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Santee Cooper Fishing News and Report

  • by Jay

Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) reports that he has had some good days recently drifting for catfish on Lake Moultrie, and on a recent trip drifting white perch in 14-25 feet of water yielded about a dozen fish with more than half of them keepers.  Included were the 14- and 17-pound fish pictured below, as well a very nice 10-pound channel and some 4-6 pound channels.  The throwbacks were mainly small white catfish.

Reports indicate that the bite is overall “fair” on Lake Moultrie, but overall slow on Lake Marion as well in the Diversion Canal, both day and night.

Similarly, Captain Linwood Thornhill (843-509-8174) reports that some nice catfish are being caught on the lakes, as well as lots of small 3-7 pound fish.  Like Jim he is doing his fishing drifting where he finds the fish, generally in 10-40 feet of water.

A party displays some nice fish caught on Captain Jim Glenn's boat
A party displays some nice fish caught on Captain Jim Glenn’s boat

Overall, Santee Cooper water levels are very low with Lake Marion about 4 ½ feet below full pool and Lake Moultrie about 3 ½ feet below full pool.

Crappie: Good to very good. Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that crappie fishing remains very strong with parties loading the boat most days.  Crappie can be found around brush in 12-22 feet of water, with 16-18 feet the best range.  The upper lake has been better but the lower lake is now coming on strong.

Bream: Good.  Captain Steve English reports that big bluegill are finally leaving shallow water and starting to show up on brushpiles in 12-14 feet of water where they will eat crickets and other baits.  Recently fishing in the lower lake has been better.

Largemouth Bass: Feast or famine.  Captain Linwood Thornhill (843-509-8174) reports that top anglers in a recent tournament brought bags weighing 29 and 26 pounds to the scales, which are are outstanding sacks particularly at this time of year.  However, other anglers struggled and reported terrible fishing.  With water levels so far down anglers are unable to fish a lot of the areas that they typically target, and it seems that the best weights have been coming off of brushpiles in the 10-15 foot range – and perhaps a bit deeper.  Plastic worms, jigs and crankbaits have all been catching fish.

DHEC fish advisories: Largemouth bass and bowfin (mudfish) should only be eaten once per week.