South Carolina’s oldest lake, Saluda Lake on the Greenville County/Pickens County border, may also be its best kept secret when it comes to trophy bass fishing, and a late spawn that’s just cranking up may be one of the reasons. 

“We get water from upstream with any amount of rain, and it brings in more nutrients from the watershed,” said Frank Biggio, a tackle-shop owner and outfitter who owns Saluda Lake Landing. “It also makes our fish spawn out later in the season, which allows for a longer growing season than other lakes.”

As evidence, Biggio pointed to a 9 ½-pound bass recently caught by a local fishermen, Brandon Seffrin.

“The fish was … one of 14 he caught on a rain day a week or so ago, and six of them were over five pounds,” said Biggio (864-294-9061). “He was pitching a black and blue jig, fishing boat docks, rocks and wood. He’s a great finesse fisherman. The kid’s got real good patience, and that just goes to show what this lake can produce.

 “The guys who do well on this lake understand that Saluda Lake is riverine in nature and fishes more like a river than a big impoundment,” said Biggio. “You might fish a spot and not catch a fish, then come back two hours later and start loading the boat. The guys who regularly fish rivers and understand how they work also do well here.”

Another bonus for anglers on 331-acre Saluda Lake is that water depth is usually not a factor any time of the year. Biggio said that so much fresh water moves through Saluda, bass don’t have winter and summer spots, nor do they have areas of lower or higher dissolved oxygen. What they have is a steady stream of fertile water that tends to grow fish bigger than other Upstate locations.

Anglers can access Saluda Lake via a public ramp on the Pickens County side of the lake or from Saluda Lake Landing at 605 Motor Boat Club Rd. in Greenville.