Most local anglers are saying Lake Wateree has had the best bass fishing in memory this spring, and it looks like outstanding fishing is going to transition right into the summer.

Guide Chris Heinning said fishing on Wateree has been sensational and continues to produce. He said the bass fishing has remained hot as summer has approached, but the productive patterns are changing.

“Actually, it’s pretty amazing, because I’m catching quality largemouth on three distinct patterns right now,” Heinning said, “and they’re all producing good size fish.”

Heinning (803-236-1257) has been fishing points, humps and ledges in 15 to 20 feet of water, fishing grass beds with a variety of lures and fishing deep docks.

“The key to success for all three is fishing in the main-lake area, and having deep water close is paramount to consistently catching big fish,” he said. “I’m catching lots of 4- to 6-pound fish – and even larger – on all of these patterns.”

Heinning said his early morning favorite is fishing grassbeds with frog baits.

“I like the frog baits, and I am just wiggling it weightless back though the grass and will let it pause as the edge of the weeds, if it makes it that far,” he said. “It’s been a killer bait, but I am finding big fish in the main-river part of the lake, and to be productive, the grass needs to be close to deeper water. Other good lures for grass beds include floating worms and Flukes as well as buzzbaits.”

Heinning said fishing docks with deep water nearby has also been extremely productive.

“I am fishing deep docks with around 8 feet of water at the end and have found it best if there’s brush around these docks to sweeten it for the bass,” he said. “I am generally not catching the fish around the brush. I think the brush attracts forage for the bass. To actually catch the bass, I am skipping and casting a worm, creature bait or jig and craw back under the docks. That’s where the big fish are holding.”

The final pattern is one that is typical of Lake Wateree during hot weather and is setting up already.

“The lake hasn’t stratified yet from what I can tell, but the water temperature and forage have the bass on points, humps and ledges throughout the main lake in the 15-to 20-foot depth range,” he said. “I am using deep-diving crankbaits, Carolina-rigged worms rigs in brown with tails tipped in chartreuse as well as junebug. Also a jig-and-craw with a ¾-ounce football head is also productive. Look for these structures that have stumps and rocks to again sweeten the potential for holding plenty of big bass.”

Heinning said Lake Wateree has already had a great year in terms of producing lots of big fish, and the trend continues.

“Right now action at Lake Wateree is great, and because there are three distinct patterns producing lots of hefty fish, fishermen have a choice of how they prefer to fish and still be successful,” Heinning said.