It appears that the bite for Santee Cooper catfish is finally turning a corner, and after a rough winter Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) reports more consistent results on recent trips. While the bite is still sporadic, fishing for the last three days Jim reports catching 10-15 fish per day – good enough to now rate the bite as “fair” instead of very slow a few weeks ago. As it has been much of the fall and winter two classes of fish continue to be caught: small fish in the 2-10 pound range, and big fish in the upper 20s on up to 80 pounds. There are little to no intermediate-sized fish in the teenage weight class being landed. Each of the last three days Jim’s boat caught one or more fish in the 28-34 pound class to go with smaller fish.
Jim has found the most success drifting cut shad in the 25-31 foot range on Lake Moultrie, and as a side note commercial shad fishermen are starting to get some early season big American shad (in nets – not yet on rod and reel). Water conditions have not improved significantly although the rate of inflow has slowed down slightly. Water levels are still very high and the latest reading has Lake Moultrie a couple of inches above full pool at 75.7, while Lake Marion is about 6 inches below full pool at 76.1. The water that is flowing into the lakes is still very cold, and the lakes overall are about 47 degrees and quite muddy.