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AHQ INSIDER Lake Wylie (NC/SC) 2024 Week 28 Fishing Report – Updated July 11

  • by Jay

July 11

Lake Wylie is at 97.1% of full pool and the lake is now super clear. Morning surface water temperatures range from 85-88 degrees. 

In catfish news, Captain Rodger Taylor with Catfish ON! Guide Service (803-517-7828) reports that the bite has markedly improved as the spawn is basically over. Drifting as well as anchoring is catching fish in both the creek channels and the main channel, and they are seeing lots of teenage fish as well as a good number in the 20s. 10-30 feet deep has been a good depth range in the channels, and both cut shad and white perch are working well. 

July 10

Lake Wylie is at 96.9% of full pool and the lake is now super clear. Morning surface water temperatures range from 85-88 degrees. 

It’s not an outstanding bass bite on Lake Wylie, but The Carolina Angler Captain Chris Nichols (704-860-7951) reports that early they are catching fish on topwater lures off rocky points. It’s also the best time of day to target fish around bream beds with topwaters.

After the sun gets up then fishing deep-diving crankbaits on long points 10-15 feet deep is working. Alternatively, you can fish main lake offshore structure in 20-30 feet with a spoon, deep-diving crankbait, or Carolina rig. 

Caught this week with The Carolina Angler

The crappie are also settling into summer patterns, and Captain Chris reports that they are still in the creek mouths and main lake flats suspended 10-15 feet down over 20-25 feet of water. The best way to catch them is trolling crankbaits that run 8-12 feet deep or trolling 1/16th ounce jigs. 

Finally, Chris reports that white perch now scattered on main lake flats in 15-20 feet deep. You can catch all you want spider-rigging minnows or night crawlers. While they are moving around there are some giant schools to be found.   

 

June 26

Lake Wylie is at 96.6% of full pool and the lake remains clear. Morning surface water temperatures are in the low to mid-80s.    

The slowest thing going on Lake Wylie is probably the bass fishing, and while in the absence of the Thursday night tournaments this year there aren’t the tournament results to show it, angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that it’s just tough.  Basically you have to do a ton of searching to find feeding fish, and his primary pattern is looking and looking until he finds the already rare bream beds that even less frequently have bass on them. But when you do it can make for some good action, and recently he even had two solid fish over five pounds hooked on the same popper. In general they will take topwater lures, buzzbaits, wacky worms and more. 

There are also fish offshore around points, channels drops, and humps where they will take a shaky head. Brush piles are also holding fish. There can still be days where they will take deep-diving crankbaits but in general the fish have gotten less aggressive as it heats up and they have been pressured.

The catfish bite is better, and The Carolina Angler Captain Chris Nichols (704-860-7951) reports that they are finishing up their spawn and so through the end of June there will be some spawners shallow that can be caught in shallow water anchoring and fan casting with bluegill, perch, or shad. At the same time the rest of the catfish have finished spawning and have started making their way to the main lake flats where they can be caught drifting small pieces of cut bait over mussel beds. Mussels are their preferred food coming off the spawn.

The best flats are in 15-25 feet, and a thermocline will typically set up 25-30 feet deep in July and mean that no fish are beneath that. 

Caught with Captain Chris Nichols

The crappie bite is changing, and Captain Chris reports that crappie are in the creek mouths and main lake flats suspended 10-15 feet down over 20-25 feet of water. The best way to catch them is trolling crankbaits that run 8-12 feet deep or trolling 1/16th ounce jigs. 

Finally, Chris reports that white perch now scattered on main lake flats in 15-20 feet deep. You can catch all you want spider-rigging minnows or night crawlers. While they are moving around there are some giant schools to be found.   

June 13

Lake Wylie is at 97.4% of full pool and the lake remains clear. Morning surface water temperatures are approximately 80 degrees.  

By now the Lake Wylie bass have pretty much settled into summer patterns, and yesterday on the water tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill found that they were doing exactly what they were “supposed” to be doing. There is a good group of fish up shallow around docks and bream beds, and he was able to catch them on wacky rigs around docks and prop baits around bream beds. 

He also found fish offshore around points, channels drops, and humps where they would take a big shaky head. In general hard spots including shell beds, rock piles, and areas where the sediment has been washed away can be the most productive. 5XD and 6XD crankbaits should also work but yesterday they preferred soft plastics.   

On the crappie front, The Carolina Angler Captain Chris Nichols (704-860-7951) reports that with the spawn concluded fish are in the creek channels 20-25 feet deep. Spider rigging minnows is the best way to catch them right now, but once a thermocline sets up then some will migrate to the main river channel and suspend. Then they are vulnerable to crankbaits trolled 12-15 feet deep. 

Additionally, Captain Chris reports that white perch are still loaded up on the end of points in both the creeks and the main lake in 15-20 feet of water. You can catch all you want on minnows. 

In catfish news, Captain Rodger Taylor with Catfish ON! Guide Service (803-517-7828) reports that the blue cat bite has slowed down now that fish are in the midst of the spawn. However, yesterday they were still able to catch a good number of fish in the 3-24 pound range by drifting cut bait in the main channel. The best depth was 12-18 feet of water, and it seems as if wind really helps the action right now. When the wind dies the fishing slows down.

Yesterday with Captain Rodger Taylor

May 29

Lake Wylie is at 97.8% of full pool and the northern end of the lake remains surprisingly dirty. Morning surface water temperatures are in the upper 70s.

As the shad spawn almost totally fades away Lake Wylie bass seem to be settling into reliable summer patterns, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that one group of fish will be found shallow all summer long. They will be feeding on bream around docks and bream beds, and they can be caught on prop baits, poppers, bluegill-colored jigs, wacky worms and more. 

The other major pattern is fishing offshore around points, channels drops, humps and popular community holes. Hard spots including shell beds, rock piles, and areas where the sediment has been washed away can be the most productive. 5XD and 6XD crankbaits as well as big worms are the baits of choice, and early in the season the offshore fish are typically at their most aggressive. 

In the creeks The Carolina Angler Captain Chris Nichols (704-860-7951) reports that both the catfish and crappie are stacked up near the bottom in about 15-25 feet of water.  Use your electronics until you find a big concentration of fish, and then you can catch crappie spider rigging minnows and catfish drifting cut bait.  

At the same time, Captain Chris reports that white perch are loaded up on the end of points in both the creeks and the main lake in 15-20 feet of water. You can catch all you want on minnows. 

Finally, while Captain Rodger Taylor with Catfish ON! Guide Service (803-517-7828) expected the blue cat bite to slow down as we got closer to the spawn, at this time they are still biting well. He is surprised they are not in hard spawning mode yet.

His boat is still doing well anchoring with cut white perch in 4-10 feet of water up the rivers and in the backs of creeks. Coves with shells continue to fish very well.

 
Caught with Captain Rodger Taylor this week

May 23

Lake Wylie is at 97.4% of full pool and morning surface water temperatures are in the low 70s.

There was an uptick in tournament bass fishing weights this week with an 18-pound bag winning on Lake Wylie, but still tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that catching numbers is easier than catching size. Overall, without much change in water temperatures the fishing has essentially stalled, and we are stuck somewhere between spring and summer patterns without much movement in either direction.  

There are still pretty reliable numbers of fish around the banks that can be caught just throwing a buzzbait or soft plastics. Some of these will stay all summer eating bream. 

There are also fish starting to move out and they can be found in 8-15 feet of water off the main lake points and secondary points that the fish followed in this spring. 

By now the crappie have returned to the creek channels, and The Carolina Angler Captain Chris Nichols (704-860-7951) reports that they are mostly in 18-25 feet of water. Some of them can be caught fishing around brush, but you can also catch them trolling jigs or spider-rigging minnows in the channel. They are mostly holding close to the bottom.

At the same time, Captain Chris reports that white perch are stacked up on the end of points in both the creeks and the main lake in 15-20 feet of water. You can catch all you want on minnows. 

In catfish news, Captain Rodger Taylor with Catfish ON! Guide Service (803-517-7828) reports that the pre-spawn blue catfish bite is still very strong for fish in the 6-18 pound range and some bigger. Anchoring with cut white perch in 4-10 feet of water has been very effective, and fish are all over the lake but moving upstream and laterally back into the creeks. The best areas are sunlit shores and coves with shells.

Finally, the bream spawn is now underway. 

May 15

Lake Wylie is at 98.2% of full pool and morning surface water temperatures are in the low 70s.

The tournament bass fishing weights are again very low this week on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that in a weekday law enforcement tournament it again only took about 14 pounds to win. It’s still very much a transition period between spring and summer pattern, but you could still find the tail end of the shad spawn or the bass spawn. There also continue to be pretty reliable numbers of fish around the banks that can be caught just throwing a buzzbait or soft plastics. Some of these will stay all summer eating bream. 

But there are also more fish starting to move out and they can be found in 8-15 feet of water off the main lake points and secondary points that the fish followed in this spring. 

The very end of the crappie spawn is winding down, and The Carolina Angler Captain Chris Nichols (704-860-7951) reports that most fish have moved back into the creek channels and brush in 15-20 feet of water. The best way to catch them is tight-lining minnows in the creek channel or casting jigs to the brush piles. 

This week with Captain Chris Nichols

Captain Rodger Taylor with Catfish ON! Guide Service (803-517-7828) reports that there are also some small crappie on very shallow brush, but the bigger ones seem to want to be in deeper water as temperatures rise. 

The pre-spawn blue catfish bite is still very strong, and Captain Rodger reports that they are still doing very well for fish in the 6-18 pound range and some bigger. Anchoring with cut white perch in 4-10 feet of water has been very effective, and fish are all over the lake but moving upstream and laterally back into the creeks. The best areas are sunlight shores and coves with shells.

Finally, Rodger points out that the bream spawn should start around the May 23 full moon. 

May 9

Lake Wylie is at 98.5% of full pool and the lake is greenish blue and slightly dirty. Morning surface water temperatures are in the low 70s.

The tournament bass fishing weights have been very low recently on Lake Wylie as patterns transition from spring to summer, but tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that catching numbers of fish is still pretty straight-forward. Fish are still up shallow with the tail-end of the spawn going on and lots of fry-guarders around, and it is also the tail-end of the shad spawn. Early in the morning fish can be found eating spawning shad around riprap, docks, or other hard structure with any bait that imitates a shad. Spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, swimbaits and crankbaits are all working.  Bream are also just starting to spawn and with some small crappie still spawning there are also lots of bass feeding anywhere those fish are bedding.

At the same time, fish are finally starting to move out and they can be found in 8-15 feet of water off main lake points and secondary points. These are now “exit” places but are also the same paths the fish followed in. 

The crappie spawn continues to peter out, and The Carolina Angler Captain Chris Nichols (704-860-7951) reports that a lot of fish have moved back into the creek channel and suspended at mid-depths to recover from the spawn. You could probably still pick up a fish or two around the banks but Captain Chris has not found many, and the better action has come long-lining jigs in 10-15 feet of water in the creek runs. They have also caught some fish around brush in 12-15 feet on minnows. 

The pre-spawn blue catfish bite is still very strong, and Captain Rodger Taylor with Catfish ON! Guide Service (803-517-7828) reports that they are catching a boatload of fish in the 6-18 pound range. Anchoring with cut white perch in 4-10 feet of water has been very effective, and fish are all over the lake but moving upstream and laterally back into the creeks. The best areas are sunlight shores and coves with shells.

This week with Captain Rodger Taylor

May 1

Lake Wylie is at 97.2% of full pool and much of the lake has cleared. Morning surface water temperatures are in the low 60s.

There is still good shallow bass fishing on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that early in the morning the best pattern is targeting fish eating spawning shad around riprap, docks, or other hard structure with any bait that imitates a shad. Spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, swimbaits and crankbaits are all working. After that you can still target shallow fish, some of which are still on beds and others are guarding fry, just going down the banks with a Senko or shaky head. Big swimbaits will also get a lot of bites, although the hook-up ratio is lower. With bream just starting to spawn and some small crappie still spawning there are also lots of bass feeding anywhere those fish are bedding, and floating docks are also a good place to look.   

All this combines to mean that fish have a lot of good reasons to be shallow, and Reid is not aware of any offshore pattern. 

While the crappie spawn was really intense last week it is now waning, and The Carolina Angler Captain Chris Nichols(704-860-7951) reports that a lot of fish are moving back into the creek channel and suspending at mid-depths to recover from the spawn. You could probably still pick up a fish or two around the banks but Captain Chris has not found many, and the better action has come long-lining jigs in 10-15 feet of water in the creek runs.  They have also caught some fish around brush in 12-15 feet on minnows. 

There’s no doubt the best thing going right now on Lake Wylie is the catfish bite, and Captain Rodger Taylor with Catfish ON! Guide Service (803-517-7828) reports that in one short morning trip they caught 22 blue catfish up to about 25 pounds! Anchoring with cut white perch in 4-10 feet of water has been very effective, and fish are all over the lake but moving upstream and laterally back into the creeks. Right now the fishing can only be described as an excellent pre-spawn bite. 

1 of 22 big blues caught Tuesday with Captain Rodger Taylor

April 25

Lake Wylie is at 97.3% of full pool and much of the lake has cleared. Morning surface water temperatures are in the low 60s. 

Much like down the road on Lake Wateree, The Carolina Angler Captain Chris Nichols (704-860-7951) reports that the bass are starting to concentrate on an early morning shad spawn. They are being caught around rip rap banks, and Captain Chris is having the best success with topwater lures and flukes. There are also still lots of spawning fish around the banks, and they can be caught on Senkos and floating worms. The diminishing numbers of pre-spawn fish, as well as lots of post-spawn fish, can also be caught shallow. A wacky rig around docks is working well for these fish. 

While you can certainly catch crappie just out from spawning grounds in about 7-14 feet of water, the spawning is so intense this week that the best way to catch fish is just to go down the banks and cast jigs around shallow cover. This stage won’t last too much longer but for now bank fishing is better than tight-lining minnows or long-line trolling jigs.

The catfish bite continues to improve on Lake Wylie, and Captain Rodger Taylor with Catfish ON! Guide Service (803-517-7828) now rates the bite as very good to excellent! Most of the fish his boat is catching are in the 8-17 pound range, but they are also catching occasional large fish up to 30-40 pounds! Anchoring with cut white perch in 4-10 feet of water has been very effective, and fish are all over the lake but moving upstream and laterally back into the creeks. 

April 11

Lake Wylie is at 97.2% of full pool and much of the lake has cleared. Morning surface water temperatures are in the low 60s. 

The biggest change this week on Lake Wylie is with the catfish, and Captain Rodger Taylor with Catfish ON! Guide Service (803-517-7828) reports the pre-spawn bite has turned on. The fish are getting very aggressive, and he even found a deep-diving crankbait in a big blue’s mouth!

Overall the creeks are most productive right now, and 8-22 feet of water has been the best depth range. Cut white perch are hard to beat, and Captain Rodger is even picking up some flatheads on cut bait. 

Signs of spring - a 35-pound flathead caught this week with Captain Rodger Taylor

In contrast the bass fishing hasn’t changed much this week, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that with a “normal” spring (rather than a very early, very hot one) pretty much all the April patterns that should be in play are working. You can go down the banks with shaky heads, wacky rigs and Texas rigs around cover or docks, and in areas with dirtier water you can also use bladed baits. There is also starting to be a pretty good buzzbait bite.

Overall fish at all three stages of the spawn can be found, and often pre-spawn and post-spawn fish are in similar areas.   

Somewhere between the catfish and the bass, The Carolina Angler Captain Chris Nichols (704-860-7951) reports that the crappie fishing has really progressed this week but you can also still fish the same patterns for fish that are not spawning.  Many of the crappie are making a big push to the banks right now, and you can cast small jigs or minnows to cover in protected pockets to catch spawning fish. There are also still plenty of pre-spawn (and some post-spawn) fish that can be caught long-lining jigs near spawning grounds in about 12 feet of water. 

 

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