Stripers smashing topwater lures on Wateree River

The Cooke family enjoyed a day of Wateree River striper fishing earlier this week.

Season ends June 15 for Wateree River stripers

Ask most any angler how they’d rather catch stripers (or any other fish), and most will tell you on a topwater lure. You just can’t beat the kind of bite that you can see, hear, and feel all at the same time. And that’s just how the stripers are biting right now on the Wateree River.

This is tailrace fishing at its best — heavy current with fish hitting the surface all around you. Capt. Jason Wolfe of Wolfe’s Guide Service said the fish are absolutely crushing topwater lures like Creek Chubs and other long-casting surface plugs.

Wolfe said on some casts, the stripers will smash the lure as soon as it hits the water. On other casts, the angler just works the lure back quickly with a twitch, twitch, reel method. Anglers are often tempted to give up and reel it in quickly once the lure is halfway back to the boat. But Wolfe said it’s best to work it all the way in, because fish are often following it.

It’s a great time to get others hooked on fishing

This is a great time to take young anglers that you’re trying to get hooked on the sport of fishing, or people that don’t have a lot of patience. But it’s also a great time to take hardcore anglers who love catching fish on topwater lures.

Some anglers are casting to pods of fish that are busting the surface, which often results in a quick hookup. Others are targeting current seams, eddies, and the slack water side of boulders, cuts in the bank, or other debris that create a break in the current. All are likely ambush points for stripers. And whether you see them hitting the top or not, plenty of fish are there waiting for an easy meal.

The stripers on the Wateree River fall under different regulations than those on Lake Wateree. The season ends on the river on June 15. Wolfe (803-487-3690) expects the bite to stay hot all the way through that date.


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About Brian Cope 2235 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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