bass are starting to move deeper, and even though tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that you can still catch fish on something like an Alabama rig in the 15- foot range he is starting to switch over to fishing a spoon in deeper water. 

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 Andy 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.

The fall big fishcatfish bite is getting started on Lake Monticello, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that anchoring in 40-60 feet of water around long points and humps is the best pattern. A drift bite should be getting started soon, but for now fish seem to want anchored baits more. White perch, bream and gizzard shad are the best baits.

The free-line drifting bite is winding down for the season.

September 29

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures are around 80-82 degrees and the lake is still clear. Water levels fluctuate daily.

There’s not much change in the bass pattern on Lake Monticello, and tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that the fish are still following the bait as they transition between mid-depths of 10-15 feet and the 30-50 foot zone. Right now he advises checking mid-depth points and humps and fishing out to the deeper spots to see where bass can be found from day to day. Again, basically they are following the bait, and so if you locate the bait then bass should be close by. 

Carolina rigs, crankbaits and drop shot rigs can all catch fish.  

The fall bite for big catfish on Lake Monticello is picking up, but Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that patience is still required if you want to catch fish.  The best way to target them is to anchor around points and humps in 50-60 feet of water, but the drift bite is also starting to pick up. Big, durable baits like gizzard shad are the best bet. 

With water temperatures still in the upper 70s plenty of fish are still suspended and the free-line drifting bite remains good.  This is an excellent way to target eating-sized blue cats since large numbers of smaller blues will continue to feed high in the water column over deep water as long as temperatures are hot.  You can drift a variety of baits ranging from cut fish to chicken to mussels, and you might just catch a big one!

September 16

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures are in the low to mid-80s and the lake is still clear. Water levels fluctuate daily.

As expected, tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that bass are following the bait as they transition between mid-depths of 10-15 feet and the 30-50 foot zone. Right now he advises checking mid-depth points and humps and fishing out to the deeper spots to see where bass can be found from day to day. Again, basically they are following the bait, and so if you locate the bait then bass should be close by. 

Carolina rigs, crankbaits and drop shot rigs can all catch fish.  

The fall bite for big catfish on Lake Monticello is picking up, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that the best way to target them is to anchor around points and humps in 50-60 feet of water. It can also be worth starting to drift, because at some point that pattern will really turn on. Big, durable baits like gizzard shad are the best bet. 

With water temperatures still very warm the free-line drifting bite is also still good.  This is an excellent way to target eating-sized bluecats since large numbers of smaller blues will continue to feed high in the water column over deep water as long as temperatures are hot. You can drift a variety of baits ranging from cut fish to chicken to mussels, and you might just catch a big one!   

To ready more about free line drifting on Monticello check out this article.

September 2

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures are in the mid-80s, warmer on the lower end near the power plant, and the lake is still clear. Water levels fluctuate daily.

It’s another transition period on Lake Monticello for bass, and tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that as a result they can be particularly hard to locate in September. Through July they stay deep, but then in August they transition into mid-depths of 10-15 feet and get finicky. By October they will be in some of the deepest locations of the year, including 40-50 foot holes, and so in September it’s worth checking the mid-depth points and humps as well as the deeper spots – and everything in between. At some point this month they will be making their move deeper.   

Carolina rigs, crankbaits and drop shot rigs can all catch fish.  

The hot fall bite for big catfish on Lake Monticello is still just around the corner, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that the best way to target them is to anchor around points and humps in 50-60 feet of water. It can also be worth starting to drift, because at some point that pattern will really turn on. Big, durable baits like gizzard shad are the best bet. 

With water temperatures still very warm the free-line drifting bite is still good.  This is an excellent way to target eating-sized bluecats since large numbers of smaller blues will continue to feed high in the water column over deep water as long as temperatures are hot. You can drift a variety of baits ranging from cut fish to chicken to mussels, and you might just catch a big one!   

To ready more about free line drifting on Monticello check out this article.

Monticello blues fried right!
Monticello blues fried right!

 

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