Santee striper fishing report – mid February


Striper fishing report from Capt. Joe Dennis

The striper bite has remained hot throughout this year’s winter, and as we move into the second half of February, it doesn’t look to be slowing down at all. Capt. Joe Dennis of Captain J Hook Charters and Father and Son Outdoors TV is keeping his clients on plenty of these fish, including some double-digit stripers that are giving his customers everything they want.

Most of Dennis’ fish are coming in deeper water on the lower lake. Deeper water is a relative term, depending on what part of the lake you’re on. So he said you’ve got to rely on and trust what your depthfinder is showing you. He starts each day by heading to areas he’s had success in the past, then takes a close look at his electronics. If he sees stripers, or at least schools of baitfish, he’ll hit the anchor lock feature on his trolling motor and bait his hooks with live bait.

Best depths vary each day

If the fish are holding at 45 feet, he’ll lower his baits to anywhere from 40 to 44 feet deep. Stripers usually chase bait that’s above them, so he rarely puts the baits below them. It’s usually not long before he’s got stripers peeling drag off his reels, as his customers do battle with these fish, which make long, hard runs that can often have an angler walking completely around the boat before finally bringing the fish to the net.

And while that 45-foot depth is holding stripers on many days, sometimes they are at 35, and some days they are deeper than 50. Dennis said it can be different each day, and the best depths can vary even on the same day in different areas of the lake.

February can be one of those months that is difficult to gauge, but it’s shaping up to be one of the better ones in recent memory for Dennis, who fishes for numerous species of fish on several bodies of water. Give him a call at (843-245-3762) to book a trip.

About Brian Cope 2762 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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