February Fishing Trends
- Striped and Hybrid Bass: Slow. The striper bite has really slowed down. Although some fish can still be caught, particularly big fish, it’s also possible to fish all day without hooking up. It’s better to fish points and pockets adjacent to deeper water.
- Catfish: Fair. Catch small blue catfish up to about 10 pounds on cut bait in 25-40 feet of water.
- Black Bass: Fair. Fish are in water ranging from 30-50 feet deep and the bulk of fish are scattered around the main lake or at the mouths of major creeks. Within those areas bass will be found around the mouths of feeder creeks and in underwater ditches and drains, and some fish are also holding around deep standing timber. Many fish are lying just off the bottom, and drop shot rigs, jigging spoons and doodle rigs worked very slowly will all catch fish.
- Catfish: Fair. The best bet for catching winter catfish is to fish cut bait on the bottom in 35-40 feet of water in the creek channels.
- Striped bass: Slow to fair. The most successful pattern is fishing free lined live shiners (because of their durability), and cloudy days will offer the best and most pleasant window to catch fish.
- Crappie: Fair. Crappie are in deep water in the 30-35 foot range and because most brush piles on Lake Russell are shallower they are relating to bait schools and depth changes instead of brush. Look in the same areas where spotted bass are feeding and fish live minnows.
- Crappie: Good to very good. Good sized fish are still feeding well on Clarks Hill. Fish in the back of mid-lake creeks like Soap Creek and marking fish about 30 feet down over the creek channel in 35 feet of water. Use the trolling motor to stay over the fish and drop live minnows to them.
- Striped and Hybrid Bass: Fair to good. Catch the best fish in the lower lake fishing on the bottom with live herring in 50-55 feet of water. Some anglers are pulling planer boards and free lines in the 20 foot depth range, but they don’t seem to be having too much luck.
- Largemouth Bass: Fair. In the lower lake the water is very clear and a shad are dying off in large numbers as water temperatures plummet. Fish are suspended and relating to creek channel bends, main river ledges, and other depth changes. Since these fish are mainly feeding on shad, the best baits will imitate stressed or dying baitfish. Subtle jerkbaits, flukes, crankbaits with a tight wobble such as a #5 or #7 Shad Rap, and Yamamato single tail grubs fished behind a 1/4 or 3/16 ounce jighead will all catch fish. Be sure to work the bait slowly and try an erratic retrieve.
- Largemouth Bass: Fair. Catching large fish is difficult, but numbers of fish can be caught in the mid to lower lake around brush piles in 16-21 feet of water. Most of the brush seems to at least hold small bass. Some anglers have been catching bigger fish working a shakey head worm around mid-lake docks in about 10 feet of water, but with the recent cold snap fish may have backed out to deeper water.
Fishing trends courtesy www.SCFishingReport.com.