Lake Wateree is at 97.5% of full pool, and since there hasn’t been too much rain clarity is above average for the lake.
Despite the heat crappie fishing remains pretty good, and veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that the fish are still in the brush. They are now concentrated in brush along the main river channel from the top to the bottom of the lake, with very few fish back in the creeks. The best brush is in about 15 – 25 feet of water, and early in the morning fish will suspend in the top of the brush for a couple of hours. During the heat of the day they are flat on the bottom around it. Some fish have also been caught casting jigs and letting them sink right to the bottom around bridges like the Colonel Creek Bridge. Fish Stalker jigs in Ugly Green, Pearl White and Gold Dust (black with gold flakes) colors have been working well. Some fish have also been caught on minnows but the jig bite seems faster and minnows are hard to keep alive at this time of year.
Fishing during the heat of the day from about 11:00 – 7:00 can be pretty unpleasant, and for that reason Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) is concentrating his catfishefforts from daylight until about 10:00 a.m. to stay comfortable. Night fishing is also pleasant. Overall the best pattern is drifting around the mid-lake area near the State Park, and Rodger advises drifting on river channel drops from Taylor Creek to Colonel Creek. The fish aren’t evenly distributed and there are some “sweet spots” where particular features will concentrate fish along a particular drop-off or other area of structure. While the best bet for numbers is drifting, at night fish can move up shallow into 10 feet or less and they can be caught anchoring around mussel beds or other sharp drops that are proximate to deep water. This is also a night-time pattern. Cut white perch and shad are both working well.
Information from Dearal Rodgers on a deep water bass pattern to follow.
Lake Wateree is at 97.7% of full pool, and water temperatures are in the upper 80s and lower 90s. Clarity is good down the lake but up the lake conditions are stained to muddy.
The water is hot at Lake Wateree, but as anybody who knows the lake could guess there are still bass in the shallows. CATT director and veteran tournament angler Brett Collins reports that he has been catching fish around shallow docks, and in the last tournament he fished none of the docks were deeper than 5 feet. He was fishing half-way back in pockets off the main lake, and he was throwing jigs and Senkos. The Senkos were rigged on a Gambler Shakey head, and some of the bigger fish came on this bait.
Brett finished second place with 18 pounds, but some other good sacks reportedly came on frogs fished around the grass. That is an early morning bite, however, and after 9:00 it is tough to catch fish that way. Pop-Rs are also catching fish as well as Spooks, and Brett says he has caught some good ones on Pop-Rs fished early around main lake points and rocks.
At this time of year the early bite is usually best, but when the sun is up Brett says you can catch some fish on Carolina rigs fished off points. It is unclear why but the bait has not gone very deep this summer, and Brett says you can see shad around the banks. Perhaps for this reason you can catch fish dragging a worm even over relatively shallow points during the day.
The best bite has been in the clearer water down the lake.
While bass can be found shallow, veteran tournament angler Will Hinson of Cassatt reports that the crappieare around deeper brush along the main river channel. Fish can be found from the top to the bottom of the lake, from Wateree Creek down to the dam, in 15-26 feet of water. Early in the day they are suspended above the brush, but as the sun gets up they are moving all the way to the bottom and laying flat. Will suggests fishing 6-10 inches off the bottom during the day. Fish can be caught around structure all day, and there are also some fish in the shade of bridges. Minnows and jigs are both catching fish, but the bite on jigs is a little faster. Fish Stalker jigs in Ugly Green, Robin Egg, Pearl White, and Yellow with Black Flake are all working.
There is no new report on the catfish front.