Try Fishing Creek’s logjams for winter catfish
Fishing Creek Reservoir, on the Catawba River Chain between Lake Wylie and Lake Wateree, is a catfish hotspot that gets far less attention than those two lakes.
But that’s not because it doesn’t hold quality catfish. This is a great spot for catfish that range from eating size to trophy status.
“It’s easy for folks to forget about this lake. It’s sandwiched between two larger lakes that are probably easier to fish for most people. But Fishing Creek is a productive lake and a good one for wintertime fishing,” said Capt. Jason Wolfe of Wolfe’s Guide Service (803-487-3690).
Wolfe said for sheer numbers of small fish, anglers can clean up. But for anglers seeking cats that range from 5 to 50+ pounds, it takes a little more patience.
“This is a place you want to anchor down, put bait on the bottom, and have enough patience to wait on some good bites,” he said.
The type of bait isn’t all that important, but Wolfe said it needs to be as fresh as possible.
“It can be cut shad, cut bream, cut menhaden – it doesn’t really matter. But it needs to be fresh, and you need to change it often throughout the day to keep fresh bait on,” he said.
Anglers should focus on logjams.
Plenty of fish willing to bite
“Fishing Creek is full of logjams, and you want to anchor upcurrent of them, then cast just above the logjam. These catfish hunker down in those jams and will smell the bait. That’s why you want to keep the freshest bait on. They’ll smell it and come out to pick it up,” he said.
While Wolfe believes patience is a big part of fishing here, he said anglers need to recognize the difference between patience and wasting time.
“Plenty of fish here are willing to bite, but you have to find those in a feeding mood. I’ll give a spot 10 to 20 minutes to produce. If I’m not getting quality bites in that amount of time, I’ll pull anchor and find another spot,” he said.
If he’s not getting bites on the main waterway, Wolfe will duck into smaller creeks and anchor down in a way that allows him to fish the logjams in the mouth of those creeks, where they meet the main river channel.
It’s important, he said, for anglers to pay attention to their surroundings.
“Whether you’re catching fish or not, look closely at the location you’re fishing. If it’s got deep water next to shallow water, or if it’s got stronger current on the outside or inside, or if it’s in a deep hole – these are all things that could make a difference in catching fish or not, and it could change from day to day. Pay attention to those details, then either find similar spots to that if it’s producing, or avoid similar spots if you’re not catching fish there,” he said.
And never let the cold weather stop you from fishing.
“We’ve caught some of the biggest catfish of the year on this lake on the coldest days of the year. Cold weather is not a turn-off for catfish, and it shouldn’t be for anglers either,” he said.