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AHQ INSIDER Lake Wylie (NC/SC) Fall Fishing Report – Updated October 5

  • by Jay

The newest Lake Wylie fishing report, updated October 20, can be found at:

October 5

Lake Wylie is at 95.8% of full pool, and water temperatures have finally fallen off into the high 70s.  The lake is fairly clear with some stain in the creeks.

It looked like bass fishing was getting better on Lake Wylie, but after the BFL super tournament last weekend guide and FLW fisherman Bryan New (704-421-5868) reports that it’s clearly gotten very tough again.  Only a handful of anglers caught a limit both days, and it only took about a 13-pound daily average to win.

A couple of factors could be in play, and the fact that the weather has gone from summer to fall back to summer and then maybe into fall seems to have the fish confused.  Additionally, the fall bait migration is getting underway and so there is not a very big group of fish anywhere.

As would be expected considering the weights, there is no one really good pattern right now.   In the BFL event Bryan had 17 rods on the deck both days and threw all of them, and he still only caught 5 the first day and 4 the second.  It’s a lot of junk fishing, and you might run a topwater down the bank, hit a deep brush pile, then fish some mid-depth rocks, and then cycle back through drops and points.  Overall finesse fishing is the best bet, but there is no clear pattern.

Although there is a lot of schooling it is very random and almost impossible to predict where the fish will pop up.  You could be going down the bank, they could come up in the middle of nowhere and offer one cast, and then not surface there again.  This is likely the result of shad being on the move right now.  Bridge schooling has died off, and while it may still be going on a little bit Bryan hasn’t seen it.

September 15

Lake Wylie is at 96.7% of full pool, and water temperatures have dropped into the low 80s.  There is some stain in the creeks but it’s not bad.

After a tough summer for bass fishing, guide and FLW fisherman Bryan New (704-421-5868) reports that fishing is finally getting better on Lake Wylie.  Fish can still be caught in 8-15 feet of water off points, but the shallow bite is starting to pick up on topwaters, jigs, square-billed crankbaits, Chatterbaits, and basically any other lure than you can cover a lot of water with and have confidence in.

Since the weather has broken early this year the creek bite is coming on right now, and shad are starting to migrate into the backs and fish are following them.  The resident creek fish are also biting better with more bait back there to activate them.

Schooling has also gotten better, and you should certainly look around bridges.  Creek flats are another good place to look for surface action.

Bryan New shows off a nice largemouth caught recently
Bryan New shows off a nice largemouth caught recently

No change in the catfishbite, which Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports is still very good.

September 8

Lake Wylie is at 96.4% of full pool and water temperatures are falling into the upper 70s/ lower 80s.  Water clarity is a little down and even on the lower end the water is brownish green.

As temperatures drop on Lake Wylie, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that there is a very good catfishbite on both the upper and lower ends of the lake, even though fish are pretty spread out.  On the upper end there is a really good morning drift bite, and Rodger’s boat has been picking up about as many flathead catfish as blues – to go with some channels.  In the Catawba River arm he has been having about equal success with gizzard shad from Wateree and local bluegill, and he has found that fish are on the ledge in 14-20 feet of water.  The morning bite has been better than the afternoon action.  Fish have been running up to a little over 20 pounds.

On the lower end of the lake the bite has been deeper, and drifting with cut bait Rodger has found nice blues averaging about 12 pounds in 35-45 feet of water to go with occasional 10 to 20-pound range flatheads.  The fish seem to be oriented to the deep flats instead of the channel.  His boat has also picked up some channel catfish on the shelf in 20-25 feet of water.  The best bite has taken place when there is a steady 7-10 mile per hour wind; when it is flat calm the bite slows down.  In the last few days cut bluegill have been working well enough that Rodger is not even netting gizzard shad.

James Walker with a fat 15-pound blue catfish caught this week on Rodger Taylor's boat
James Walker with a fat 15-pound blue catfish caught this week on Rodger Taylor’s boat

August 31

Lake Wylie is at 96.7% of full pool, and water temperatures have dropped from the low 90s into the mid-80s in the last few days.  The water was clear before the latest round of rain came through.

On the bass front, guide and FLW fisherman Bryan New (704-421-5868) reports that fishing has gotten super tough – catching Lake Wylie bass is as difficult as Bryan has ever seen.  The offshore pattern that was good earlier in the summer has really slowed down, likely in part because of heavy pressure on the fish all summer.  You can still catch them but you have to really slow down and fish a shakey head or a Texas rig.

Probably the better pattern now is to fish in the 8-15 foot range off of points.  Both creek and main lake points will hold fish, but the creek points should get better soon.  Fall may be starting early this year and Bryan predicts that in the next week or so fish will start migrating into the creeks in significant numbers.  A shakey head worm remains the bait of choice for these bass.

There has also been some random schooling activity, and while it is not a pattern you can count on yet it’s worth having a topwater bait tied on.  Most of the schooling action has come off creek channel points, mainly on the lower end of the lake.

Bryan New shows off a nice late summer Wylie bass
Bryan New shows off a nice late summer Wylie bass