Your Best Spring Fishing in South Carolina

Spring fishing in South Carolina has never been better. Whether you're angling for crappies or planning on slamming largemouth bass, these are the best places to hit.



Lake Russell

Spring brings the best crappie fishing of the year to lakes all over South Carolina, and some of the very finest action occurs on Lake Russell, which covers 26,650 acres and impounds the Savannah River. Russell, which has undeveloped banks and fairly clear water, supports a strong population of black crappie. Crappie average 1/2 to 3/4 pound, but fish up to about 1 1/2 pounds show up regularly.

March tends to be a transition month, with the fish moving up major creeks and gradually straying shallower as they prepare to spawn. Depending on water temperatures and recent days' weather, the fish could be along channel edges toward the lower ends of the creeks or well up on flats and among the trees, well back in the creeks. Lacking specific local insights, a good March strategy is to troll close to creek channel breaks until you find fish and then switch to stationary tactics that allow you to fish specific spots more thoroughly.



Lake Murray

April is all about bass fishing, and there's no finer place to launch a boat at that time than on Lake Murray, which impounds 50,000 acres along the Saluda River just outside of Columbia. Plentiful largemouth, which stay fat from a mixed diet of threadfin shad, blueback herring and bluegills, bite well during April, providing opportunities for fast bass-fishing action.

Down the lake, where the water tends to be extra clear, look for spawning fish in the backs of pockets and coves and sight cast to them. Farther up the lake, where the slopes are a little less steep and the water typically carries a hint of color, fish a floating worm or soft-plastic jerkbait around buck brush and other shallow visible cover. Late in April, when the blueback herring typically begin spawning, focus on main-lake points with topwater lures and swimbaits in herring-imitating color patterns.

For Lake Murray information, visit



Lake Wateree

Highly fertile and loaded with forage, Lake Wateree yields big numbers of fat crappie year after year. May conditions bring some of the best fishing of the year to Wateree, with some fish still quite shallow and others holding along channel edges as they work back out toward the main lake.

If you like to cast for crappie, focus on Wateree's seemingly endless docks, casting a minnow-tipped jig close to dock pilings, allowing it to sink and then reeling it slowly. Try docks in different depths, both in creeks and on the main lake, and pay attention to details whenever fish bite. If you feel any cover just out from a dock it's most likely brush and warrants extra attention.

If you prefer to let your baits do the fish finding for you, troll slowly along channel edges, both in the creeks and in the upper half of the lake's main body, spending time with baits over the flat just above the channel edge and over the slightly deeper water just off the drop.

Don't forget to share your best fishing photos with us on Camera Corner for your chance to win free gear!

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You


MLF Pros: What's Your Go-To Lure?

G&F Online Staff - May 20, 2019

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on.


MLF Pros: What's With the Moon?

G&F Online Staff

We're told to pay attention to the lunar phases. What do bass pros think?


Quick Tips: How to Spot and Stalk a Hog

Ian Nance - May 28, 2019

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set.

See More Recommendations

Trending Stories


Catfish Night & Day: How to Catch 'Em Both Ways

Terry Madewell - April 04, 2018

Catfish tend to be found in shallower water at night, but they are still active during the...


Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.


Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...

See More Stories

More Catfish


Great Catfish Baits That Won't Stink Up the Place

Keith Sutton - August 06, 2018

You don't have to go stinky with catfish baits. Some of the best enticements don't smell bad...


Arkansas Catfish Best Bets 2019

Keith Sutton

The Natural State is loaded with opportunities for catfish. Here's what to expect this year...


Find These 6 Catfish Sweet Spots for More Hook-Ups

Keith Sutton - September 06, 2018

Tuning in on these catfish sweet spots will put more whiskerfish in the boat.

See More Catfish

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.