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The bait is stacked up behind the Wateree dam... but where are the striper?

  • by Jay

Whenever the author is in the area he likes to check out the action behind the Wateree dam, one of the coolest bank fishing areas we know of.  They catch everything back there, but the spring run of striper and catfish can be a sight to behold.  It's also a pleasure to watch anglers cooperating... if they don't there's no chance of pulling a 40-pound catfish or hard-fighting keeper striper out as it crosses multiple lines making its way down the river.   Especially when several anglers are usually hooked up at the same time.  

Anyway, we just had a chance to make it up there and the amount of bait is incredible.  Threadfin shad around the wall are so thick they look like pond goldfish climbing on top of each other at feeding time, and big 1-3 pound gizzard shad boiling the surface just a few feet off the structure.  A commercial bait guy filled his tanks in minutes.  But while the catfish are there and we saw plenty of big blues caught, the striper don't seem to have arrived yet.  It follows the trend from the Santee lakes where fish haven't been their way up towards Pack's (see the Santee report), and while there are theories no one is quite sure why...

Abundant shad all around the banks