Lake Monticello tips and info

Discussion in 'SOUTH CAROLINA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by chrisblue, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. chrisblue

    chrisblue New Member

    Messages:
    1,345
    State:
    SC
    Theres been alot of questions about Monticello lately so I will put forth the info I have, for what its worth.I've put alot of this info on old posts but its real scattered and takes alot of reading to find it all.I'll make it easier by putting it into one post.

    To start with nobody catches 30+ lb fish everytime they go there.Not me, not the older retired gentlemen that fish there 4 to 5 days a week or anybody else.Monticello is like no other lake around, it can be difficult to pattern fish, its a real hard lake to figure out.Just try to keep those things in mind when your trying to figure out how to catch the big ones and even when you have figured out how to catch the big ones.Big Mon can humble anybody.

    I have never spent much time doing the suspened (slip cork or straight down)drifting and the freeline drifting that alot of people do.Those ways tend to catch alot of eaters and some big ones from time to time but it dont always seem to be consistant for big ones thru-out the year.

    Simplicity is one of the biggest lessons I have learned as of late with catfishing in general.Monticello is no different.Putting to much thought into it can complicate things.

    I try to keep it pretty simple.

    January thru mid June- anchoring on humps, ledges, points and creek runs for me is the most consistant way of catching big ones.Fresh chunks of cut fish- gizzard shad, white perch, crappie and bream are my favorites.Herring will catch big ones at times but all the little fish in Monticello will often devour it before a big one gets to it.

    Patience and persistance is the biggest things.Alot of people have the Santee mentality of moving after 30 minutes if no action.Well you can throw that out the window on Monticello.Monticello is a small lake and theres plenty of fish in there.Theres just about nowhere you can go and not mark tons of fish.You basically have to find a high traveled area like the places I talked about above and sit and wait.If you know the fish are there then give them time.They might not feed within the first 30 minutes or the first hour.I normally give each spot 1 hour and 35 minutes.Usually if they hadnt fead by then then its time to move.You would be surprised at what can happen sometimes after sittin there for more than an hour.

    It might take numerous trips fishing like this before you catch a hawg but you got to stick with it and it will eventually happen.Some people get lucky and do it their first time.One things for sure though, everybody will get humbled but will be rewarded greatly if persistance is applied.

    Current is another important factor from mid April till mid June.The normal or average generating schedule is- They normally start filling the lake back up around midnight and the water is running good until around 9 to as late as 12 in the afternoon.You want notice much current on the upper end of the lake but you will notice some big time current on the lower end, especially on calm days.It would take a whole other page to explain how the current circulates thru the lake.

    Mid June thru December- Drifting with Santee style drift rigs from 30 to 130 foot of water.Yes, I said 130 foot of water all the way on the bottom.Theres only curtain places on the lake that it can be done but its the most rewarding fishing.

    Now I take alot of pride in this type of fishing and I dont talk about it much.Take a guide trip with me and I'll be glad to show you.

    Hey......... cant blame me for throwin that in there, guiding is more than half of my income most of the time.I cant reveal everything.:smile2:


    Monticello Preservation

    Keep in mind Monticello is a small lake and it cant withstand thousands of lbs of big fish coming out of it like Santee does.I do my part by letting everything over 30 lbs go.I even strongly encourage my clients to let the ones over 30 go.So far, nobody has kept one over 30.You cant ask for more than that as a guide.I do however encourage the harvest of all the little ones that are caught.It dont take a rocket scientist to figure out that it has to many little ones.

    Its small but its a rare jewel and we all need to protect it.


    Last but not least

    Please respect other fisherman.We are fortunate enough to have a no jetski and no waterskiing rule on Monticello.This is very good but the fisherman are just as bad especially when the lake gets crowded in the warmer months.

    Its a small lake but theres plenty of places to fish without having to throw an anchor out on top of somebodies lines and fish within casting distance of somebody.Or get in front of somebodies drifting line and anchor down, causing them to have to get there stuff up and move.I've had it happen to me and have seen it happen to other people way to many times.Just last week I almost had somebody get my anchor rope caught in their prop.There was a few choice words after that but no responce from them because they knew they where wrong.

    Alot of disrespect goes on at Monticello and its not just the bassholes.90% of the time its catfisherman.We all need to respect each other out there, especially on such a small lake.
     
  2. jimbow3

    jimbow3 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    State:
    NC
    Thanks for the tips I'll keep them in mind next time I'm there.
     

  3. MossyBack

    MossyBack New Member

    Messages:
    41
    State:
    South Carolina
    Great info Chris. I have only been able to find one map, a Kingfisher and I do not like it much. Are there any other topo maps out there that will show structure better?
     
  4. Patmansc

    Patmansc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,538
    State:
    Greer, SC
    Name:
    Pat Chaney
    Thanks for sharing with us, Chris, that's a lotta great info :big_smile: I've fished Monty many times last year & I think that I've only begun to scratch the surface of everything that can be learned. The biggest fish caught from my boat last year was 28#, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to get a 40 -pounder this year (maybe he'll bite on the lucky shrimp :wink:).
     
  5. MSgtCatfish

    MSgtCatfish New Member

    Messages:
    216
    State:
    Alabama
    Chris,

    Nice post, especially the preservation and the last but not least parts - once can never be reminded enough about preserving and dag'um common courtesy while fishing!
     
  6. Beaufort

    Beaufort Member

    Messages:
    343
    State:
    Rock Hill, SC
    Great post Chris I glad u said throw the 30 plus fish back and keep all of the smallones because that lake has got alot of small ones.
     
  7. sarSWAMPFOX

    sarSWAMPFOX New Member

    Messages:
    381
    State:
    Union, South Caroilna
    Dadgum Great post, I couldn't pick out what part I wanted to quote. The entire post was great. Monticello is a Catfisherman's Jewel and should be Respected As Such. Like Chris said let the over 30 lbers return but do your part at harvesting the smaller cats. To many smaller cats will knock a big dent in the food supply for all the fish in the lake and then the size and numbers will fall, so harvest some smaller cats.

    Thank you Chris.
     
  8. martygreen

    martygreen Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    State:
    Rock Hill,S.C.
    Great post Chris:wink:,thanks for sharing some of your knowledge with us on such a good catfish lake,I am sure it will help everyone who fishes Monty.
     
  9. pop pop

    pop pop New Member

    Messages:
    972
    State:
    Lake Green
    Outstanding post Chris:wink:. I'll second all this Marty:wink:.
     
  10. chrisblue

    chrisblue New Member

    Messages:
    1,345
    State:
    SC
    Jason as far as I know kingfisher is the only one.The newer one they are making is alot easier to read but its still nothing special.Its the same as the old one just in different colors.
     
  11. nasty nate

    nasty nate New Member

    Messages:
    105
    State:
    south carolina
    Thanks, Chris, for the tips on monty. I have never been one to go on a guided trip, but I might have to go on one with you. Monticello has proven to be a hard lake to figure out, every time I go I catch a lot of little ones. The biggest one I have caught out of monty was 15 lbs, but I did have one break 50 lb cajun line. It seems that every where else I fish, I catch big ones. I might just have to let you put me on some of them monty monsters one of these days, if I don't figure it out soon.
     
  12. Chalk

    Chalk New Member

    Messages:
    126
    State:
    Union, South Carolina
    Great post Chris, good to hear the words of wisdom from the Monticello Master.:wink: I'm no where close to having this place figured out but I have greatly improved after fishing with you down there.
     
  13. RiverratSC

    RiverratSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    State:
    Gaffney, SC

    First thanks Chris for the post.

    Second kingfisher's newer maps have contour line to give you a better idea of depth. My old didn't have anything on it but the blue water but the new one has the depths on the map and the road beds.
     
  14. mudkip

    mudkip New Member

    Messages:
    645
    State:
    SC
    There is a lot of know how and wisdom in this post put up by Chrisblue. It probably took a lot of fishless days, scratching of the head and of coarse loading up the boat with nice ones to be able to know the fishing hole that well. With this type of attitude on fishing one can be successful on any body of water. Nice job.
     
  15. QBQ

    QBQ New Member

    Messages:
    73
    State:
    South Carolina
    Thanks for the info. This is a keeper
     
  16. pog2

    pog2 New Member

    Messages:
    58
    State:
    South Carolina
    Thanks Chris for the info, it takes a good person to help others try and improve on their fishing skills especially when you're a guide and make a living at it. Trust me I could use alot of advice on catfishing, but love it !!!!!
     
  17. bigcatman0001

    bigcatman0001 New Member

    Messages:
    93
    State:
    south carolina
    Thanks for the advice chris this is a great post.
     
  18. Foxhound

    Foxhound New Member

    Messages:
    403
    State:
    Georgia
    Good informative post Chris..........and you are right about patience.......dont get in a hurry. Ive learned this even at Santee, it pays off to be patient. Roundhill showed me something once that has stuck in my mind..........we made a couple of long drifts over the same area and never got a bite....we were marking a ton of fish but no bites......finally I ask him if we should move and he just looked up and said....they gotta bite sometime....next drift over the same area we loaded the cooler up........it was feeding time !!!
     
  19. dust777man

    dust777man New Member

    Messages:
    536
    State:
    SC
    Thanks for all the info on the lake. It probably answered alot of questions people have about it.