• Freshwater Fishing

    Flowing for 52 miles through North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, the Chattooga is one of the nation’s Top 100 trout streams.

    The Chattooga beckons

    One of the five largest and longest free-flowing rivers in the Southeast, the Chattooga begins its 52-mile journey below Whiteside Mountain in Jackson County near Cashiers, N.C., flowing south and entering the Nantahala National forest below Cashiers Lake. After leaving North Carolina, the river forms the border between South Carolina and Georgia, flanked by the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina and the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia, offering a variety of trout fishing experiences before entering Lake Tugalo in northeastern Georgia.

    Designated as a National Wild and Scenic River in 1974 and rated as one of the top 100 trout streams in the nation by Trout Unlimited, the Chattooga is regulated as wild trout waters, delayed-harvest waters and general waters, according to the section being fished.

    September 19 at 9:00am
    Guide Kevin Davis expects September to be a great month to catch blue catfish like this one at Santee Cooper.

    September opportunities

    September serves as a wake-up call for outdoorsmen in the Santee Cooper area. The fishing patterns begin to change as the month progresses, with a trend to shallower water for some species and more-reliable, big-fish patterns in deep water for others. Hunting seasons throttle up everywhere around the lakes in September.

    September 16 at 9:00am
    Fishing deep water and setting up directly over the fish and vertically teasing stripers below is how power-reeling spoons works.

    Tips for catching Lake Hartwell stripers on jigging spoons

    Power-reeling with big, heavy baits has a track record for catching both big striped bass and big numbers of stripers during the summer at Lake Hartwell and other lakes. Guide Mack Farr said while the technique is not hard to master, there are a few advanced tips that can help your overall success.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    The Ben Parker Magnum Spoon  comes in three sizes between 6 and 9 inches, huge for a spoon but small enough to fit in a striper’s mouth.

    Spoon up a striper? Here’s the silverware for Lake Hartwell

    The Nichols Ben Parker Magnum Spoon first made a name with anglers when it was used to win a national bass tournament on Kentucky Lake in 2014. In fact, half of the top-10 finishers used it. The same month, a college fishing event on Pickwick Lake was won with the same spoon.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Fishermen at Lake Thom-A-Lex must observe some boating restrictions in order to sample the municipal reservoir’s fine bass fishing.

    Special restrictions govern buoy area

    Anglers fishing Lake Thom-A-Lex must observe the restrictions on fishing within the buoyed off area of 100 acres near the water-source intake structure on the lower end of the lake. The use of gas-powered engines is prohibited within the area, which is  designated by eight buoys. Fishermen may fish the area with electric trolling motors.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Elijah Crabtree, a 12-year-old angler from Bladenboro, poses with the new North Carolina state record spotted sunfish.

    12-year-old sets new spotted sunfish state record

    Elijah Crabtree, a 12-year-old from Bladenboro, is one of North Carolina's newest freshwater fish record-holders. Crabtree caught a 7.7-ounce spotted sunfish, a close relative of bluegills and redbreast sunfish, and it is the newly-established state record.

    September 04 at 1:02pm
    Anglers turn to power-reeling to catch big striped bass at Lake Hartwell during the dog days of summer.

    Spoon-feed those stripers

    For two summers, some fishermen who target striped bass on Lake Hartwell have done their best to keep one of their hottest tactics secret. But bringing big fish to the docks and winning tournaments makes it hard to keep a secret because inquiring minds, especially those who didn’t win the tournaments, want to know.

    September 01 at 7:00am
    Once Lexington’s Chris Brown discovered Lake Thom-A-Lex, he made it his go-to lake for bass fishing for reasons like this chunky one.

    Little lake, big bass - Little municipal lake has answers for North Carolina bass anglers

    For years, Lexington’s Chris Brown traveled 45 minutes or more to big, well-known lakes, including High Rock, Badin and Norman, to fish for largemouth bass, all the while bypassing a small body of water teeming with bass almost in his own back yard.

    September 01 at 7:00am
    Big flathead catfish put on their feed bags in September in the lower part of Blewett Falls Lake.

    Blewett Falls Lake cats get rolling in lower main-lake area

    A strange thing happens this month in the Pee Dee River below Blewett Falls Lake and at the lake itself, according to guide Robbie Burr of Pee Dee Fishing Adventures.

    “September is by far the worst month for catfishing in the river, yet the fishing for flatheads is pretty good at the lake,” said Burr. “I can’t explain why.”

    August 30 at 9:07am
    Katie Lamb and Jessica Bowne show off the type of panfish anglers can catch this month from the deep water near the dam at Lake Wateree.

    Lake Wateree bream are biting, but not where you think

    Anglers can catch bream in South Carolina’s Lake Wateree pretty much year-round, but September can be special for those looking for something a little different from panfish. 

    August 29 at 4:03pm
    Guide Wendell Wilson catches plenty of nice crappie, along with several other species, on live minnows around deep brush in Lake Russell.

    Mixed-bag fishing takes off at Lake Russell this month

    By Labor Day, fall is just over the horizon, and miserably hot weather and slow fishing will soon be a welcome sight in the rearview mirror. The weather begins to get a lot better, and the fishing on South Carolina’s Lake Russell starts getting really good, according to guide Wendell Wilson of Elberton, Ga.

    August 29 at 3:49pm
    Jordan Lake’s crappie begin a move out of deep water into tributary creeks in September as the month progresses.

    Use fall fishing patterns to catch more Jordan Lake crappie

    At Jordan Lake, southwest of Raleigh, N.C., the first half of September is likely to play out in typical, summertime fashion. However, the second half is subject to the first hints of fall, triggering schools of shad to bunch up and begin a movement towards the creeks — with revitalized crappie in hot pursuit.

    August 29 at 3:12pm
    Striped bass are dying in bigger-than-normal numbers on Lake Murray, and biologists believe it is due to a number of factors.

    Striped bass dying off at Lake Murray

    Boaters on Lake Murray may notice numbers of dead or dying striped bass in the water over the next few weeks. This is a result of what S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) biologists suspect is a combination of high organic inflow, dissolved oxygen depletion and stratified water temperatures. 

    August 25 at 10:51pm
    The edges of weed lines are great places to find nice summer bass that aren’t in deep water.

    Brush are holding crappie at Santee

    August delivers “crappie consistency” to the Santee Cooper lakes. With water temperatures near or at the zenith for the year, slabs are ganged up around identifiable underwater targets in both Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie.

    August 22 at 9:19pm
    Trout like this one are easy pickings for anglers who don't mind getting their feet wet in mountain streams.

    This 1 tip will help you catch more mountain trout

    I lived in western North Carolina for two years some time ago. While living in the little town of Bakersville, which sits on the other side of the Roan Mountain from Unicoi, Tennessee, I mastered the art of fishing the small blue ribbon trout streams that ran through the area. The problem was, I only mastered it a few days before moving away from there.

    August 15 at 8:38am
    Blue catfish will strike baits at a variety of depths during the summer, but keep several baits off the bottom to make sure you’ve got the water column covered.

    Terminal tackle tips for big catfish

    Zakk Royce’s terminal rigging includes more bells, whistles, and innovations than one might shake a Big Cat Fever rod at. Each component is vital to the whole, and when combined, the end result is a system that rarely hangs up or tangles.

    August 15 at 7:00am