Santee Cooper Fishing Report
Lake levels are about 2 1/2 feet below full pool in Lake Marion and 1 1/2 feet below full pool in Moultrie.
Bream: Good. Captain Steve English (843-729-4044) reports that bream fishing continues to be pretty strong in the canal, although fish may be starting to move out into deeper water. Bream fishing has also been good around brushpiles, with the best concentrations of fish 12-16 feet down over the top of brush in 24-30 feet of water.
Crappie: Good. Captain Steve English reports that crappie can be caught around brush, with the best action in 32-40 feet of water. Fish minnows about 18-22 feet deep. Captain English has found that the crappie fishing is much better in the upper lake right now.
Captain Jim Glenn (843-825-4239) reports that in addition to the brush pattern crappie have also been caught in good numbers in the bigger creeks on Lake Marion. Folks have had success fishing from docks and piers during late evening or from daylight until around 9 o’clock or so. Fishing some lighted docks at night has been good as well.
Striped Bass: Fair. Captain Jim Glenn reports that overall striper fishing is fair, although by most accounts there are not many keeper fish being caught. There is some schooling activity when folks cast jigs and spoons to visible fish. Drifting live herring or free-lining is also producing some stripers.
Catfish: Slow to fair. Captain Jim Glenn reports that catfishing remains slow in both lakes, with fair fishing from time to time. Mixed creels of channels and blue cats are reported on Lake Moultrie drifting in 25 plus feet of water with cut herring, mullet, menhaden or white perch. In Lake Marion some success is reported drifting or anchoring in or near the visible timber.
Largemouth bass: Slow to fair. Captain Jimmie Hair (843-553-1139) reports that his boat is catching a few fish, primarily in the upper lake, fishing around trees and in the backs of creeks. Shallow-running crankbaits and square-billed crankbaits are working well in the backs, and worms are most productive around the trees. Fish are following shad and so it is important to find baitfish. Captain Hair is catching all of his fish in 10 feet or less, but some fish may be located deeper by following bait schools.
In the Cooper River some fish are feeding around grass beds, as well as at the traditional mouths of the rice fields on the dropping tide.
DHEC fish advisories: Largemouth bass and bowfin (mudfish) should only be eaten once per week.