Join AHQ Premier for unlimited Free Shipping & access to the AHQ Report. Click here for 30 day free trial! Or enjoy Free Shipping on orders over $50!

Reel in the big fish with one of our handpicked fishing reels. Shop by brand or reel type.

Shop our collection of fishing rods to find the one that best matches your needs.

AHQ INSIDER Lake Monticello (SC) Summer 2021 Fishing Report – Updated August 19

  • by Jay

August 19

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.

We are getting closer to the hot fall bite for big catfish on Lake Monticello, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that there are already signs that the fishing for large cats is picking up. The best way to target them is to anchor around points and humps in 50-60 feet of water, but it may also be worth starting to drift. Drifting will get even better this fall. Big, durable baits like gizzard shad are the best bet. 

Without a surprise cooling, it’s likely that the Lake Monticello free-line drifting bite will stay good a while longer.  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.

Andy Wicker is off getting married or something, but we’ll follow up with a new report from him as soon as we can.

August 6

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.

The pattern for catching big catfish on Lake Monticello is changing now that the spawn is almost completely finished, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that as fish head out to deeper water the best way to target them is to fish around points and humps in 50-60 feet of water. For now anchoring with big baits like gizzard shad is still the best way to catch them, but soon the fall drifting bite should kick in. 

At the same time, the Lake Monticello free-line drifting bite is still really good for numbers of bluecats as plenty of eating-sized blues remain suspended high in the water column over deep water where they are feeding. You can drift a variety of baits ranging from cut fish to chicken to mussels. 

The bass fishing on Lake Monticello is still a grind, but tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that fish have started to transition into shallower water and the most consistent fishing is now in 10-15 feet of water. 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.

July 29

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.

There’s still not a lot of change with the bass fishing on Lake Monticello, and tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that fishing remains a grind. The fish are in the same locations in 20-25 feet of water around depth changes including points and humps and ridges, and you still generally need a finesse-oriented presentation to catch them. Drop shots and shakey heads are usually the best approach. 

There’s still a decent topwater bite early and late, usually fishing topwater lures around points.  The riprap wall along the dam can also hold fish. 

While they won’t be going all the way to the banks, the next move the fish will make will be when they transition shallower into the 10-15 foot range. This usually happens in August, and then the fish will probably stay there until temperatures really cool off. 

As it should be until temperatures start to cool off, the Lake Monticello free-line drifting bite is still really good for numbers of bluecatfish, andCaptain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that plenty of eating-sized blues remain suspended high in the water column over deep water where they are feeding. You can drift a variety of baits ranging from cut fish to chicken to mussels. 

While you could certainly catch a big one free-line drifting, the best pattern for targeting large fish remains to fish a lot of rods and fan-cast baits at a variety of depths from the bank out to 30 feet around long points and underwater humps. White perch and bream are the preferred baits right now, but herring and gizzard shad will also work.

In a couple of weeks when the spawn is completely finished many of the bigger fish will start to move to move out to deeper water, from 40-50 feet on out.  This can usher in one of the best periods of the year on Monticello – the fall deep drifting bite.

July 22

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.

There’s not a lot of change with the bass fishing on Lake Monticello, and tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that fishing is still a bit of a grind. The fish are in the same locations in 20-25 feet of water around depth changes including points and humps and ridges, and you still generally need a finesse-oriented presentation to catch them. Drop shots and shakey heads are usually the best approach. 

There’s still a decent topwater bite early and late, usually fishing topwater lures around points.  The riprap wall along the dam can also hold fish. 

While they won’t be going all the way to the banks, the next move the fish will make will be when they transition shallower into the 10-15 foot range. This usually happens in August, and then the fish will probably stay there until temperatures really cool off. 

As it should be until temperatures start to cool off, the Lake Monticello free-line drifting bite is still really good for numbers of catfish, andCaptain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that plenty of eating-sized blues remain suspended high in the water column over deep water where they are feeding. You can drift a variety of baits ranging from cut fish to chicken to mussels. 

While you could certainly catch a big one free-line drifting, the best pattern for targeting large fish remains to fish a lot of rods and fan-cast baits at a variety of depths from the bank out to 30 feet around long points and underwater humps. White perch and bream are the preferred baits right now, but herring and gizzard shad will also work.

In a couple of weeks when the spawn is completely finished many of the bigger fish will start to move to move out to deeper water, from 40-50 feet on out. This can usher in one of the best periods of the year on Monticello – the fall deep drifting bite.  

The author with a good eater
The author with a good eater

July 9

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. 

Unfortunately the deep bass fishing has gotten tougher on Lake Monticello, which tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports is about on time if a tiny bit early for July on Lake Monticello. The fish are still in roughly the same locations in 20-25 feet of water around depth changes including points and humps and ridges. However, instead of targeting them with crankbaits, spoons and a big worm now you need to use a more finesse-oriented presentation. Drop shots and shakey heads are usually the best approach. 

At the same time that the offshore bite has gotten a little tougher, it seems that the shallow bite may be a little improved early and late. That usually means fishing topwater lures around points, but the riprap wall along the dam can also hold fish. 

As it should be until temperatures start to cool off, the Lake Monticello free-line drifting bite is still really good for numbers of bluecatfish, andCaptain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that plenty of eating-sized blues remain suspended high in the water column over deep water where they are feeding. You can drift a variety of baits ranging from cut fish to chicken to mussels. 

While you could certainly catch a big one free-line drifting, the best pattern for targeting large fish remains to fish a lot of rods and fan-cast baits at a variety of depths from the bank out to 30 feet around long points and underwater humps. White perch and bream are the preferred baits right now, but herring and gizzard shad will also work.

Brad Shell with a nice Monticello blue caught free-line drifting with William Attaway
Brad Shell with a nice Monticello blue caught free-line drifting with William Attaway

June 25

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. 

The latest CATT tournament on Lake Monticello this past Saturday was won with a respectable 16 ½ pounds of bass, but with only 5 teams fishing it’s hard to get a really good idea of just how strong the bite is right now from those standings. From what he has seen tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria thinks the fishing is still very strong, and it usually isn’t until the second week of July that it starts to get tougher. 

The best pattern is still fishing 20-30 feet of water around depth changes, from points to humps to ridges. There are basically three baits that Andy is throwing right now – a crankbait, a spoon and a big worm like an Ole Monster. 

While you can still fish topwater early you don’t want to miss the best deep bite.  

In a couple of weeks the fishing will slow down, and by about the second week of July Andy expects that to target them anglers will have to turn to finesse techniques.  

The Lake Monticello free-line drifting bite is still really good for numbers of blue catfish, andCaptain William Attaway(803-924-0857) reports that plenty of eating-sized blues remain suspended high in the water column over deep water where they are feeding. This pattern isn’t likely to slow down until temperatures start to cool in the fall. You can drift a variety of baits ranging from cut fish to chicken to mussels. 

While you could certainly catch a big one free-line drifting, the best pattern for targeting large fish remains to fish a lot of rods and fan-cast baits at a variety of depths from the bank out to 30 feet around long points and underwater humps. White perch and bream are the preferred baits right now, but herring and gizzard shad will also work.

June 18

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

Last week we promised that a Lake Monticello free-line driftingcatfish report would be coming after the author went on a charter withCaptain William Attaway (803-924-0857), and the results of that trip did not disappoint. More information about how to fish this technique will be forthcoming, but, now that water temperatures have gotten very warm, as expected plenty of eating-sized blues are suspended high in the water column over deep water and they are hungry. We caught a cooler full of fish up to about five pounds. You can drift a variety of baits ranging from cut fish to chicken to mussels. 

While you could certainly catch a big one free-line drifting, as we discovered, the best pattern for targeting large fish remains to fish a lot of rods and fan-cast baits at a variety of depths from the bank out to 30 feet around long points and underwater humps. White perch and bream are the preferred baits right now, but herring and gizzard shad will also work.

The author (left middle) and friends with a 52-pounder caught Wednesday with Captain William Attaway
The author (left middle) and friends with a 52-pounder caught Wednesday with Captain William Attaway

It’s still a really strong bass bite on Lake Monticello, and tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that in 20-30 feet of water around depth changes the fishing is still very good. Fish are relating to a bunch of different stuff, from points to humps to ridges. There are basically three baits that Andy will be throwing right now – a crankbait, a spoon and a big worm like an Ole Monster. 

The fishing is always best when the fish first get out deep, and later in the summer it will slow down, so now is the time to target them before you have to turn to finesse techniques.  

While you can still fish topwater early you don’t want to miss the best deep bite.  

June 10

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures are in the lower 80s and the lake is clear. Water levels fluctuate daily. 

Two weeks ago tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria and his brother caught a 20-pound sack to win a CATT event, but if anything the Lake Monticello bass fishing has gotten even better since then.  While there is still a little bit of a topwater bite first thing you are basically wasting your time if you do anything besides fish deep, and in 20-30 feet of water around depth changes the fishing has gotten very, very good. Fish are relating to a bunch of different stuff, from points to humps to ridges. There are basically three baits that Andy will be throwing right now – a crankbait, a spoon and a big worm like an Ole Monster. 

The fishing is always best when the fish first get out deep, and later in the summer it will slow down, so now is the time to target them before you have to turn to finesse techniques.   

The Lake Monticelloblue catfish spawn is getting underway, and even though not all the fish spawn at onceCaptain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that means that the bite for big fish is slowing down. However, the pattern for trying to catch a big one is about the same and the best approach remains to fish a lot of rods and fan-cast baits at a variety of depths from the bank out to 30 feet around long points and underwater humps. White perch and bream are the preferred baits right now, but herring and gizzard shad will also work.

Water temperatures have also gotten into the range where the free-line drifting bite should be good, and anglers can drift small baits over deep water and catch fish.  William will be fishing that this coming week with the author and a full report will be coming.

May 26

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

Every now and then it’s good to have confirmation you are talking to the right people, and just this weekend tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria gave that confirmation when he and his brother won the CATT event on Lake Monticello with a 20-pound sack of bass. 

Patterns were about what Andy expected, and practicing he found a good topwater bite first thing around the banks that led to some decent fish including a nice smallmouth and a five-pound largemouth. However, on tournament Saturday they didn’t weigh any topwater fish as they missed a couple of bites but then quickly moved out to deeper water. They were concerned about missing the best offshore bite.

As expected, fish were not on the deepest summer stuff but stacked up on structure in the 15-20 foot range.  They caught most of their fish, including a big 6-pounder, on deep-running crankbaits. A Carolina rig also produced. 

The Wicker/ McGlohorn brothers Saturday with their winning fish 
The Wicker/ McGlohorn brothers Saturday with their winning fish

The Lake Monticelloblue catfish may be just starting to spawn, butCaptain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that there isn’t a lot of change in the pattern. Overall fish are still shallow, and they are mostly roaming around from the bank out to 30 feet around long points and underwater humps. During the day they may move into the deeper end of the range since the water is so clear on Monticello, but fish will still run up shallow at times and so the best approach remains to fish a lot of rods and fan-cast baits at a variety of depths. White perch and bream are the preferred baits right now, but herring and gizzard shad will also work.

William hasn’t tried it yet but the free-line drifting bite may be already getting underway as water temperatures are now where they need to be.  Anglers can drift small baits over deep water and catch fish.

May 20

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures are in the mid-70s and the lake is clear. Water levels fluctuate daily. 

Even though he has a bass tournament this weekend on Lake Monticello, tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria is willing to share a little of what he is seeing. More to follow. For the now the best action is in the first couple of hours when there is a decent topwater bite early, but after that you have to move out to the 15-20 foot range. The fish that had been in 5-10 feet have moved a little deeper. Big worms and big crankbaits are producing the best as the fish have not yet gotten to the stage where they get finicky. 

The Lake Monticelloblue catfish are still in pre-spawn feeding mode, andCaptain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that they are mostly roaming around from the bank out to 30 feet around long points and underwater humps. During the day they may move into the deeper end of the range since the water is so clear on Monticello, but fish will still run up shallow at times and so the best approach remains to fish a lot of rods and fan-cast baits at a variety of depths. White perch and bream are the preferred baits right now, but herring and gizzard shad will also work.

When water temperatures shoot up a few more degrees – which looks like next week – the free-line drifting bite will get underway, and then anglers can drift small baits over deep water and catch fish.

May 6

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures are in the mid-70s and the lake is clear. Water levels fluctuate daily. 

The Lake Monticelloblue catfish are very much in pre-spawn feeding mode, andCaptain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that they are mostly roaming around from the bank out to 30 feet around long points and underwater humps. During the day they may move into the deeper end of the range since the water is so clear on Monticello, but fish will still run up shallow at times and so the best approach remains to fish a lot of rods and fan-cast baits at a variety of depths. White perch and bream are the preferred baits right now, but herring and gizzard shad will also work.

When water temperatures shoot up a few more degrees the free-line drifting bite will get underway, when anglers can drift small baits over deep water and catch fish. 

A mess of blue cats caught with Captain William Attaway
A mess of blue cats caught with Captain William Attaway

It’s been such a gradual spring that there’s not a lot of change in the bass pattern on Monticello, and tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that the fish remain relatively shallow. They are feeding up on about all the points, but secondary points in the 5-foot range have been the best, although soon they will move out towards about 15 feet. The fish will take both worms and moving baits. 

The topwater bite is still good in the early morning.

April 29

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures are in the upper 60s and lake is clear. Water levels fluctuate daily. 

The bass spawn is basically in the rear-view mirror on Lake Monticello, but instead of the fish being in a post-spawn funk tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that the bite is very strong right now. Fish are feeding up on about all the points, but secondary points in the 5-foot range have been the best. The fish will take both worms and moving baits.  

The topwater bite is still good, but as it has gotten hot it is now more of an early morning thing. 

On the catfish front, Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that like the bass the fish are relatively shallow now.  They will be found from the bank out to 30 feet around long points and underwater humps.  During the day they may move into the deeper end of the range since the water is so clear on Monticello, but fish will still run up shallow at times and so the best approach is usually to fish a lot of rods and fan-cast baits at a variety of depths.  White perch and bream are the preferred baits right now, but herring and gizzard shad will also work.

April 16

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures are in the upper 60s. Water levels fluctuate daily.   

While there are a few bass still on beds on Lake Monticello, overall the spawn is winding down and tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that many of the fish seem to be starting to make their way out of the backs. While you can still bed fish in pockets or fish for immediately pre-spawn or post-spawn fish cruising in the shallows, the bite is moving towards points and humps in less than 15 feet of water. In fact, the very last wave of fish will spawn on top of these humps. Note that fish will generally come back in the same way they went out, and so the same areas that produced during the pre-spawn should work again. Both secondary points close to spawning pockets as well as main lake points will hold fish. 

You can a fish Carolina rig or other worm with success, and medium and deep-diving crankbaits will also work. This is also the brief period where topwater baits can work all day long before they become more of a morning pattern. 

The catfish bite continues to improve on Lake Monticello as temperatures warm, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that fish continue to move shallower.  Just this week a friend of William’s caught a 50-pound fish and so some big ones are starting to move around and feed.   

The best bet is to anchor on humps or long points from 10 to 35 feet, and it’s important to put out rods at different depths along the structure to see how deep fish are holding on a particular day.  A variety of cut baits are working.  The free-line drifting bite is close but not quite there yet.

A bigger-than-it-looks fish caught this week on Lake Monticello
A bigger-than-it-looks fish caught this week on Lake Monticello

April 2

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures are back into the lower 60s. Water levels fluctuate daily.   

It’s unclear just how much or for how long the cold front will affect the fishing, but earlier this week tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that the shallow bite on Lake Monticello was wide open. Going down the bank and throwing at visible cover with a shakey head or floating worm was working really well.  There are already a lot of fish on beds, but it still seems like there are more pre-spawn fish than post-spawn bass. 

As the spawn progresses fish that leave beds will linger in the same spawning pockets where they did their business, but ultimately they will follow the same route out that they followed in. They will set up on the same secondary points in 5-15 feet of water where they staged and Carolina rigs will again work well.

If it has not already started very soon there should be a good topwater bite on buzzbaits or Pop-Rs in the vicinity of spawning pockets or off points. 

The catfish continue to move shallower on Lake Monticello, andCaptain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that fish can now be caught from 5-35 feet of water. For bigger fish you want to anchor fresh cut fish at a variety of depths, while to catch numbers of catfish anchoring worms or shrimp in the shallows back in coves will work.  You could also pick up a big one this way. 

It probably won’t be until later in May when the free-line drifting bite takes off.

March 19

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures are in the upper 50s, with some warmer water on the south end, and clarity is good. Water levels fluctuate daily.   

The cool, windy weather this week has kept the spring bass spawn from progressing much further forward, and Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that fish are still mixed between those that are staging, fish roaming around in the shallows, and those that are already on beds. 

Staging fish on Monticello usually set up on secondary points in 5-15 feet of water, and since Lake Monticello doesn’t have creeks they are on areas just outside of spawning pockets or even points between two pockets. Crankbaits or worms fished on Carolina rigs or Texas rigs are good for these fish.

For shallow fish that are actually in spawning pockets a number of baits will all work, but Andy is usually mainly fishing soft plastics. On Monticello floating worms, shakey heads and Senkos are all good for shallow fish. Sight-fishing for fish that are actually spawning Andy pretty much sticks to Senkos on the lake. 

The shallow bite for catfish should continue to improve once temperatures start to rise again, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that anchoring on long points that run out into the lake or in the backs of coves is the best pattern.  Anchor baits in 10-25 feet at a variety of depths, but be willing to look both shallower and deeper.  Cut bream, gizzard shad and white perch will all work.

March 10

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures are in the mid to upper 50s, with some warmer water on the south end, and the lake has basically cleared. Water levels fluctuate daily.   

The bass on Lake Monticello are following a very normal spring trajectory, and Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that warm weather this week has pushed everything forward. The deep bite has basically become nonexistent, more fish are staging, there are more fish roaming around in the shallows and there are also some early fish on beds. 

Staging fish on Monticello usually set up on secondary points in 5-15 feet of water, and since Lake Monticello doesn’t have creeks they are on areas just outside of spawning pockets or even points between two pockets. Crankbaits or worms fished on Carolina rigs or Texas rigs are good for these fish.

For shallow fish that are actually in spawning pockets a number of baits will all work, but Andy is usually mainly fishing soft plastics. On Monticello floating worms, shakey heads and Senkos are all good for shallow fish. Sight-fishing for fish that are actually spawning Andy pretty much sticks to Senkos on the lake. 

The shallow bite for catfish is also picking up, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that anchoring on long points that run out into the lake or in the backs of coves is the best pattern.  Anchor baits in 10-25 feet at a variety of depths, but be willing to look both shallower and deeper.  Cut bream, gizzard shad and white perch will all work.

March 5

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures are in the mid to upper 50s, with some warmer water on the south end, and the lake has basically cleared. Water levels fluctuate daily.   

As the spring progresses tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that the number of bass that can be caught out deep on Alabama rigs in 20-30 feet is dwindling daily, and most of the fish are starting to stage on secondary points in 5-15 feet of water. Since Lake Monticello doesn’t have creeks they are on areas just outside of spawning pockets or even points inside of two pockets. Crankbaits or worms fished on Carolina rigs or Texas rigs are all working. 

However, while Andy does not believe that any fish are actually spawning there is a first wave of fish that has moved very shallow and can be caught on floating worms or shakey heads in spawning pockets. More buck bass may be up there right now but any day the females could arrive. 

Things are finally starting to change with the catfish, and as we get into March Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that the best bet for catching fish is now 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 26

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures have shot up to about 57 degrees, and on the lower end there has been some water as warm as 62. The lake is pretty stained, probably as a result of muddy water being pumped in from the river. 

Because of the unique dynamics of the lake water temperatures are running warmer on Lake Monticello than other South Carolina lakes, and tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that as would be expected bass patterns are starting to change. There are still a few fish that can be caught out deep on Alabama rigs in 20-30 feet, but better numbers of fish are starting to stage on secondary points in 10-15 feet of water. Lake Monticello doesn’t have creeks but they will be found in areas just outside of spawning pockets or even points inside of two pockets.  Crankbaits or worms fished on Carolina rigs or Texas rigs are all working. 

Any time now there should also be some fish that will move very shallow and start to look for spawning locations. When this happens you can beat the bank with a floating worm or a shakey head. 

Hunter Enlow with a couple of nice Lake Monticello bass
Hunter Enlow with a couple of nice Lake Monticello bass

Thecatfish patterns change more slowly than the bass patterns, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that there are still a lot of deep fish in 60-65 feet of water on ledges.

The best pattern is to put out a bunch of baits in areas where you mark fish and then wait.  Perch and gizzard shad are out-fishing everything else.

February 18

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures are still around 50 degrees or just below, and the water is relatively clear considering all the rain. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

The weather is still cold and dreary and so there’s not much change in the patterns on Lake Monticello, and tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports there are a couple of different ways to catch bass right now. 

One productive pattern is to fish from the bank out to 10-15 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 Carolina rigs will also work. 

The other productive pattern is to fish the tail end of the deeper bite with a spoon or Alabama rig. 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 – only bait. 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.

Andy also notes that an Alabama rig can work shallow, too. 

Thecatfish patterns are also about the same, and Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that there are still a lot of deep fish in 60-65 feet of water on ledges.

The best pattern is to put out a bunch of baits in areas where you mark fish and then wait. Perch and gizzard shad are out-fishing everything else. 

It shouldn’t be long until fish move into the shallows, especially with warm weather predicted for next week, but for right now the deep bite is still best.

February 5

Lake Monticello morning surface water temperatures are still around 50 degrees or just below, and the water is overall clear. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

It’s a transition time on Lake Monticello, and there are a couple of different ways to catch bass right now.  B.A.S.S. angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that one productive pattern is to fish from the bank out to 10/ 15 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 Carolina rigs will also work. 

The other productive pattern is to fish the tail end of the deeper bite with a spoon or Alabama rig. 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 – only bait. 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.

Andy also notes that an Alabama rig can work shallow, too.  

Check out the newLake Monticello Catch ’Em Kits with lures hand-picked for each season by Andy.

The last time he was out on the water a couple of day ago on Lake Monticello Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that he marked a ton of fish. They took some convincing to get to bite, but in 60-65 feet they were stacked up on ledges.

The best pattern is to put out bunch of baits in areas where you mark fish and then wait. Perch and gizzard shad are out-fishing everything else. 

It won’t be long until fish move into the shallows, but for right now the deep bite is still best. 

January 21

Lake Monticello morning surface water temperatures are still around 50 degrees or just below, and the water is overall clear. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

For right now the bass fishing patterns remain about the same on Lake Monticello, if a bit shallower, and tournament bass angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that the best bet is fishing spoons around bait schools in 30-35 feet of water. Alabama rigs are also catching some good fish right now. Anglers should look around bait near channels, points, and steep drop-offs, but Andy still notes that on Monticello he never seems to catch much except for perch and catfish in areas where the birds are diving. 

You can also fish a drop-shot when the bass seem finicky. 

However, starting about anytime now – and almost always by the first of February – fish should move up to about the 10-foot range and stage on drops and points. They could be found from about 5-15 feet and they will be caught on Alabama rigs and Carolina rigs. 

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

This is still a time when the catfishcannot be counted on to bite well every day on Lake Monticello, but Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that overall this is a pretty good time to catch blues on the lake. Still, don’t expect to catch a ton of fish every time you go out.

Right now the fish are holding pretty tight to ledges, and anchoring in 45-plus feet of water and putting out a bunch of baits at a range of depths is the best pattern.  Perch and gizzard shad are out-fishing everything else.

A nice mess of blue cats caught with Captain William Attaway
A nice mess of blue cats caught with Captain William Attaway

January 14

Lake Monticello morning surface water temperatures are right around 50 degrees rising to the low to mid-50s on sunny afternoons, and the water is typically clear although there is some dingy water near the dam where they are pulling water. Lake levels normally fluctuate daily.

While not everyone caught fish, tournament bass angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that in the CATT tournament this past Saturday on Lake Monticello the winning team hit a 21-pound bag (including an 8.11 pound hawg!). There was also an 18-pound sack as well as a limit pushing 15 pounds. However, weights dropped below that. 

While Andy still believes the best pattern is fishing spoons around bait schools in 35-45 feet of water, Alabama rigs are also catching some good fish right now. Anglers should look around bait near channels, points, and steep drop-offs, but Andy still notes that on Monticello he never seems to catch much except for perch and catfish in areas where the birds are diving. 

You can also fish a drop-shot when the bass seem finicky. 

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

The winter is another time when the catfishcannot be counted on to bite well every day on Lake Monticello, but Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that generally this is a pretty good time to catch blues on the lake. However, don’t expect to catch a ton every time you go out.

Right now the fish are holding pretty tight to ledges, and anchoring in 45-plus feet of water and putting out a bunch of baits at a range of depths is the best pattern. Perch and gizzard shad are out-fishing everything else. 

Captain William Attaway with a "ghost" catfish caught this week on Monticello
Captain William Attaway with a "ghost" catfish caught this week on Monticello

January 8

Lake Monticello water temperatures are in the lower 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.

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

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

The catfish 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.

 

Search