Lake Wylie is at 97.4% of full pool and water temperatures are in the low 60s. Clarity is pretty normal.
Despite a very hot March water temperatures have essentially been in a holding pattern over the last few weeks on Lake Wylie, and as a result FLW angler Bryan New says that it’s a pretty typical April bite on the lake. However, while the bite is pretty good Bryan is concerned that the quality of fish just isn’t where it has been in past years. While numbers of fish are normal and fairly strong, there seem to be a lot less big fish than in the past. And that’s coming from the guy who just pulled this one out of Lake Wylie last week!
Partly because the weather has been so funny and hasn’t really gotten warm this period has been particularly dragged out, and fish can be found at all three stages of the spawn right now. There are still a lot of pre-spawn fish, a lot of fish are on the beds (particularly little ones), and there is some post-spawn action. Bryan estimates that about 40% of the fish have spawned or are spawning right now, with 60% still to get started.
Both pre-spawn and post-spawn fish will be in the same type of areas, as Bryan says that fish basically move up onto spawning flats and pockets and then back out following the same “highways.” There are also some post-spawn fish (as well as a very pre-spawn bass) that have already made the move out to deeper water.
With fish scattered out there is no one dominant pattern, and Bryan says this is pretty much junk fishing at its best. Cranking the shallow flats for aggressive pre-spawn fish has been as good as anything, but for numbers of fish probably the best option is throwing a wacky-rigged worm. Some big fish will also eat it.
Catfish: Good. Captain Rodger Taylor (803-517-7828) reports that fish continue to transition up the lake using the river channels as a highway. Both the South Fork and the Catawba are producing. The edge of the rivers in 6-20 feet of water has been the best range, and humps in the same depth range are also good. It seems that humps provide the same feeding stations to the catfish as the sides of the channel do. Cut blueback herring and cut shad have both been working well.