Planning spring trip to Santee Cooper Lake

Discussion in 'SOUTH CAROLINA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by catfishrollo, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    i'm trying to plan my first trip to the Santee Cooper between Jan. to Mar. wondering if any of you locals could help me with a time frame? I am strickly a catch and release guy on all big fish i have caught. i mainly flathead fish, but have never caught a blue..just trying to make the long trip from ohio enjoyable!!! any help will be appreciated...rollo
     
  2. chrisblue

    chrisblue New Member

    Messages:
    1,345
    State:
    SC
    I would strongly reccommend March for blues.They can be caught in shallow water in Moultrie pretty good during March and it usually stays pretty consistant for the most part.Its about the funnest way of catchin catfish IMO.Thats also when the Santee system comes alive with all the baitfish coming from the ocean to spawn and that usually makes the fishin that much better.There can be some real good fishin in front of both of the dams during January but its real hard to time that bite thats why I think it would be a little better in March.
     

  3. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    I agree with Chris. The later you can wait the better. March is when those water Temps are starting to creep up especially during the day time and those blues flood the shallow flats. There is nothing like catching a 20+lb blue in 2ft of water what a fight. Let us know when you plan on coming down.
     
  4. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    is there any other information any of you locals are willing to help with? as in drifting techniques, rigs, bait selection for that time of yr. etc. or maybe areas i can get bait while there? it is a long drive for a 4 or 5 day trip, and want to have a sucessful one.. thanks bros..rollo:big_smile:
     
  5. catch & release

    catch & release New Member

    Messages:
    178
    State:
    SC
    Rollo, drift fishing is the main technique on these lakes. 18 inch leader, with a crappie cork about a third of the way up the leader to keep the bait off the bottom, then put a slinky weight(about 6 inches long) on the swivel. Most folks use line anywhere from 20-50+lb. Herring/shad will be primary baits for blues, fished whole or cut and can be purchased at most any landing. Come back on here a few weeks before you come and you'll get plenty of advice on the where. Anchoring on shallow fats can also be productive in March. My only word of caution is be VERY careful on these lakes. Both lakes are full of stumps just a few inches below the surface.....even in some of the deep water. Also, these lakes can and will get awfully rough in March, with 3-4 foot swells so close together you don't know if you're going up or down. Sometimes a 26' boat feels the size of a bathtub when it gets nasty. Good luck and throw the big ones back!
     
  6. Pirate Jerry

    Pirate Jerry New Member

    Messages:
    613
    State:
    Yulee Florida
    A 1/2 day or full day guided trip your first day down will teach you a lot. Who knows whats biting where better than someone who fishes that water every day? Its a little expensive but well worth the cost. Just pay close attention to everything the guide does as far as rigging tackle, size and type of baits and where and how they use em.. good luck on your trip
     
  7. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    thanks guys... i just wanna have a great trip. i know the out of towner thing. i don't like seeing tons of people either on my hometown water. i'm not looking for specific locations,, i can figure out an extent myself..if anyone wants or is interested in meeting up and fishing with a bro, or wants to help my trip not be a waste, give me a pm. maybe someday i can help you around here if you travel...rollo
     
  8. sarSWAMPFOX

    sarSWAMPFOX New Member

    Messages:
    381
    State:
    Union, South Caroilna
    March is good to me for numbers of 10 to 20 lb blues but I normally catch my larger fish in late Jan into early Feb 30 to 40 lb blues. Any time during those months is a wonderful time it just might changes the location on the lakes you want to fish.
     
  9. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    I agree with the others: late Feb, Mar, and Apr works for me. The shad and herring run starts in March, and the current helps, too.
    When you have something firm, just post it, and I'm sure some of us can help you a little more, once we know exactly when you'll be going. :big_smile:
     
  10. duc dowg

    duc dowg New Member

    Messages:
    33
    State:
    South Carolina
    I just got back from my first trip. You will love it. I can't wait to go back with my 2 sons. WOW! What a time is all I can say.
     
  11. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    it is gonna be the second week in feb. or the first week in mar. decision time, me and ,my buddy are fighting about when... i want to go in feb. he wants to wait a couple weeks till march..so persuade me or not? lol rollo
     
  12. chrisblue

    chrisblue New Member

    Messages:
    1,345
    State:
    SC
    Just my opinion and experience there but things really come to life in March down there with all the ocean fish coming thru the lakes.The shallows are warm enough for the blues to start movin in in huge droves then.Could just be the way I fish but I have alot more fun in March.
     
  13. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    I agree with Chris; the fishing seems to start picking up in March as the forage fish move into the lakes, and the cats are starting to think about shallows for pre-spawn, too, as the water temps start to rise.
     
  14. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    march it is, i have to go early though, like the first week. i have heard the best time to catch big blues is between dec.-feb....what aren't im getting here? im coming down there for you guys to impress me not depress me. lol.. i have never caught a blue, just a flathead guy, but wanna crush my p.b of 35lb.. after drivin 10 hours! im strickly catch and release..and just had little girl, money is tight..can't afford a guide...any help is appreciated..rollo
     
  15. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    I hope to get to see ya I should be off a few days on that first week.
     
  16. Beaufort

    Beaufort New Member

    Messages:
    343
    State:
    Rock Hill, SC
    Fish should be shallow then and if there feeding good in the shallows u will have a good shot at a big fish.
     
  17. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    Come to think of it I caught my biggest flathed this year on the first week in march in about 2ft of water 39lbs man what a fight.
     
  18. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    thanks to everyone that keeps sending me stuff...i am open for suggestions.. wanna have a great trip...rollo
     
  19. RiverratSC

    RiverratSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    State:
    Gaffney, SC
    Its a long ride from Ohio to have a trip bust so I hope the info that many have given helps greatly. I know its only a three hour ride from where I live and I have been twice that didn't pan out at all but two out of twenty trips is still good odds. Good luck.