Santee and what they munching on in the shallows

Discussion in 'SOUTH CAROLINA RIVERS TALK' started by hank_lineage, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. hank_lineage

    hank_lineage New Member

    Messages:
    10
    hey all,

    quick question about north santee river a few miles up from salinity line (freshwater side) - when u see some decent sized blues/channel in feeder creeks and the like, when their tails are poking out the water it's so shallow, and theyre almost stationary for minutes at a time with only an occasional lazy tail swish- are they eating fiddler crabs?
    anybody seen/know what i'm talking about?

    ah, forgot one pertinent detail: theyre heads are practically in the marsh grass.
     
  2. SeedTick

    SeedTick New Member

    Messages:
    1,414
    State:
    Conway Arkansas
    Hey Hank, First off welcome to the Brotherhood. You just make yourself at home cause you are among family here. That sounds cool about those cats but I can't help you much since I'm not familiar with your area. I do know that a bunch of the fish out of the Arkansas River are full of little mussels so that might be whats going on at Sante?

    ST
     

  3. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Welcome, Hank. I'm not sure what those fish would be doing. There is a lot of forage in the grass this time of year, including juvenile blue crabs, fiddlers, and fish. The blue crabs stay in the upper part of the river until they grow for a while, but I really don't know. (Although I'd love to, if you find out).
     
  4. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    sounds like they are feeding. I have seen carp do this getting ready to lay eggs, but not catfish.
     
  5. Catgirl

    Catgirl New Member

    Messages:
    13,546
    Oh blackwater, keep on rollin'......South Carolina moon won't you keep on shining on me.....yep, could be any of these. Could be eating fiddlers, grass shrimp, bloodworms. Regular shrimp go upriver to spawn, so they might be eating the baby shrimp. Greg, I wouldn't think that they'd be eating mussels. Mussels don't grow under weeds, they like clean sand. Hank, welcome to the Brotherhood of Catfishermen family. We're glad to have you!:smile2:
     
  6. RiverratSC

    RiverratSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    State:
    Gaffney, SC
    Thats really odd for a cat to be doing.
     
  7. roundhill

    roundhill New Member

    Messages:
    810
    State:
    kings mtn
    thear spawning they make beds in rocks tree laps grass stumps any thing that is why they get all skined up they dont all go at the same time
     
  8. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    Breeding are feeding sounds reasonable. lol
     
  9. Drawout

    Drawout Active Member

    Messages:
    1,179
    State:
    Paris.Texas
    Sounds to me like they are probally spawning, or trapped on a trotline lol.
     
  10. dcaruthers

    dcaruthers New Member

    Messages:
    756
    State:
    Alabama
    I used to fish Santee and this time of year the mussels start dying and they are probably feeding on those.
     
  11. hank_lineage

    hank_lineage New Member

    Messages:
    10
    hey all,

    thanks for the replies...i'm pretty sure it wasn't dating/mating activity, but i'm gonna see if i can't find out today!...the only reason i said fiddler is coz that's the only thing i seen scurrying around in the mud banks, altho granted it wasn't at that exact place...i'll see if i cant catch one and ill let everybody know post autopsy if theres any clear conclusion that can be reached.
    again, thanks for the kind welcome.
     
  12. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Hank, do you live in the area? I do, though I don't fish that section of river a lot. I would love to have seen what you saw. It's got my curiosity up. Let us know if you figure it out.
     
  13. mrc

    mrc New Member

    Messages:
    86
    State:
    SC
    Definitely let us know what you find out. I've seen the same thing myself and couldn't figure it out.
     
  14. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I do fish that area a bit. I saw some smallish (5 pounds or so?) blues up real shallow on a little flat a couple of yearts ago in that area. We threw baits around them and they wouldn't take anythjing, which I thought was very odd.

    It would be good to know what stage of the tide you are seeing this.

    Because of the tides around there (plus there's lots of good woody cover around) I would be very suprised if they'd spawn near the marsh grass.

    The clams do die off in the Santee farther up river at this time of year, but I have never see it happen down near the fresh/saltwater line.

    There's a couple of possibities:
    I do know for sure that blues do eat fiddler crabs, and there are plenty in that area of the river, so they coudl be doing that. They could also be eating clams IF they are not right in the marshy stuff, just right on the edge.

    Throw them some baits and see what happens!
     
  15. hank_lineage

    hank_lineage New Member

    Messages:
    10
    it's been a while -roughly 2 weeks- since i last went back, but i forgot to post an update.
    ive been 2 times since my original post, and both times the river was the lowest i've seen it. which was both good and bad for figuring out the puzzling behavior...bad coz they appeared to have headed for secure water, good b/c i got to see everything thats normally submerged.
    my son and i got out of the boat and caught some fiddlers; and from the sheer multitude of them, i'd have to say that unless there's some wierd symbiotic relationship where they groom cat whiskers, they've got to be getting munched on...
    i like to stick with what they're eating for bait. since they werent in the shallows, we didn't fish much with the fiddlers...when we did, i caught one which is worth mentioning only b/c of how thoroughly smashed the fiddler was- apparently their shell doesn't offer much protection even against smaller (1 1/2 lb.) cats.
    altho those two factors (number/availability of crabs + apparent ease of shell crushing) are enough to convince me, i did notice something which actually adds to the mystery: in the same/similair shallows with their tails showing, we spotted two carp, a redfish, and what appeared to be a giant mullet...
    as for autopsy results, the only discernable belly contents was minnows (besides a frog found in the biggest cat).
    i'm sure i'll go again, and if theres anything interesting to add, i will.
     
  16. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Thanks for the follow-up, Hank. Fiddlers are a lot like shrimp: everything out there wants a piece of them. :smile2:
     
  17. razorwire

    razorwire New Member

    Messages:
    10
    State:
    Florida*Required*
    Just got back from Harrys yesterday. My first trip to Santee. Fished for a week and everybody was catching fish.What a great place that is. When we cleaned the fish and looked inside their stomach was full of mussels.Every one we looked at. We fished in the canal.
     
  18. Chris54WVa

    Chris54WVa New Member

    Messages:
    64
    State:
    West Virginia
    Hey Razor,did you by chance use some of them mussels for bait?I have being there and they were floating on top of water and we netted some of them and put them on a smaller hook and couldn't keep them fish off of them.GREAT BAIT.:smile2: :cool2: