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Santee Cooper Winter 2014-15 Fishing Report (Updated March 15)

  • by Jay

Lake Marion is at 75.2, about a foot and a half below full pool, and Lake Moultrie is at 75.0, about six inches below full pool. Water temperatures are climbing fast.

Crappie: Good. Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that crappie have moved up shallow into the backs of creeks, and they can be caught around the edges in 3-8 feet of water. The best advice is to anchor and then cast jigs and minnows towards the target depth range.

Shad/ herring: Good.  Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) reports that there has been a very good recreational shad and herring fishery in the rivers this year. Water flow though the dams at St. Stephens and Jeffries is critical to keep the fish oriented to the current and striking Sabiki rigs and small jigs/ grubs.

Largemouth bass: Good. Captain Steve English reports that the rapid rise in water temperatures has quickly improved bass fishing on the lakes, and fish are properly in pre-spawn mode. Steve suspects that in the blackwater ponds there are even a few fish already fanning beds, but he has not seen them. Fishing worm and Senkos in 3-6 feet of water in the very backs is the best bet, and as always at this time of year anglers should be cognizant of spawning areas and fish the places that lead to them. If you haven’t seen it check out the 42.3 pound bag pictured below caught by Brian Tyler on the Cooper River in the SC Bass Federation tournament Saturday, and read more here.

Catfish: Slow to fair.  Captain Jim Glenn reports that catfishing remains slow to fair. While there has been some improved shallow water fishing recently, weather has still been an issue for lots of people who have remained on dry land. For now catfish can be found both deep and shallow, with anchoring the best bet for success. Also try fishing for cats around suspended bait in deep water, or in wind-blown shallow areas.

Bream: Slow to fair. Captain Steve English reports that for now bream are still out deeper in 15-20 feet of water around brush. They will take crickets.

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

Brian Tyler Shows off 42+ Pounds of Cooper River Bass
Brian Tyler Shows off 42+ Pounds of Cooper River Bass