November might be the most-consistent time of year to catch big blue catfish and big flatheads on Clarks Hill Lake, just as it is on other South Carolina lakes, according to Chris Simpson who previously guided on Lake Monticello, Lake Murray and Lake Greenwood before moving to McCormick, S.C., 18 months ago to guide on Clarks Hill.
Although he lives just a hop, skip and jump from Lake Greenwood, when winter begins to wane, Rod Wall of Ninety Six much prefers to make the hour-long drive southwest to fish on his favorite crappie lake: Clarks Hill.
At almost 71,000 acres, Clarks Hill Reservoir, the largest manmade body of water east of the Mississippi River, is still surprisingly undeveloped compared to many of the other impoundments across South Carolina.
Clarks Hill, or Lake Thurmond if you prefer, was built between 1946 and 1954, just a few years before Lake Hartwell and some 30 years before Lake Russell, the other two impoundments upstream on the Savannah River system.
As a fishery, Clarks Hill has a reputation as a better-than-average destination for a number of species. Professional bass tours frequently make stops there, and a growing number of crappie and catfish tournament circuits are also becoming regular visitors. One of the more sought-after species, at least as far as recreational anglers are concerned, are striped bass. Stripers and their test-tube cousins, hybrid striped bass, were first introduced into Clarks Hill during the late 1960s. The fishery was to their liking, and the lake produced a state-record striper in 1993 that wasn’t topped for eight years. […]
Taking first and second place this past Saturday June 4th, at the Crappie USA 2-day $10,000.00 Super Event at the Wildwood Park Mega Ramps on Clarks Hill Lake were a pair of South Carolina teams. They entire field was competing not only for $10,000.00 cash and prizes, but a chance to advance to the prestigious Cabela’s Crappie USA Classic. […]