The Santee Cooper Lakes are as healthy as they have been in a long time, and as a result, fishing has been great. The abundance of aquatic vegetation has created lush habitat, which has greatly boosted fish populations.
CATFISH - Catfish are caught year around on SCooper. In the spring, anchor your boat in 2 - 10 feet in and around depressions on shallow flats. Use large pieces of cut bait. The Herring that are migrating into the lakes from the ocean in the spring are hard to beat for bait. Starting about mid - April, drifting with shad or herring is effective using a Santee Cooper Drift Rig.
STRIPER - Striper season is June 1 through September 30 and again in October 1 through May 31. It is illegal to fish for stripers in the Santee Cooper Lakes in the summertime. Look for stripers with live bait in the spring. Use the giant herring that are migrating into the lakes from the ocean. In the fall and winter, you may catch them with live bait and also when they are schooling on the top. The striper is the South Carolina state fish, and the Santee Cooper Lakes were the first place in the world that stripers were landlocked.
CRAPPIE - In the spring, catch them in blackwater ponds and coves. After they leave shallow water, the crappie will spend the rest of the year on deep brush. Black and white crappie are big and plentiful in South Caroina's Santee Cooper Lakes.
SHELLCRACKER (redear sunfish) - Spawn in April and May during the full moon phases. These fish are bottomfeeders, meandering along the lake bed seeking and cracking open snails and other shelled creatures.
BREAM (bluegill) - spawn in May, June and July during the full moon phases. The majority of Bluegill are caught on live bait-particularly worms, grubs and crickets.
BASS - Fishing has been tremendous. Fish shallow grass end of Feb. through June. After that, 5 - 10 feet around deep grass. Largemouth will come shallow once more usually around October.
Be sure to check out our Fishing Guide Services page for all your Santee Cooper Fishing Guide needs.
The Santee Cooper Lakes currently hold several state and world record catches.