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South Carolina Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

Lake Moultrie Sponsored by
Date 05-Dec-16
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : Lake Moultrie: Santee Cooper water levels are down to 73.7 in Lake Marion (full pool is 76.8) and 73.5 in Lake Moultrie (full pool is 75.5). Main lake surface temperatures range from about 60-61 degrees.

Catfish: The bite for numbers of catfish continues to be good, but Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) suspects that the big fish bite is about to be wide open. On recent trips Jim’s boat has continued to catch tons of 1-6 pound fish, with the biggest fish recently in the 15-19 pound range. There have been some trips where barely any fish broke 10 pounds, but anglers still got their line pulled plenty. However, with the cold weather coming the big fish should turn on soon. This week last year Jim’s boat caught two 50 plus pound fish, and the 10th they boated an 82-pound catfish. At times there have been severe winds which have made fishing a challenge, while at other times there has been so little wind that drifting without a motor was impossible. Overall the best action has come either drifting when there is wind or down-rodding when it is calm (dropping baits vertically over fish, without an anchor) in the mid-20s to about 30 feet of water. Most any fresh cut bait will catch fish.

Crappie fishing has not been wide open according to Captain Steve English (843-729-4044), but they have caught some very nice fish including the 17-incher pictured below. Brush in about 18-25 feet of water has been the most productive, and they have been fishing about 12-20 feet down over that brush. Excellent numbers of bream have been caught over the same depth brush, and on a recent trip they kept 160 bream (and threw back at least that many) fishing 10-15 feet down with crickets. Some brush has more bream, while some has more crappie. If both are present the bream are usually more aggressive at getting to baits. There are still a lot of blugill and white perch in the canal, but soon Steve says that they will leave and then the shellcracker will take over.

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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