Santee Stringer



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Capt. Joe Dennis shows off a mixed stinger of big bluegill and shellcrackeres, typical of what he catches in the Santee and Cooper rivers this month. You can beat the heat
90 Views - Posted: August 15 at 9:00 am

With hot weather beating down, one of the keys to success will be the ability to diversify your fishing and take advantage of what’s biting. August is hot and humid, but plenty of excellent fishing action occurs in Lake Marion, Lake Moultrie and the Santee and Cooper rivers downstream. Getting into that moving water below the dams is often the ticket to success.


Catfish action can be as hot as the weather on the Santee Cooper lakes, especially in the Diversion Canal. Fish are here, anglers aren’t
148 Views - Posted: July 17 at 9:00 am

Fishing is as hot as the summer sun in July, but the fishing action in terms of angler participation seems to slack off a bit.


Guide Billy Salmon catches plenty of big catfish like this one  in June on the Santee Cooper lakes. June offers consistency
202 Views - Posted: June 16 at 9:00 am

Although striper season is closed for four months, there’s still plenty of great action on several species at Santee Cooper. According to guides, the fish begin to get into more-reliable, warm-weather patterns, and some species — such as crappie — begin to consistently hold on brush in open water along deeper drops and ledges. The fishing for these fish can been sensational in June and throughout the summer and fall.


Guide Chris Orvin said the Santee Cooper lakes and the Santee and Cooper rivers are blue catfish hotspots this month. If it swims, it’s biting
281 Views - Posted: May 15 at 9:00 am

There are times when almost anything worth catching is biting, and May is one of those months at Santee Cooper. From bedding bream, bass in the shallows, good striper fishing throughout both lakes and huge catfish and crappie being caught, there’s something for just about everyone.


This 27-inch striper proves that Steve Pack knows a little bit about how good fishing can be in April. April action is wide open
294 Views - Posted: April 14 at 9:00 am

April is one of the most eagerly anticipated months on the Santee Cooper lakes, and with good reason. A lot of popular fish are biting extremely well, and a lot of them are moving to shallow water.  Action on both Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie is excellent for a wide variety of species.


March is a great time to catch big bass on the Santee Cooper lakes; this hawg came from Lake Moultrie. March is ‘moving’ month
386 Views - Posted: March 14 at 9:00 am

March is a month when a lot of big things are happening on the Santee Cooper lakes. Some huge largemouth will be caught as they move to the shallows, the stripers begin their annual run up the lake and into the river, and crappie fishing gets into high gear. Of course, the catfish will bite, and some shellcrackers are usually taken late in the month. 

Probably the biggest news for many will be the great largemouth fishing in the shallow waters of both lakes. 


Guide Andy Pack said February is a great month to catch big crappie in the upper end of Lake Marion. Time to flip a few birds
467 Views - Posted: February 14 at 9:00 am

Some of the biggest news this month is the hunting season for cormorants, set to begin on Feb. 2. Of no surprise to local fishermen, Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie are overwhelmed with cormorants. The great quantity of fish these birds consume has apparently caused concerns regarding the forage base in the lakes, as well as other natural resources.

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources announced plans for a cormorant season nearly two months long to start after the close of duck season. According to SCDNR’s Derrell Shipes, double-crested cormorants may be taken beginning Feb. 2 and ending March 31. Legal hours begin 30 minutes before sunrise and end 30 minutes after sunset. Cormorants are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act; taking them or similar species without a permit or by methods, or in areas, not prescribed by permit, is strictly prohibited.


When water temperatures on the Santee Cooper lakes drop low enough to shut off the striped bass, blue catfish take their place. Stripers, blue cats are on
956 Views - Posted: January 16 at 9:00 am

Some outdoorsmen around the Santee Cooper lakes believe that January is just a slow-motion repeat of December. However there’s actually much more to it than that.


Catfishing is typically great this month. Cool kids: stripers, catfish
553 Views - Posted: December 17, 2013 at 9:00 am

The weather will be cool in December, but the fishing at Santee Cooper typically get’s hot for at least a couple of species: striper and catfish.


Guide Kevin Davis battles a Santee Cooper striped bass at dusk — a favorite time for schooling action on Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie. It’s surface striper time
576 Views - Posted: November 14, 2013 at 3:00 am

Several very strong fishing patterns are in place in November for anglers to enjoy on the Santee Cooper lakes, but one species really seems to stand out for most, and that’s the striped bass. According to most guides, the fishing is improved in the sense of more large fish are typically caught, as well as vastly improved topwater schooling action.


October fishing is excellent for blue catfish on the Santee Cooper lakes, as this 30-pounder taken out  of Black’s Camp testifies. October is a busy month
721 Views - Posted: October 15, 2013 at 9:00 am

A lot is going on in the Santee Cooper lakes this month. In fact, October is one of the most productive seasons for a variety of species, according to several guides.


Dan Turner and Dan Floyd show off a pair of keeper-sized stripers from Santee Cooper, where the fishery is in full recovery mode. A good-tasting ‘stake’
689 Views - Posted: September 16, 2013 at 9:00 am

Striper fishing on Lake Marion or Lake Moultrie has been closed since June, and won’t open until October, but there has been much work behind the scenes this summer.


Guide Inky Davis caught this chunky August bass in heavy cover on Lake Marion. Don’t quit, beat the heat
564 Views - Posted: August 16, 2013 at 9:00 am
Excellent fishing opportunities abound on the Santee Cooper lakes in August, despite the hot and humid weather. One thing we can’t do is keep stripers, so keep that in mind while fishing. Even if you catch them while fishing for other species, you must release them immediately.

Drifting cut bait in deep water will produce nice blue catfish on Lake Moultrie in July. Turn to summer patterns
982 Views - Posted: July 18, 2013 at 9:00 am
July is a month for consistency and patterns at both Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie. The fishing is excellent for both crappie and catfish in deeper water, and largemouth bass action is still excellent in the shallows — although they will often be found quite tight to cover. Good bream fishing will be found around weeds or tree cover in the 3- to 5-foot depths, but catching limits of fish will usually require more effort and moving in terms of success from previous months of lots of bedding fish action. Also, fishermen will score well fishing at night for catfish and crappie, especially for the big flatheads in Lake Marion.

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