Santee Cooper Fishing Report
Lake levels are about 1 ½ feet below full pool in Lake Marion and six inches below full pool in Lake Moultrie.
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) reports that catfishing appears to be improving on the lakes, and his boat has begun to catch some good catfish in shallow water while anchored. Teenage-sized fish as well bigger fish have been landed. Night-time shallow water fishing is also starting to come on, and some fish have been caught in this pattern fishing in both lakes recently. Good fish have also been caught drifting in middle depths recently.
Largemouth bass: Fair to good. Reports indicate that fish can be found up shallow where they have moved into pre-spawn and spawning locations, but there are also still a number of fish out deeper. Water temperatures have not moved up as much as usual because of inconsistent air temperatures and then the cool freshwater inflow from the rivers. Regardless, the best pattern as more and more fish arrive shallow is to fish around shallow cover including trees, grass and lily pads with soft plastics.
Crappie: Fair. Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that this has been a strange spring for Santee Cooper crappie, and with cold freshwater inflows as well as inconsistent temperatures fish have been moving in and out instead of consistently moving up and then staying shallow. The fish have been unsettled, and while some fish are up shallow, or have spawned, more are still out in about 16 feet of water. With warmer temperatures fish should progress forward and complete a more orderly spawn where they can be caught with jigs and minnows trolled and cast. After that they should head out to the brushpiles in their traditional post-spawn pattern.
Bream: Fair. Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that the bream bite is not wide open yet, although with the full moon a few days away it is expected to heat up very quickly. For now bluegill continue to be found around deeper brush piles in about 18 feet of water, and a few shellcracker are up shallow. On this moon phase shellcracker should make a strong run to the banks.
Striped bass: No reports.
DHEC fish advisories: Largemouth bass and bowfin (mudfish) should only be eaten once per week.