Santee Cooper Fishing Report
Lake levels are about 1 ½ feet below full pool in Lake Marion while Lake Moultrie is about 6 inches below full pool.
Crappie: Good. Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that crappie are still in a healthy summer feeding pattern and some nice fish continue to be caught. Up the creeks he has been catching some fish in 8-14 feet of water, while out on the main lakes he has been catching fish around brush in 12-20 feet of water. Minnows are working best and Lake Marion has produced better than Lake Moultrie.
Bream: Fair to good. Captain Steve English reports that tough weather conditions have kept the bream bite from getting as good as it should be, but with the full moon on the 10th he expects a lot of fish to move up shallow to spawn. Even after the bedding ends this is the time to prowl the banks and cast crickets and worms to shallow cover.
Catfish: Slow. Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) reports no significant changes with the catfish bite recently, although the recent increase in inflow into the system could put catfish on the move and improve fishing – especially in Lake Marion. The best chances for success will be fishing at anchor at night in 4-10 feet of water, and even during some daylight periods. Prospecting is required since the bite is far from fast. Drifting a range of depths both day and night may help locate feeding blue catfish, or a channel catfish or a faithead. Baitfish are scattered in both deep and shallow water. Best bait options will be fresh cut herring, shad, white perch, or other fresh cut fish. Channel catfish can still be caught with commercially prepared baits, particularly at night.
Largemouth bass: Very slow. Captain Steve English reports that bass fishing activity is light to non-existent on the Santee Cooper lakes right now. If anglers are willing to put in a lot of time fish may be catchable around cypress trees, but there is no easy pattern right now. Many fish are probably out deeper following bait schools where they are more difficult to target. In the Santee and Cooper Rivers there is better bass fishing right now.
Captain Jim Glenn reminds anglers that striped bass season is closed.
DHEC fish advisories: Largemouth bass and bowfin (mudfish) should only be eaten once per week.