Midlands area fishing report

Lake Greenwood:

Crappie: Fair. Guide Rod Wall reports that fish are being found in the creeks about 15-20 feet deep, and a foot or two off the bottom. It is a very slow, lethargic bite and darker colored jigs tipped with minnows are most visible in the stained water.

Catfish: Fair. Captain Chris Simpson reports that a few channel catfish are being caught by drifting, but anchoring on the channel ledges is producing more fish right now. The channel cats don't appear to be very aggressive and so a still presentation is working best. Anchor where you can place baits up in the shallows as well as all the way down in the channel. Cut herring, gizzard shad and white perch will all work.

Striped and Largemouth Bass: Slow. Stanley Gunter of the 2009 SC Champion Greenwood Bassmasters reports that the bite is really tough. There are reports of a few bass being picked up on Shad Raps and jigging spoons but no pattern is hot.

Lake Wateree:

Crappie: Fair to good. Will Hinson of the Southern Crappie Tournament Trail reports that fish had moved shallow before the water got so high. However, the best bet right now is to look at the mouths of creeks and along the edges of river runs in mid-lake areas like Singleton Creek, Beaver Creek and Colonel's Creek. Tight-line with plain minnows 15-18 feet deep over 18-22 feet of water.

Catfish: Slow to fair. Captain Rodger Taylor reports that large blue catfish in the 30-60+ pound range had been biting very well for the last month on cut shad anchored on the bottom, but the bite seems to have slowed down as fish may have already gorged.

Largemouth Bass: Slow. CATT Owner Brett Collins reports that Wateree is known for being difficult in the winter, and the last few weeks have been no exception. He has his best luck with a Shad Rap fished very slowly when it is cold. 2009 FLW Co-Angler of the Year Dearal Rodgers suggests fishing along steep, rocky banks in the lower lake with jigs, shakey head worms or large spinnerbaits. A slow presentation is critical.

Lake Monticello:

Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that shad are dying off and the catfish continue to feed well, although the bite is getting less consistent. Anchoring along deep water ledges continues to be the key" the sharper the drop-off, the better the fishing. Most of the aggressive fish will be found in 40-70 feet of water, and cut gizzard shad is the best bait.

Lake Murray:

Bream: Very good. Dooley's Sports Shop reports that the hot bite on Lake Murray continues to be for shellcracker. Look around secondary points with hard shell bottoms in 4-8 feet of water and fish with baby nightcrawlers.

Crappie: Good. Dooley's reports that crappie are being caught in the creek runs trolling and tight-lining 15-18 feet deep over 20-25 feet of water. Jig/ minnow combinations are working best.

Striped Bass: Fair. Dooley's reports the best fishing is from the Gap around Dreher Island State Park to the river split. Look for the birds and cast bucktails and ice flies. Free lined live herring will also work, but with very cold weather many anglers are turning to more durable large shiners.

Catfish: Fair. Captain Chris Simpson reports that lots of blue catfish are suspended under baitfish, but there are still some channel catfish that can be caught using traditional bottom fishing methods such as Santee-style drifting.

Largemouth Bass: Slow. Captain Doug Lown reports that a combination of cold temperatures, current from pulling water and muddy conditions is still making for a bite as tough as he can remember on Lake Murray. Anglers report catching fish on #7 Shad Raps, jigs fished around brush, and jerkbaits, but the most consistent bite Captain Doug has found is coming fishing a jigging spoon vertically in 30-40 feet of water" and even that bite has been tough.