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AHQ INSIDER Lake Wylie (NC/SC) Spring 2021 Fishing Report – Updated April 29

  • by Jay

April 29

Lake Wylie is at 96.6% of full pool and water temperatures are in the mid 60s. Clarity is good over most of the lake. 

It’s almost getting to be a joke how low the bass fishing weights are on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that in the CATT Championship this past weekend – with $5000 guaranteed – it still only took about 12 pounds to win. 

While it’s clear that fish at all three stages of the spawn can be found, with conditions this tough for better fish it’s hard to know exactly where in the spawn most fish are. However, Reid thinks that most of the fish should be close to spawning right now. If you go down the banks with a shakey head you should be able to catch plenty of smaller bass.

There are also some reports that shad are spawning right now around main lake shallow rip rap, docks and the like. While the bass do not seem to have gotten on them yet, soon they should take spinnerbaits and squarebills fished in those areas. 

Reid took his nephew to Lake Norman to catch these fish
Reid took his nephew to Lake Norman to catch these fish

The catfish action remains excellent on Lake Wylie, and Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that anchoring in shallow water 10 feet or less is producing blues and flatheads up to 40 plus pounds.  Most blues are in the 10-20 pound range, and the numbers have been very good.  Cut shad has been working well but other cut bait has been just as good.

April 16

Lake Wylie is at 96.6% of full pool and water temperatures are in the mid to upper 60s. The lake has cleared up substantially this week.   

After some really good bags last weekend and earlier this week the bass fishing seems to have dropped off again on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that in the Thursday night tournament last night it only took about 12 ½ pounds to win. They have pulled the lake hard and dropping water levels may have something to do with it.

By this stage of the spring most of the fish are getting close to spawning, actively spawning or are post-spawn, and there are probably not a ton of pre-spawn fish left. However, it’s still the time of year when casting a wacky rig or shakey head around the banks in spawning pockets can usually get you bit. Also, with the clearing conditions there may be some sight-fishing this week.

The catfish action is now excellent on Lake Wylie, and Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that the blue cats are biting in shallow water and flats with 15 feet of water or less. There are also some large fish being caught on deep ledges, and this morning they caught a 44-pound monster! Gizzard shad is the preferred bait but most any cut fish will work.

There are some large flatheads being taken around shallow cover with fresh cut bait, and they will also take live baits. 

April 2

Lake Wylie is at 98.1% of full pool and water temperatures were around 63-64 before the cold snap. The whole lake is muddy from one end to the other. 

Once again conditions have dealt a harsh below to the bass fishing on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that in a 60-boat ABA tournament last weekend it only took 12 pounds to win! Only three or four teams cracked double digits. The lake is now completely blown out with mud the color of chocolate milk or an orange crayon.

Nonetheless, water temperatures are on the verge of right where they need to be for the spawn to truly get underway and so this coming week anglers should see fish all over beds. Most of the fish are still pre-spawn, but a massive wave should be spawning after this cold front when the weather warms and the water stabilizes. Soft plastics like shakey heads, wacky rigs and Senkos should all work.  

For now you need to stick to spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, and other baits that create a lot of flash and disturbance. 

The catfish continue to make a spring transition, and Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that the fishing is good with blue cats hitting white perch and shad about equally. Both river arms are producing blues in the 10-25 pound range as well as occasional flatheads. Vertical changes near the river ledge are good early with fish moving up shallow as the day goes on. 

A good blue caught this week with Captain Rodger Taylor
A good blue caught this week with Captain Rodger Taylor

The crappie bite is fair to good, and Rodger reports that the majority of the fish have still not moved shallow. They are transitioning to the middle of the creek in 10-15 feet, but they move deeper with the cold spells. There is some shallow brush that is producing. 

March 19

Lake Wylie is at 97.8% of full pool and morning surface water temperatures are in the upper 50s. The water is pretty stained in the backs.

The bass fishing is finally getting better on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that the fish are making a move towards the banks. Fish have been caught on shallow brush in about 8-15 feet mid-way back in the creeks, and they are also starting to be caught in the backs of pockets on jigs, shakey heads and worms. It does not appear that more than a few fish are spawning yet but they are getting very shallow. 

By now the catfish are starting to make a spring transition, and Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that fish are moving towards the upper lake. Good blues are biting well in shallow water north of the confluence of the South Fork and Catawba river arms. Gizzard shad are hard to come by, but the fish are eating white perch which are eating well in 20-25 feet of water on live baits. The perch have good size this spring. 

Rodger reports that the crappie bite is also still good on Lake Wylie, and they are still doing well trolling in the creeks for suspended fish.  Some anglers are also starting to catch some fish off shallow brush and so it appears the spawn is getting close.

However, the wind is going to make fishing for them difficult for a little while.

Captain Rodger Taylor's slab caught earlier this week
Captain Rodger Taylor's slab caught earlier this week

March 10

Lake Wylie is at 97.5% of full pool and morning surface water temperatures are in the low to mid-50s. From the rivers to the mid-lake is fairly clear, while the lower lake is still dirty.

There were finally some good bags of bass caught this weekend on Lake Wylie, but tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that they may have been the exception that proved the rule. The 20-pound winning bag as well as another that approached 15 were both caught in the current up the river on the north end of the lake, and in the main part of the lake it was still a struggle to get into double digits. Reid and his tournament partner had 9 pounds. 

It sounds like a broken record but this really could be the weekend when fishing gets good, but as of last weekend bank fishing still had not turned on. With the warm weather this week better numbers of fish should move into staging spots close to where they will eventually spawn including flat points, steeper edges, and docks – all in 2-10 feet of water. In addition to moving baits shakey heads and jigs should start to produce. 

Even as the bass fishing remains tough, Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that there is a strong crappie bite right now on Lake Wylie. He is fishing the creeks on the lower end of the lake and finding that fish are holding about mid-way back. They are generally suspended about 15-22 feet down in 35 feet of water, but sometimes they will move up shallower to take a bait. He has been fishing free-lined minnows as well as weighted jigs in green and yellow. 

Captain Rodger Taylor with a solid 2-pound crappie
Captain Rodger Taylor with a solid 2-pound crappie

The catfish bite remains strong on Lake Wylie, and Rodger reports that the morning action is still pretty consistent anchoring in the middle sections of creeks on ledges in about 20-25 feet. That bite slows down by about 11 a.m.

Rodger has not found a good pattern mid-day, but by about 4:30 there starts to be some good action in “intermediate shallow” depths of about 5-7 feet. He has caught decent numbers of fish as well as some good ones in the 20s. Cut gizzard shad continue to outfish other baits.

March 5

Lake Wylie is at 97.5% of full pool and morning surface water temperatures are in the lower 50s. The mid-lake and up has cleared but has a slight stain, while the lower lake is dirtier. 

The bass fishing should have gotten really good on Lake Wylie, but tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that a 57-boat tournament this past weekend that had some of the best anglers on the lake only turned up two limits!  And again on the water today he is still not finding much. 

Bank fishing has just not got gotten good, and about the only place he has found small groups of fish are in random staging spots out from where they will eventually spawn. These include flat points, steeper edges, and docks – all in 2-10 feet of water. Boat ramps continue to be dead this season. Alabama rigs, Shad Raps, and square-billed crankbaits should all catch some fish, and the tournament was won on a spinnerbait. 

Ten days ago the catfish bite was still tough on Lake Wylie, but by last week’s report

Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reported that the fishing had significantly improved. Friday he had an excellent morning on the lake, and then he followed that up with a couple more strong mornings. 

A rounder picture of the bite is now emerging, and it appears that in the morning the action is pretty consistent anchoring in the middle sections of creeks on ledges in about 20-25 feet. That bite slows down by about 11 a.m.

Rodger has not found a good pattern mid-day, but by about 4:30 there starts to be some good action in “intermediate shallow” depths of about 5-7 feet. He has caught decent numbers of fish as well as some good ones in the 20s. Cut gizzard shad continue to outfish other baits.

There is a big catfish tournament this weekend on Wylie and Rodger points out that it will be interesting to see if the bite up the lake has started to turn on yet. By the end of March most of the fish will have migrated up that way. 

Indications from today are that they will have, as Reid caught this monster flathead on the north end on a Shad Rap!

February 26

Lake Wylie is at 98.0% of full pool and morning surface water temperatures range from about 51-52 degrees on the main channel to 54 in the backs. The south end of the lake is muddy while the northern third of the lake is clear with a greenish tint. Some of the creeks are muddy in the backs. 

Earlier this week Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reported that the catfish bite on Lake Wylie was at best fair, and they were struggling to put fish in the boat. Main lake drifts were slow, fishing shallow in the backs of creeks was slow, and about the only place they could get bites was anchoring in the middle sections of creeks on ledges in about 20-25 feet. 
But proving that it’s always worth trying, in the pre-frontal conditions this morning Rodger’s boat has found a very strong bite for fish ranging from about 13 to 25 pounds. In a little over two hours they have caught 13 blues in that range as well as one channel. The fish are still set up on creek ledges and they are eating cut gizzard shad. 

Rich Van Amburg with a good one caught this morning with Captain Rodger Taylor
Rich Van Amburg with a good one caught this morning with Captain Rodger Taylor

The bass fishing was slow over the weekend on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that a tournament was won with 3 fish that went 8 pounds! However, things are changing fast and yesterday on the water he saw water temperatures rise a good 5 or 6 degrees over the course of the day to reach almost 60. Of course that will not last, but seasonal changes are certain to the push the fish if that keeps up.

While Reid is still marking a lot of suspended fish, and some people will still catch them on Alabama rigs out deep, he thinks that with bass ready to move they will start to stage near areas where they will spawn. The very full moon has made for a tougher daytime bite but fish should be around docks, secondary points and shallow cover close to spawning areas. In the dirty conditions square-billed crankbaits, Chatterbaits, Shad Raps and jigs are all good choices. 

Of course with a bunch of rain predicted for today the lake could get blown out again.

February 18

Lake Wylie is at 97.6% of full pool and surface water temperatures are in the mid- to upper 40s. The upper third of the lake is muddy and as fast as they are pulling water through the lake it will be to the lower end soon. The creeks vary, with the Big Allison muddy but some other creeks only stained. 

Nobody could accuse the tournament directors for the Saturday and Sunday morning open tournaments of not doing their jobs, but tournament bass angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that despite the directors being out there not a single boat showed up for either event! With horrendous weather over the weekend anglers chose to stay in bed rather than fish.

With the lake once again very dirty it could ruin the bass fishing for another period, but seasonal factors could cause the bite to improve despite the conditions. Muddy water may push the fish to the banks, but there is so much current that it could keep them offshore as in previous periods.

One option is to fish a crankbait shallow, or you could fish Alabama rigs or grubs offshore.  Look around channel swings, point drops and channel edges in 10-18 feet of water in the creeks and the main lake. When you find the bait there should be fish nearby. 

The catfish bite has slowed down a little on Lake Wylie, but Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that the fishing is still respectable and he rates it as “fair”. They are catching 1-2 fish per hour with lots of 12-18 pound fish making up the bulk of the catch.

Most of the time they are anchoring in the creeks right now, but when the wind is blowing then instead of fighting to anchor drifting the same areas is the best pattern.  Put out lines around ledges with sharp vertical changes in areas where there is bait and birds.  Fish are generally in 5-25 feet of water and cut shad have been working the best.

February 5

Lake Wylie is at 97.1% of full pool and surface water temperatures are in the mid-40s to lower 50s. With all the recent rains sections of the lake are muddy again. 

The bass fishing has been a little up-and-down on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that two weekends ago he and his tournament partner weighed a 15-pound bag featuring a big 6-pounder. And that was not good enough for big bag or big fish, with a 23-pound sack anchored by a 7.5 pounder taking first! However, by last weekend weights were back to a more typical 10-12 pounds again. 

It seems that what keeps hurting the bite is all the rain, and after rainy periods the power company is pulling a ton of water through the lake and the current is ripping. So instead of pushing fish to the banks, the rain is actually causing current that is sucking them off the banks and they are getting very scattered. 

The best bags still seem to be coming on Alabama rigs or grubs fished offshore.  Look around channel swings, point drops and channel edges in 10-18 feet of water in the creeks and the main lake. When you find the bait there should be fish nearby. 

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

Reid McGinn and Brandon Williams with an almost-winning bag
Reid McGinn and Brandon Williams with an almost-winning bag

The catfish bite is still good on Lake Wylie, and Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that they are usually catching a couple of good 12-19 pound fish each hour – sometimes more and sometimes less.  Drifting and anchoring are overall producing about the same, but on windy days drifting is working better. On calm days the best pattern has been anchoring and putting out lines around ledges with sharp vertical changes in areas where there is bait and birds. Fish are generally in 5-25 feet of water and cut shad have been working the best. 

Look for catfish to start moving northward with additional rains and increased day length as spring approaches.

January 20

Lake Wylie is up to 98.6% of full pool and surface water temperatures are about 49 degrees.  Water clarity has improved and the lake is slightly stained with a green hue. 

The bass fishing remains brutally tough on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that even though a 14.41 pound bag was brought to the scales this week that included a big fish that approached 7 pounds. Below that was 10.83 pounds and multiple teams did not weigh in or catch a fish.

Now that water conditions are improving the fishing may improve, but for now most of the fish seem to still be piled and suspended out in the deepest parts of the channel. The last time someone caught a really good bag in these conditions they got on a good school of hungry, suspended deep fish with a grub. 

The best bet is still throwing Alabama rigs around channel swings, point drops and channel edges in 10-18 feet of water in the creeks and the main lake. It’s also still worth grinding a shallow crankbait around the banks but don’t expect many bites.    

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

Vinny Ferreri and Chris Goodwin with probably the last really good tournament bag caught on Wylie (Dec. 19)
Vinny Ferreri and Chris Goodwin with probably the last really good tournament bag caught on Wylie (Dec. 19)

The catfish bite has improved on Lake Wylie, and Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that he is upgrading his assessment of the action to very good. The bites aren’t rapid but they are very consistent, and they are catching 2-6 fish each hour generally ranging from 12-22 pounds. 

The best pattern has been anchoring and putting out lines around ledges with sharp vertical changes in areas where there is bait and birds. Fish are generally in 5-25 feet of water and cut shad have been working the best. 

Even though it is conventional to drift when there is wind, Rodger’s boat is having better success anchoring out of the wind.

January 13

Lake Wylie is at 97.8% of full pool and surface water temperatures range from about 47-48 degrees. The lake has gotten stained again. 

Well, that didn’t last long.  Tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that the bass fishing has gotten tougher again on Wylie, and in the last tournament on the lake it only took 11 pounds to win. Perhaps the clearest indicator of how hard it is to catch bass is that more than half of the field in the last tournament called it before the end of the day. 

This is not altogether surprising since Reid credited clearing water conditions with the improvement in the bite last week, but then once again the lake started to get dirty. That suspended fish all over again. It’s not that you can’t fish doing anything else, but basically the only people doing well right now are throwing Alabama rigs. They are fishing channel swings, point drops and channel edges in 10-18 feet of water in the creeks and the main lake. 

It’s still worth grinding a shallow crankbait around the banks but don’t expect many bites.    

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

The catfish bite is still pretty good on Lake Wylie, although Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that quite a few anglers report struggling to catch fish. From what he has seen these anglers are drifting, while the key right now is to set up and anchor. The fish do move so fishermen don’t need to worry about fish not seeing their baits.

The best places to fish have been ledges, points and drop-offs in the mouth of creeks, and they are anchoring the baits at a variety of depths in 6-20 feet of water. However, one change is that they are also catching some fish further back in the creeks. Gizzard shad have been the bait of choice. 

While Rodger is not fishing the river channel much right now, if there are some windy days then instead of fighting it he will try drifting the channel again.

Donna Taylor with a good one caught recently on Wylie
Donna Taylor with a good one caught recently on Wylie

January 7

Lake Wylie is at 96.9% of full pool and surface water temperatures range from about 48-50 degrees. The lake is finally clearing. 

The bass fishing also finally seems to be looking up on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that in the last couple of tournaments on the lake there have been 16 pounds bags brought to the scales – with 14-pound sacks right behind them in both. It seems that what is finally happening is that fish are starting to get on some of their normal winter spots instead of being suspended all over the place.

One winning pattern is throwing Alabama rigs around channel swings, point drops and channel edges, and jerkbaits have also been fishing well on main points that have some wind blowing on them. You can also grind a shallow crankbait around the banks, and instead of catching 4-6 bass in a day of fishing they are starting to get more fish on this pattern.  

All of these patterns seem to be getting more consistent and should only get better going forward. 

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

The catfish bite is also picking up on Lake Wylie, and Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that the action has gotten better and he now rates the blue cat bite as pretty strong. The numbers are good with 20 plus fish on recent trips ranging mostly from 8-19 pounds, and the average catch is 12-14 pounds. They have also landed a 32- and 37-pounder recently. 

The best places to fish have been ledges, points and drop-offs in the mouth of creeks, and they are anchoring the baits at a variety of depths in 6-20 feet of water.  They have not had much action back in the creeks.  Gizzard shad have been the bait of choice.

Another big Wylie blue caught this week with Captain Rodger Taylor
Another big Wylie blue caught this week with Captain Rodger Taylor

December 20

Lake Wylie is at 97.0% of full pool and surface water temperatures are down to 51-53 degrees. The lake has been dirty but the lower end is the clearest section.  

It’s still pretty brutal out there for bass on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that the last three weekends it has taken about 10 pounds to win. He and his tournament partner took third and big fish in a recent tournament with a single 4.46 pound bass!

The best fishing seems to be in the cleaner water on the south end, and both in the main lake and the creeks people are starting to throw Alabama rigs around channel swings. With dirty conditions over much of the lake crankbaits, spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits have also been popular. 

There has also been some schooling first thing.

Reid notes that, while there are a few different patterns, considering the tournament weights keep in mind that they are all a very slow grind.

If you want to catch fish you are better off going after catfish on Lake Wylie, and Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports even though the bite has slowed a bit he rates it as “good”.  On cut shad he is catching fish ranging from about 6 to 37 pounds.  The best action is in the lower lake from Buster Boyd Bridge south, and the two best patterns are anchoring in 5-20 feet off points and drifting deep flats in 25-32 feet.

A good one caught recently with Captain Rodger Taylor
A good one caught recently with Captain Rodger Taylor

November 19

Lake Wylie is at 97.2% of full pool and surface water temperatures are in the mid-60s. They are pulling a ton of water through the lake such that the upper end is clearing while the lower end has gotten very muddy. 

At this point it sounds like a broken record, but tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that the bass fishing remains brutally tough on Lake Wylie. While a respectable 14-4 bag (four fish) won a recent tournament, second place dropped to five fish that went 6 pounds! And in a recent CATT event only 7 pounds was good for the win. 

While there are still some fish in the creeks, the “best” pattern the last few days has been fishing a spinnerbait or Chatterbait in the muddy water of the main lake shallows. A crankbait can also get some bites around shallow rock. 

Up the lake in the clearer water the creek pattern is fishing a little better, and you can catch fish in a more traditional fall pattern on topwater lures, spinnerbaits and crankbaits around bait schools.

October 20

Lake Wylie is at 97.3% of full pool and surface water temperatures are around 70-71 degrees. Usually October and November have some of the clearest water of the year, but probably as a result of a lot of suspended solids the water is a turbid dark green. 

It’s a “good” bite for blue and channel catfish on Lake Wylie, and Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that they are catching strong numbers of teenage-sized fish. There are a few fish in the 20s, and a few smaller ones, but right now the population of 12-18 pound blues seems to be really healthy. 

As it gets colder the bite should get even better, but for right now fish are in transition mode. Some days they will be on the upslope of the river channel in 32-44 feet of water, while another day they will be on the flats just off the channel in 32-34 feet. Drifting is the preferred method and Rodger’s boat is almost exclusively using gizzard shad. Occasionally they will fish with bluegill.

Captain Rodger Taylor with a "standard"-sized Lake Wylie catfish for right now
Captain Rodger Taylor with a "standard"-sized Lake Wylie catfish for right now

The bass fishing remains brutally tough on Lake Wylie, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that it’s not unheard of for a good fishermen to spend 8 hours on the water and not catch anything.  That’s not to say no one is catching fish, but it’s the opposite of easy.

While there obviously remains no great pattern, the best bet is to get in the creeks and work your way down the bank all the way to the flats in the back.  Throw a buzzbait or square-bill, and when there are fish in the area you should know it.  The bass are almost pelagic following shad right now and so they are more oriented to the channel contours than any type of cover or structure. Keep your eyes open as there is some occasional schooling activity. 

You can also fish a jig around docks if you want to try to target bass that are eating bream.

October 9

Lake Wylie is at 96.7% of full pool and surface water temperatures are around 72-73 degrees.

Anyone hoping for a seasonal improvement with the bass fishing on Lake Wylie would be disappointed so far, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that it only took about 9 pounds to win a recent CATT tournament. It’s unclear why the fishing remains so tough.

While there is no great pattern, the best bet is to look for bass that have followed bait into the middle to backs of creeks. Buzzbaits, Whopper Ploppers, spinnerbaits, square-bills and Rattle Traps could all catch fish, but you usually have to be around shad to get bites fishing this way.  

You can also fish a jig around docks if you want to try to target bass that are eating bream. 

There is not much schooling activity to speak of. 

The blue and channel catfish remain relatively scattered on Lake Wylie, and Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that patterns are unlikely to change very much until we get significant rain or the weather turns sharply cooler.   As a result that means drifting, and they are catching good numbers of blues in the 12-22 pound range as well as a mix of channel catfish.  The best area to drift is flats off the main channel during the day.  

At night they are setting up in less than 8 feet of water and fishing long sloping points near deep water, sandy banks littered with Asiatic clam shells, and wind-blown banks.  They are getting 5-10 good fish at night most trips.  Shad, white perch, and bluegill heads are working the best.

A nice Wylie blue caught recently with Captain Rodger Taylor
A nice Wylie blue caught recently with Captain Rodger Taylor

September 24

Lake Wylie is back up to 96.7% of full pool and surface water temperatures are around 76 degrees on the south end of the lake. The water is a chalky color almost like it is starting to turn over (which it probably is not.)

As temperatures drop the bass on Lake Wylie are starting to get more and more into fall patterns, and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that fish have gone further into the creeks following shad.  The bait has gotten into the middle section of creeks and sometimes even further back.  Buzzbaits, Whopper Ploppers and other topwater lures can all work, and square-billed crankbaits have also been productive this week. 

There has been less schooling activity in recent years, for reasons that are unclear, but by the end of September what schooling action there will be should have started.

While many bass will be eating shad there are still a lot that are eating bream, and so there is also a pretty good jig bite around docks. 

The blue and channel catfish are relatively scattered on Lake Wylie, but Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that they are catching good numbers of fish in the 8-14 pound range with an occasional large fish over 30.   The best way to catch the blues is drifting in 15-25 feet of water during the day.  At night they are setting up in less than 8 feet of water and fishing long sloping points near deep water, sandy banks littered with Asiatic clam shells, and wind-blown banks.  They are getting 5-10 good fish at night most trips.  Shad, white perch, and bluegill heads are working the best.

A nice blue caught recently with Captain Rodger Taylor
A nice blue caught recently with Captain Rodger Taylor

September 16

Lake Wylie is down to 95.7% of full pool and morning surface water temperatures are in the lower 80s.   

Some positive seasonal changes are starting to take place with the bass on Lake Wylie and tournament angler Reid McGinn of Fort Mill reports that fish are just starting to move into the creeks following shad. The bait has been mostly suspended in the river channels, but it is starting to move into the middle section of the creeks heading towards the backs. As it congregates in bigger groups fish are starting to feed better on buzzbaits, Whopper Ploppers and other topwater lures. There has been less schooling activity in recent years, for reasons that are unclear, but by the end of September what schooling action there will be should start up.

While many bass will be eating shad there are still a lot that are eating bream, and so there is also a pretty good jig bite around docks. 

Reid's nephew was very proud of these two fish - as he should be!
Reid's nephew was very proud of these two fish - as he should be!

There’s not a lot of change in the catfish pattern on Lake Wylie, and Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that water temperatures will have to drop several more degrees before the cats really start to behave differently.  The day bite is still better than the night bite, but at night they are still catching some nice blues and the occasional flathead anchoring on ledges and covering the range from very shallow to deep water.  However, the best action is on days with a steady wind and on the lower end they are still having very good results drifting 30-39 foot flats just off the channel.  Cut white perch continues to be the best bait.

 

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