Graham Able, of Haddrell’s Point Tackle, was out in deep waters with a friend deep dropping for shrimp using a 12′ bait buster net on September 10, 2012.
Within a couple of hours, they had filled up all they could carry in a 48-quart cooler full of huge tasty shrimp. No bait was used during this method. A depth finder is used to locate shrimp stacked up on the bottom.
As the waters get colder with the season, the shrimp relocate to deeper waters. This is where deep holing comes in. The way this works is that you tape the edges of the cast net so that it fans open while being dropped to the depths where the shrimp are waiting.
Only a saltwater license is required. The months from December to April only 12 dozen, or 144 shrimp are allowed to be kept. A 48-quart cooler full of shrimp is allowed from May through November.
Cherry Grove Pier reports that quite a few flounder have been caught off the pier recently. Additionally, black drum, pompano, whiting, pinfish and a few spots have also been landed.
Flounder: Good. Perry's reports that flounder fishing has picked back up again and some very nice fish have been caught recently. The most popular inshore method is drifting/ trolling and holding two rods each set up with a double mud minnow tandem rig. There are also some people catching fish anchoring, casting and reeling the same rig or a plain Carolina rigged minnow. Surf and Pier: Perry's reports that blues, whiting and some flounder have been caught off the beach. At the jetties black drum fishing has been good.
Haddrell's Point reports if you have tarpon fished in SC before, then you already know that when the rafts of mullet begin to show up in our inlets, this is the best time of the year to tangle with a silver king. Large live mullet is by far the bait of choice, fished around sandbar slews in and around our inlets. The trout bite remains strong on live minnows and shrimp, as well as the Trout Tricks and DOA shrimp on the artificial side. Bull reds continue to take cut mullet, blue crab, and live menhaden around the jetties and should remain there through much of September. Offshore: Wahoo. August/September Wahoo bite has been very solid from 130-250ft of water, with lots of reports of 2-6 'hoos per trip. In addition to the Wahoo, the sailfish bite remains strong in the 200-400ft depth range. On the bottom side, the grouper bite is still pretty good using butterfly jigs and live cigar minnows in 80-150ft Beaufort-Hilton Head
Trout: Good. Captain Dan "Fishin' Coach" Utley reports that on the high water both incoming and outgoing speckled trout have made a tremendous comeback. Many small trout are hitting live shrimp and mud minnows fished under a rattling cork, but the larger fish seem to prefer the Mirodine Mirrolure with a dark back tossed near grass edges and twitched back towards the boat. Of course, to catch trout you have to avoid the ladyfish which are everywhere. Spottail Bass: Fair to good. Bay Street Outfitters in Beaufort reports that redfish are feeding pretty well chasing shrimp, mud minnows, mullet and crabs. There is lots of bait in the water so fish can be selective. Overall the best bite has been closer to the ocean. Captain Dan "Fishin' Coach" Utley reports that big "over the slot" redfish have been biting well on the flats around Hilton Head in the last week, and there are also some undersized redfish feeding in the small feeder creeks around oyster beds.
Trout: Good. For quality fish the catch rate has overall been pretty good. Trolling in the big water 60-100 feet down with spoons and live shiners has been most effective. The intakes are still producing some fish off and on, but night fishing has slowed. Night fishermen should try suspending nightcrawlers and shiners 25 to 40 feet down near the intakes. Black Bass: Fair. Some fish will still feed in the middle of the day, but really it's too hot to be fishing except early, late and at night. The majority of the fish seem to out in deep, open water following roaming schools of baitfish, but early and late some fish move shallower. First thing and at dusk there can be a good bite on topwater lures such as Spooks and Jitterbugs worked around points that extend out a good ways.
Largemouth and Spotted Bass: Very good. Six inch Lake Fork Trick Worms and Nemire Baby Buzzer buzzbaits in red color have been very successful on both spots and largemouths.
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Bill Plumley reports that blue catfish remain out in the deep timber and very difficult to catch, but channel catfish are biting pretty well. They are scattered out across the lake in 15-60 feet of water, with 20-30 feet the most productive range. The largest concentrations of fish are in the main lake or in the major creeks, and the best spots to fish have a clean bottom without timber. Channels can be caught on dip baits, night crawlers, cut herring, shrimp and a variety of other baits. Most fish are being caught anchored. Flatheads are feeding well on live bream or perch fished in the evening or at night around points in 20-30 feet of water, or in the backs of creeks that have some water flow. Crappie: Little fishing activity. Captain Bill Plumley reports that few anglers are pursuing them but crappie can still be caught at night around bridges in 15-30 feet of water by anglers putting out lights and fishing with minnows. During the day the best bet is fishing around deeper parts of the bridges in 20-25 feet of water, or around brush at the same depth. Black Bass: Slow. Guide Brad Fowler reports that if anything the fishing has gotten a little tougher over the last few weeks. A few more fish are being caught shallow around docks on shakey heads, buzz baits and jigs, but with water levels so low the fish that are out in deeper water are often uncatchable as they suspend in the timber and beyond. Anglers can still try fishing flukes, Spooks, and swimbaits near the surface well out off deep points.
White perch: Fair to good. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that perch have already moved into the spots where they will be found in the fall, and they can be caught fishing a minnow just off the bottom in 20-25 feet of water in the larger coves and back in the creeks. Black Bass: Fair. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that catching larger fish has been tough, but spotted bass up to about 3 pounds have been feeding decently off main lake points in 25 feet of water. The best points have brush on them and the bass are hanging out on points holding bait schools. Fish are just off the bottom and will take a Carolina-rigged worm/lizard or a Spot Remover. In the timber the water has been warm, but largemouth should still be willing to bite a Texas-rigged plastic worm fished with a 1/8 ounce weight. Fish 10-20 feet down around emergent cedar trees in 20-40 feet of water, and cotton candy and green colored worms will both work. Catfish: Fair. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that catfishing can be caught anchoring off points and fan casting cut herring into 15 feet of water.
Black bass: Slow. Buckeye Lures in Augusta reports that fish remain in a summer pattern and the bite is still pretty slow. Early in the day some fish can be caught fishing buzz baits along banks that are proximate to deeper water, and during the day there is some schooling activity over humps. The schooling fish are mainly smaller. Fish can still be targeted fishing on the bottom around offshore humps that may rise to 12-18 feet of surface but are surrounded by deeper water. Mop jigs or mini mop jigs, Carolina rigs and big plastic worms fished on a Texas rig are the best baits. Crappie: Little fishing activity. Captain William Sasser reports that crappie should be found 20 feet down over 40 feet of water in the river channels around timber. Target crappie by anchoring and dropping minnows vertically.
Largemouth Bass: Slow to fair. FLW Professional and Guide Matt Arey reports that a typical summer pattern remains predominant on Lake Wylie, but the bream bed bite has been pretty strong recently and should be good through a week or two past Labor Day. Look for bass cruising in packs and targeting bream around docks and in the backs of sandy coves. Prop baits, swimbaits and weightless Senkos will all work. Still, about half of the winning tournament weights are being caught offshore around humps, bridges and points with DD-22s, Hopkins spoons, football jigs and big plastic worms. Shad schools have not started to make a move towards the back of the creeks and they are holding in the mouths and the main channel right now.
Largemouth Bass: Good. Captain Chris Heinning reports that with cooling temps, this puts bass into a transition period where they can be caught shallow or deep. Early in the morning or on cloudy days, bass can be caught around shallow cover such as rocky points, grass, and laydowns using topwater, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and worms. Once the sun gets up, docks and deeper points/underwater humps can yield nice largemouth using plastic worms on Texas rig, shakeyhead, and Carolina rig. Seeing a thermocline at around 12 feet, but can vary depending on the day; look at your marine electronics to find depth most fish and baitfish are present, and then fish the structure at this depth.
Catfish: Good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that plenty of good eating sized channel catfish are still being caught both day and night by anchoring on humps and points and fan casting out baits. During the day the most productive depths have been 5-20 feet, and at night fish have been as shallow as 2 feet down to about 10 feet. Both shrimp and dip baits have been catching fish, and if you want to increase the chances of catching a large channel or a flathead try putting out half live baits, too. Be aware of the thermocline, though - if you retrieve dead baits after just a few minutes then there is no oxygen at that depth and you need to move shallower. In general the thermocline is about 20-25 feet deep in the mid to upper half of the lake, and probably a few feet deeper on the lower end. Flatheads are also biting well. To target flatheads most efficiently anchor and fish live bream or perch around heavy cover on ledges that extend from shallow to deep water.
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Chris Simpson reports that the bite has been pretty good for big fish on Lake Monticello. Santee-style drifting has been fairly productive and should only get better into September. The best depth zone has been 50-65 feet, and anglers should set up their initial drifts to cover a wide variety of depths and discover the most productive range for a given day. No particular bait has been outperforming all the rest, but white perch have been as good anything. Bream, shad, herring and even black salty shiners have all been working.
Catfish: Fair. Captain Chris Simpson reports that fishing has been a little slow recently, perhaps partly due to hatches of mayflies and grass shrimp which catfish appear to have gorged themselves on. Nighttime fishing may be a little better than daytime, and anchoring on points, humps and other depth changes with deep and shallow water around them and fan casting baits at a variety of depths has been most productive. The general depth zone has ranged from 5-30 feet, and there is great variation from day to day and even during times of day (morning to afternoon, afternoon to night, etc.) In order to be successful at this time of year it is essential to be willing to adjust to subtle changes. Some days (or times of day) you will find the fish up shallow in the 3-10 foot range, and other days (or times of day) they will be out feeding in 15-25 plus feet of water. Sometimes steep ledges will be better, and at other times gently sloping points will be preferred. Cut herring, shrimp and dip baits will all catch fish, and generally being in the right area and at the right depth is more important than the bait choice. Crappie: Fair. Captain Brad Taylor reports that crappie are being caught around deep brush in 15-30 feet of water. Early in the morning and on cloudy days fish are positioned high in the brush, but as the sun gets higher and brighter fish are lower in the brush. Most fish are being caught on live bait, but some are coming on jigs. The best action is in the middle part of the lake around Dreher Island, Big Hollow Creek and Bear Creek. Largemouth Bass: Slow. Veteran angler Doug Lown reports that fishing has been pretty tough and most fish that have been caught have been in the 1 1/2 to 2 pound range. With some of the highest water levels of the year a decent number of fish are up shallow, and first thing anglers are throwing buzz baits and topwater lures off the banks. The best bite has been early and by 9:00 or 10:00 the fishing gets a lot tougher. One of the more productive patterns is fishing shakey head worms around rocky points in 6-10 feet of water, and the best spots are near deeper water such as the channel or some other drop off. It is rare to catch fish on a shallow flat area. There are a few reports of fish schooling.
Santee Cooper System
Catfish: Fair. Captain Jim Glenn reports that there has been some improvement in daytime blue cat fishing over the last couple of weeks, and some folks are boating very nice fish both drifting and anchoring. Fish are scattered with some fish being found in the usual deep water for summer and some shallow. Overall fishing seems to be a little more productive in Lake Marion than the lower lake, and night time fishing has been limited due to frequent storms and wind. Largemouth bass: Slow. Captain Jimmie Hair reports that bass fishing is very tough on Santee Cooper, and typically September is one of the slowest months of the year. Very little bass fishing is going on in the lakes and most clubs are fishing the Cooper River right now. By late September and October fishing should improve and fish will make their way to the creeks.
The following seminars will be held at Haddrell’s Point this month:
“Fall Trout Seminar” by Capt John Koonce of Shoal Bandit Charters
September 18th @ 6pm (West Ashley location)
FREE, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or (843)573-3474