A lot of bass fishermen have not been happy about the inconsistent and unpredictable weather this spring, but it has created some very predictable and good fishing at Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie. According to guide Inky Davis of Manning, the colder-than-normal water temperatures have largemouth literally coming and going off the beds right now.
“Usually the bedding activity is mostly over after the full moon in April, but I’m seeing a lot of movement in largemouth right now, and a decent number of the fish have not spawned out,” Davis said. “Normally by now, we’re on a strong post-spawn pattern, but frankly having bass in pre- and post-spawn actually gives us more places to find fish. The key is getting that localized hotspot and working the right lures.
"Bass are being caught on very shallow bedding or prespawn patterns right now, and we’re finding plenty of fish in the post-spawn mode as well,” he said. “This gives my clients and opportunity to catch some hawg bass, but still catch really good numbers of fish.
“It’s a good time to be bass fishing, and based on all the reports I’m hearing, the patterns are about the same on both lakes. I primarily fish Lake Marion, but there’s good fishing throughout both lakes right now from very shallow down to eight feet.”
Davis (803-478-7289) said plenty of 5-pound fish are being caught, with the occasional trophy showing up.
“We aren't catching huge bass every day, but generally we're catching quite a few bass, and odds are high we'll hook some bass in the 4- to 6-pound class most days,” he said. “There's a bunch of big fish in shallow water, and I expect that it will stay that way for the next two or three weeks based on recent weather patterns."
Davis said that plenty of bass moving out in a post-spawn situation and many more moving into the shallows preparing to spawn, gives fishermen a great opportunity to find largemouth in a number of different places and catch them on a number of different lures.
"An excellent lure for me right now is a soft plastic, with a Senko-type lure being very productive," Davis said. "I'm catching bass on this lure in a variety of ways, including fishing cypress trees, working weed line edges and also well back into shallow, matted vegetation. The bigger bass are often blowing though the vegetation to take the lure, which is a very aggressive and typical spring-like patter. Plus, other soft plastics are producing including the Texas rigged worms and trick worms.
“On windy days, there are more options, and I'm doing really well with spinnerbaits. We’ve had our share of windy days this spring, but the chop on the water seems to make the spinnerbaits more productive."
Davis said the warming water has also made fishing buzzbaits in the shallows very productive.
“Now is a great time for catching largemouth on Santee Cooper," Davis said. "It's still good for big fish and also the opportunity to get a lot of bites."