The dingy waters of Lake Wylie have had a profound but positive impact on the lake's largemouth bass. Fish are in the shallows and are being caught in quality sizes and excellent numbers.

Guide Rusty White of Rock Hill is catching lots of quality bass right now, and he's getting it done in very shallow water.

"The dingy water has actually helped in terms of creating conditions for the bass to migrate to the shallows," White said. "The bass have moved into very shallow water along the banks down to the 3-foot range and are holding on all types of woody objects: permanent poles on docks, blowdowns, logs and stumps.

"With the off-colored water, the fish are relating to wood more than rock. If the water clears over the next few weeks, the fish will also orient to rocks, which is typical for Lake Wylie in the spring."

White, 42, said bass have moved into the creeks and coves on the lower end of the lake but are not quite to the spawning phase.

 

"The water temperature is still quite low, and I think we're a few weeks from spawning conditions," said White (803-230-1906). "However, this water situation has created some excellent shallow-water fishing in the middle part of the creeks and coves. They're not staging at the mouths, nor are they all the way back in the creeks. I'm finding fish in the middle parts of the creeks and coves, around points or other bottom structures along with a woody cover combination.

 

"A lot of quality fish in the 3- to 5-pound class are being caught, and that is very good for Lake Wylie," he said. "The afternoon bite has been the best. I'm on the water three to five days every week, and what I'm seeing is that from around noon to five in the afternoon has been prime time for the best bite. The water temperature has a chance to warm enough to pull these bass all the way in to the shallows, and the bite has been fairly aggressive – considering the water temperature."

 

White said that because of the off-colored water, crankbaits, jigs and spinnerbaits are all producing, but the best colors for his success have been very specific.

 

"The best jig-and-trailer combo has been a black and blue," he said. "The crankbait color is definitely red, and the spinnerbait preference is a chartreuse and white. Specifically, the 'Roller' spinnerbait has been the one that's produced the best for me in the current water conditions."

 

"If fishermen are waiting on the water to clear up before bass fishing, they're missing out on some outstanding fishing on Lake Wylie right now," White said.