Lower Santee River Saturday

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by JAinSC, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    South Carolina
    I decided to try the lower Santee again on Saturday. I just have a feling that area has to hold some real giants.

    I hit the water about 1 pm and started right out fishing for baits. I usually fish for sunfishes with a small beetle spin style spinner, but I have had limited success with that rig in the Santee. Last week I fished with Cuda Cada on the Altamaha, and he reminded me of how to catch the little rascals with a bait and a float. (Funny how sometimes you can forget the basics.) I got a few sunfish Saturday on the spinner, but most came on a red wiggler on a 1/32 jig hook under a small float. I did pretty well and ended up with probably 30 baits by sundown (mostly bluegills, with a few redbreast, redears, and spotted sunfish mixed in).

    The interesting thing is that I broke off three times when something big ate my little piece of worm. Early on I hooked something in a small creek near the landing that took off upstream. With the drag on my ultralight screaming, I used the trolling motor to chase him up the creek. I think I could have landed that critter, too, if he hadn't swam under a big log and kept going. The boat and I couldn't follow under the log, so the chase ended there. Wonder what these big guys were: bass? bowfin? catfish?

    At dusk I anchored on the slope from the shallow sand where it drops off into a good deep bend. I had the boat over about 13 feet of water, and I cast one bait shallow, one deep and one straight back. While waiting for dark, I pu a piece of shrimp down on a number 6 hook. As soon as it would hit bottom in the hole, a baby blue 8 to 12 inches long would jump on it. Did that 3 or 4 times before getting bored with it. I got one smallish blue (about 4 pounds) on live bait there, but no flatheads, so after a bit I moved down the bend just a bit and anchored closer to the deep water. The area is tricky, though, virtually all of the deep water is full of snags. The bait nearest the bank, in maybe 25 feet of water produced about a 16 pound flathead. I got no more bites there for about 45 minutes, so I moved downriver. At the neaxt pool I did the same thing. I anchored out on the slope and got nothing, moved to the deeper water as close as I dared to the snags, and got a 14 pound fish there. Then again, nothing.

    At this point I dedided to try the even deeper water down river about 1/2 mile. I anchored up to fish the end of the flood, trying to set up so the boat would be just above and out from a deep snag. Thing is, right then the tide went slack and then turned to ebb. I ended up anchored in 38 feet of water with clear deep water behind the boat. After a little while the back rod did a little shake and then started to bend down real slow. This turned out to be the best fish of the night, but no real monster - 24 1/2 pounds.

    With the tide ebbing, I tried another spot where it drops off into that hole, but no luck there, so then I moved the anchor and set up to fish in the deep stuff ahead of the deep cover that I marked on the depth finder. The fish were in the area, I got a 12 and a 9 pounder out of there, but the snags were a problem. I lost two other fish that wrapped me up right after hook up.

    A few owls called now and then. A few bats came to visit and flew around the rod tips. Between the clouds and the moon, it was not much of a night for stargazing. The mullet jumped in the shallows (one actually jumped right into the boat while I was fishing for baits) and the gar slurped at the surface. One of the gar came up about 2 feet from the boat right behind my head while I was dozing. That startled the bejeepers out of me.

    I left the water around 2 AM after catching 5 flatheads from 9 to 24.5 pounds. It was overcast and cool all day, with the full moon peeking in and out after sunset. Water temerature is 75 degrees.
  2. MR SANDMAN 800

    MR SANDMAN 800 New Member

    Nice fish..sounds like an enjoyable night...I'd take any of those fish anyday

  3. Stumpknocker2

    Stumpknocker2 New Member

    NW FL
    Nice catch, and way to give some details. Glad you had an enjoyable time.
  4. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Andrews, SC
    That's a good report, John. You had a decent trip out, too. Thanks.
  5. jdstraka

    jdstraka Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Thanks John I was right there in the boat with Ya while reading that report. It was Super!! Your Friend J.D.
  6. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Triadelphia, WV
    Walter Flack
    way to go John, thanx for sharing
  7. crome

    crome New Member

    good post,....thanks