Fishing Trends

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The following fishing reports are compiled by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and by professional and local anglers who own Anglers Headquarters, a fish charter business whose owners also work as fishing consultants for the S.C. DNR.

Freshwater Fishing Trends

Lake Murray

Bass: Tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that, while there are some fish which pretty much live shallow all year, in December the greatest number of fish will be found in deep water. Early in the winter is prime time for spoon fishing, and Alabama rigs will also catch fish.

Striped bass: Captain Brad Taylor reports that in December on Lake Murray there is no more popular pattern than throwing double rigs around feeding birds. Fish are all over the lake but the best numbers are up the lake.

Crappie: Captain Brad Taylor reports that in December the crappie should really turn on and move into the creek channels up the lake. Tight-lining close to the bottom should be the best pattern.

Catfish: Captain William Attaway reports that December is another excellent month for catching catfish on Lake Murray. Drifting or anchoring with cut bait in the river channels is the best pattern for blue catfish, but channel catfish should be spread out all over.

Santee Cooper

Bass: Captain Brett Mitchell reports that until the spring rolls around fish will be concentrating on shad, and in December that usually means looking for areas with current where the schools of bait are found. Shallow running crankbaits, spinnerbaits and small swimbaits are all good lure choices.

Crappie and Bream: Captain Steve English reports that this has only been a decent fall for crappie, but the bite could improve in December as it did last year when it got cold. The bream bite should continue to be excellent. In December fish will continue to be found around brush, likely still deeper brush. Minnows will catch crappie and crickets will catch bream.

Catfish: Captain Stevie English reports that in December fish should move about as deep as they will be found all year, and drifting steep ledges is probably the best way to catch them. Cut herring, shad or white perch will all work.

Saltwater Fishing Trends

Charleston

Inshore: Redfin Charters and Captain Rob Bennett report that December in Charleston is mostly about redfish and trout, and this should continue to be an outstanding season for both species. As the water clears it will be easier to visually locate big schools of redfish on low tide, and they will eat both artificial lures and live bait. There will also be some fish caught around docks.

Edisto Island

Inshore: Captain Ron Davis Jr. reports that, with the bait essentially gone inshore, this December both trout and redfish will take artificial lures as well as they go after bait in other parts of the year. With each drop of a couple of degrees the fish will feed more aggressively until temperatures bottom out. Redfish are mixed between the creeks and flats, with sight-fishing coming into its prime as the water clears. Trout will start out the month in both the main rivers and creeks, but as water temperatures drop the fish will mainly be in the creeks. At the beginning of the month flounder, sheepshead and more will still be around inshore, but they will become scarce as temperatures drop.

Beaufort

Inshore: Captain Tuck Scott with Bay Street Outfitters reports that as the water clears in December sight-fishing will become a better and better pattern, particularly on low tide but also when the water is first getting in the grass. Look for fish to be aggressive since water temperatures have not yet bottomed out. Scented soft plastics as well as natural baits will all work. Look for fish in moving water where they will eat soft plastics on ¼-ounce jigheads.

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