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South Carolina Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

Lake Moultrie Sponsored by
Date 01-Apr-17
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : Lake Moultrie: TSantee Cooper water levels are at 74.69 in Lake Marion (full pool is 76.8) and Lake Moultrie (full pool is 75.5). Water conditions are extremely clear for Santee, and temperatures range from about 60-65 depending on location.

It's that time of year when some monster tournament bass bags are caught on the Santee Cooper lakes, and tournament anglers Steve Harmon and Bryan Cook know a thing or two about catching those big spring females. Steve and Bryan finished with about 26 pounds for 3rd place in a recent tournament, and they weighed in a whopping 32 pounds to win the Goose Creek Bass Club Open!

Steve says that right now locating fish on the Santee lakes is a "no-brainer", and fish are coming shallow to spawn. In late February a wave of male fish came shallow and made beds, but then the cold weather backed those fish off. For a variety of reasons Steve doesn't think that many females moved up and actually spawned in February, and so it was really more like a "false spawn." This time around the big females have moved up, and this is the real deal. Early in the morning anglers can look for cruising fish or bass holding around depressions or grass, and this is a good time to throw buzzbaits or swimbaits. As the sun comes up anglers need to look shallow for fish on beds.

Steve anticipates that this pattern will hold for the next few weeks, and he points out there are a couple of unique factors this spring. First, water levels are a lot lower than usual for the spring, and he believes this is confusing a lot of fish. You just can't go to the same places you fish every year, as no two springs are the same. Additionally, the water is extremely clear for Santee. This can make for some good sight-fishing, but also makes the fish more skittish.

Reported by: SCDNR

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About: - Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie are part of the Santee Cooper lake system.  The two lake combine for over 170,000 surface arces and are joined by the 6.5 mile Diversion Canal. At this time the lakes hold a world record Channel Catfish (58 Ibs) and a Warmouth weighing 2.2 Ibs was caught in a creek a few miles from lake Marion. These lakes held the record for striped bass until 1977, its weight was 55 Ibs. State records held are: Largemouth Bass (16.2 Ibs), Black Crappie (5 Ibs), Chain (Jack) (6.4 Ibs), Channel Catfish (58 Ib.), Arkansas Blue (109.4 Ibs)

The Santee Cooper Lakes vary from shallow swamps and blackwater ponds to vast open water with a multitude of underwater structures. Lake Marion was not completely cleared, as a result, fishermen will find there are thousands upon thousands of stumps, standing dead tree trunks and live cypress trees. Lake Moultrie is more open and is 14 miles across at its widest point.

These lakes do not ice over during the winter and there is no closed season for fishing season. Weather permitting, fishermen can fish year round.

  • Largemouth Bass
  • Striper Bass
  • Crappie
  • Catfish

Misc Info: -

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