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macfish

Santee-Cooper Help

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As a transplant from the snowy North country (CT) I'm finding the bass fishing to be quite different here in SC. In the north shad are not a large part of the forage base, mostly bluegill, crawfish, perch, shiners, etc. I now live near Lake Marion just off of Wyboo creek and I'm struggling with finding the bass at times. Admittedly, I have been mostly a "bank pounder" since most of my fishing has been in ponds and natural lakes and not in huge reservoirs like Santee-Cooper. A couple of days ago the water temps in the main lake were about 57 degrees so based on what I've read I tried fishing the points and channels at the mouths of the 2 large creeks here and basically came up empty. I tried a lot of different lures like jerk baits, spinner baits, cranks, and even some plastics. I have a SI unit on my Skeeter and did a lot of looking around as well as fishing but could not seem to locate any concentration of fish or baitfish. Over the last few years I have had some success fishing here but not with any consistency except during the spawn. Pre and post spawn seems to be when I struggle most. I know these are pretty common issues but I am not a beginner, but the conditions here seem to have me more confused than normal. Is there something about the different forage base that I'm not understanding or are the feast or famine results I'm having more common here in the South. I would sure appreciate any help I can get. Thanks,

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Hey, macfish.. I feel ya. I've been out on S-C a few times and have struggled. I can't imagine there aren't a lotta bass in there, but I haven't been able to hook up. I've just ascribed it to the fact that I can't get out there on a consistent basis.

 

One place I have seen a lot of fish on beds is about two cove arms away from Taw Caw campground toward the main lake, on the east side. There was some water willow there; that was 3-4 years ago.

 

The S-C system has shad, but they're ocean-run American shad and the dams don't pass the migrants very well (in a lot of lakes, when they say "follow the shad", they mean threadfin or hickory shad, which do better spawning in lakes than American). 

 

One forage item the S-C system is chock with is crayfish -- the swampy cove arms produce them in droves. That might be a clue.

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Thanks Minnow, I've also had some luck in some of the cove arms in Taw Caw and Wyboo creeks during the spawn but it always seems to be all or nothing. I know there are a lot fish here but I think they really get hammered because there are so many tournaments, That would probably be a good way to get to know some of the local guys but that's just not my thing so I guess I'll just keep trying to fish during the week.

 

Now that you mention it, many of the fish I have caught were on jigs or craw imitations so maybe I'll put a little more effort in that area. if things do get more consistent for me I'll be sure to post it here. until then I'll keep praying for warmer weather and water.

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I grew up on Santee.  Had a house on Wyboo. Fished alot of club tournements, won some. Haven't fished it in 20 years, but I'll give you my 2 cents worth.  Wyboo, Potato Creek, Taw Caw are NOT the best areas to fish.  Like you said,  its tough.  Best bet is to wait until late april/may and start fishing top water. Try the flats out on the main lake headed toward  Goat Island. Fish the cyprus trees/grass beds and back water ponds.

 

My suggestion for this time of year would be to follow the dam over to the Rocks Pond area. Lots of back water ponds over there;good fishing.
Also lots of flats with cyprus trees.

 

Also trailer up to Packs Landing at the North end of the lake. Great fishing up there; SB/worms around the cypress trees/grass.

 

One of the hottest areas this time of year is in the lower lake around Angels landing. Its a good boat ride from Wyboo but worth it. Follow the dam all the way to the canal, go down the canal and turn left. Find Angels landing and go back iinto the coves, backwater ponds. You'll have lots of company.

 

Hope this helps. Really miss that lake.  There are 30+ lbs sacks caught this time of year up there. 

 

Good fishing.

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Thanks sprintfns always nice to get tips from residents even if it was a while ago. Areas that produce don't seem to change that much IMO. I've fished the Rocks Pond area great results the first time and not so good after that, not sure I found the same spots since I did not have the GPS the first time to save the waypoints, It can get confusing in that area. The Angels Landing area is a new one that I'll be sure to try soon and I'm going back to Rocks Pond too, thanks again

 

BTW, there was a FLW tourney this past weekend and in addition to several 30+ lb sacks, there was also a 34+ lb sack by a co-angler that was on the back of the boat of the eventual winner! Based on what I read looks like the bucks are on the banks but the females are still in the pre-spawn ditches.

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