The water levels on the Broad River are still a little bit high, but not nearly as bad as they have been ever since the big Flood of ’15, and the water temperature and water clarity are just right for smallmouth fishing. 

Mike McSwain of Broad River Smallmouth said he doesn’t mind the slightly high water levels. He’s just happy he is finally able to get on the Broad for a little fishing, and said everything else about the river is just the way he likes it.

“I’m trying to contain my excitement. Today was my first good day on the Broad this year. The water is still a bit high, but wow, the clarity is good, plus we’re in the magic temperature range,” he said.

This time of year, McSwain said it’s usually tough to cast a lure that won’t catch a fish or two, but some are working particularly well.

“I’m catching a couple of good ones on the fluke, and a couple of good ones on the KVD 2.5 crankbait, but the rockstar is the Mepps #4 with a gold blade. I caught 13 smallmouth on that today,” he said.

McSwain said you can catch smallmouth in so many areas of the Broad River, that you really can’t go wrong no matter where you cast, but he does recommend casting upriver as opposed to downriver. This makes it easier to reel the lure in, gives it less chance of getting snagged, and offers a more natural presentation to the fish, which are used to seeing baitfish getting pushed downriver with the current.

Casting into the eddies on the down current side of boulders is always a good bet, and McSwain doesn’t mind casting right into the current and letting it carry the lure into calm water before he starts reeling.

McSwain (843-763-3805) pays close attention to deep pockets in the river, and the Broad has many of them throughout its system. Holes as deep as 7 and 8 feet are sometimes surrounded by water that is as shallow as a foot, and these deep holes are excellent spots to find smallmouth. 

Eddies are good spots too, and McSwain said some of the easiest places to catch smallmouth are in the eddies near the shore, and where those eddies meet the current. He said anglers should anticipate a bite on every part of that retrieve, from the slack water next to shore, where it meets the current, and well into the current.