As water temperatures dip in December, with frequent cold fronts blasting through South Carolina, the fishing on the Santee Cooper lakes, Marion and Moultrie, seem to defy logic and actually improves instead of slowing.
Veteran guide Dave Hilton from Ridgeville, S.C., has long cherished the opportunity to catch multiple species of fish at Santee Cooper. During November, the striper and catfish action is exceptional on Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie, so Hilton set out to learn how to double-dip.
The new striper regulations implemented on the Santee Cooper lakes this past June have received rave reviews from fishermen, guides and landing operators around Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie. This has created a lot of optimism for the striper fishing season that reopens Oct. 1.
September is a transition month from summer to fall patterns on the Santee Cooper lakes, and the fishing is excellent for several species. The key is following fish, as they’re often on the move following forage. Find the forage and the right habitat for the species you seek, feed them the right stuff, and they’ll eat it.
Bobby Winters is a 23-year-old catfish and striper guide on the Santee Cooper lakes who has a youthful passion for catching fish. We were fishing on a hot, summer day, and he’d targeted an area with undulating bottom contours for drift-fishing. We had been drifting only a short while when one of his nine rods bowed over.