Lake Wateree is at 97.4% of full pool and water temperatures are rising.
Catfish: Good. Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that overall the bite is pretty good on Lake Wateree. While large schools of threadfin and small gizzard shad can be found about halfway back in the major creek arms, the bigger gizzard shad are still holding deep in the main channel about 25-30 feet down. Most catfish will be found close to that same depth and even deeper right now, although there is still the chance to catch fish shallower. Native cut gizzard shad are a fine bait for all sizes of catfish in the winter on Lake Wateree.
Crappie: Fair to good. Veteran tournament angler Will Hinson reports that with warmer water temperatures fishing is fast improving, and for the next three or so weeks the fishing should be very strong. Rising water temperatures mean that some fish are in the backs of creeks like Dutchman’s already, and because temperatures are rising so fast the crappie are moving in pretty quickly. Fish are suspended in about 6-10 feet of water, and anglers should try to target them by long-line trolling jigs and minnows in about the middle of the water column. That is, in 6 feet of water anglers should aim to fish 3 feet down and in 10 feet they should aim to be about 5 feet down. Fish do remain out deeper on the main lake, but with water temperatures rising and fish wanting to spawn it is no mystery which way they are headed.
Largemouth Bass: Improving. Tournament angler Dearal Rodgers (803-223-1117) reports bass fishing is quickly improving on Lake Wateree as water temperatures are jumping upwards. The most catchable fish were already shallow, but now that water temperatures have moved into the mid- to upper-50s that will get even more true. Fish are in pre-spawn mode and will take reaction baits like crankbaits, spinnerbaits and chatterbaits in the mornings. Jigs will also catch fish all day. Docks at the entrance to spawning coves are a good place to look.
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DHEC Fish Advisories: Due to PCB advisories visit http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/fish/Advisories/lakeWateree.htm before consuming any Lake Wateree fish.