The bite for channel and blue catfish on the South Carolina end of Lake Wylie is about as hot as the weather, according to guide Rodger Taylor of Rock Hill.

"The bite is excellent right now," Taylor said. "Both channel catfish and blue catfish are biting like crazy and feasting on the abundant forage. Most of the fish are being taken by drift fishing, but there are a couple of different patterns right now that are working very well.

 

"Drifting produces best during the day, particularly when it is hot, but in the early morning and at night, I am anchoring up," Taylor said.  "A mixture of blues and channels totaling 15 to 25 fish in a day of drifting is not unusual. The best bait is bream, shad and white perch cut up. At night, I am tossing some live offerings for flatheads, and big blues also take live bait.

 

"Most of the channel cats average about three pounds and up, and the blues from four to 10 pounds during the day. Of course, the fish we hunt at night are much larger with 15- to 40-pound catfish common. The spawn is still happening in some areas but the bite has stabilized and this cool spring moved the calendar back a little this year.

 

"We'll certainly catch some larger blues during the day as well, but not as consistently," Taylor said, "but the fact that blues now make up about 40 percent of our catch on the lower end of the lake is a strong indicator of how well populated they are."

 

Taylor (803-328-9587) said the baitfish are moving from the creeks to the main lake, but both places have been productive. He begins fishing early in the morning in the back to middle-portion of Big Allison or Little Allison creeks and works his way down the creeks, drift-fishing over humps, drops and ledges in 10 to 22 feet of water. As the sun gets higher, he moves to the main-river channel and works the channel edges and large flats off the main river channel.

 

Taylor said the North Carolina section is producing just as well and is even better for flatheads.

 

"I fish a little deeper in the river, usually down to about 30 feet," he said. "I also will drift over humps that come up to 12 to 15 feet and pick up both blues and channels."

 

Taylor is using a standard drift rig with 20-pound Berkeley Big Game with a 2-inch cork on a 30-inch leader. He is using a 6/0 circle hook baited with a strip of cut perch, shad or bluegill.