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 - Look for the rockfish to migrate upstream in Feb., returning to the lakes starting in mid - March. Fish live herring in 30 - 50 feet of water. Stripers school on top very well in the lakes, which usually starts in July and will last throughout Jan.
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.
shellcracker (redear sunfish) - Spawn in April and May during the full moon phases.
bream (bluegill) - spawn in May, June and July during the full moon phases.
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.
The Santee Cooper Lakes currently hold several state and world record catches.