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AHQ INSIDER Lake Monticello (SC) Winter Fishing Report – Updated February 9

  • by Jay

February 9

Lake Monticello water temperatures still range from the mid-50s to mid-60s depending on area of the lake, with the lower end warmer because of proximity to the cooling station.  Lake levels always fluctuate daily.

Tournament activity has a lot of bass fishermen on other lakes in the spring, but Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that at this time of year on Moticello he likes to throw an Alabama rig from 15 feet of water to the bank.  Fish are starting to stage up for the pre-spawn, and that means that they will be around areas like secondary points that mark the first stop on their migration routes into spawning areas.  They won’t be out on the main lake, and they also won’t be tucked way back yet.

Crankbaits are also a good lure choice right now, particularly around points.  While a lot of anglers look for rock at this stage Andy believes that location is more important than the type of cover.

On the catfishfront Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that catfish remain scattered out in 45-70 feet of water, and anchoring is the best pattern.  However, the warm weather also has a decent number of fish up shallow and so it’s worth prospecting with electronics and then putting out some baits in a variety of depths.  Cut gizzard shad and white perch continue to be the best big fish baits.

A monster blue catfish caught recently with Captain Chris Simpson
A monster blue catfish caught recently with Captain Chris Simpson

January 20

Lake Monticello water temperatures range from the mid-50s to mid-60s depending on area of the lake, with the lower ender warmer because of proximity to the cooling station.  Lake levels always fluctuate daily.

Tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that the deep bass bite that was so good just a few weeks ago has really slowed down, and in areas where tons of fish could be caught at the turn of the calendar getting one or two bites is a challenge.  The best pattern right now is fishing in less than 15 feet of water, and the best bet is throwing a crankbait around shallow cover.  It’s also worth playing within an Alabama rig to see if fish want it on a given day.  This is a period when picking up smallmouth may be more likely than at some other times of year.

Both ends of the lake are worth fishing, although sometimes the warmer lower end is better in the winter.  However, as warm as it is right now that may not make a big difference.

On the catfishfront Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that catfish remain in a similar pattern, and they can best be caught anchoring in 45-70 feet of water.  Fish are basically wherever the baitfish are, which can vary from day to day.  Assessments about exactly how to deep and where to fish have to be made on the water, relying heavily on electronics. Cut gizzard shad and white perch continue to be the best big fish baits.

A fat blue cat caught this week on Captain Chris Simpson's boat
A fat blue cat caught this week on Captain Chris Simpson’s boat

December 28

Lake Monticello water temperatures are 55-57 degrees on the upper end, and 63-65 degrees on the lower end.

Tournament bass angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that the bite is really strong right now on Lake Monticello, and in a recent tournament where he and his fishing partner finished first they caught a ton of fish on a spoon.   The bite is similar to a month ago, just better!  Fish were around the deep points, humps and drops that they like to fish, with the biggest concentrations in 30-35 feet but out to 45 or 50 feet.  Fish weren’t on all the spots, but there were some very large schools on some of them.  In addition to the deep fish, they caught a nice 3-pound smallmouth first thing on a finesse-style Shad Rap.  Another boat caught two very solid 5-pound smallmouth, also up shallow.

In catfishnews Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that anchoring has become more productive than drifting on Monticello, and the best depth range remains 45-70 feet.  Cut gizzard shad and white perch have been the best big fish baits.

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

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