When the 2012 summer heat finally arrived, it arrived in steamy style. After an extended period of late-spring like weather which prolonged shallow water fishing success, the intense heat of the last few days has certainly changed that. However, fishing continues to be good, but with extreme heat, many anglers have quickly changed their fishing patterns from all-day fishing to that of early and late in the day. Some are getting out at dawn, fishing until mid-morning or mid-day, and then calling it a day. Some are getting out late in the evening. Some of the guides are doing half-and-half trips, which is getting our for a couple three hours before dark and fishing until about midnight to beat the heat and hopefully catch the fish a bit more active.
The most notable species being reported caught in good numbers include catfish, bream and largemouth bass. The action on largemouth bass has been quite good, especially for numbers of fish. A few quality fish have been taken, but the overall bite is good.
The bream action remains surprisingly good and rains from a couple weeks ago are likely part of the reason for that with better water conditions. A couple of my friends tried them a couple of times recently and found some good bream in water 4-6 feet deep. Despite having to work slower and be more patient than earlier in the year, that was the tactic that punched their meal ticket. Once a hotspot of bream is located, the action certainly speeds up considerably. The size of the best fish was still good in terms of weight, but not as big as were being caught earlier in the year.
In addition, several anglers made limit catches on area lakes, not just Marion and Moultrie, with some really big bream being caught around the mayfly hatches.Around these areas, the live bait, fly rods, popping bugs and small beetle spin spinners are all producing.
All three major species of catfish are being caught right now with blue catfish and the flatheads orienting to deeper water in the main lake area. The channel catfish, which are averaging about 2-6 pounds each, are being taken along the drops and ledges in 12-20 feet of water. The best baits for the channel catfish are stink baits and cut shad. Cut bait has been best for blue catfish, and the big flatheads being taken on live bait, such as herring as well as other forms of live bait such as bream, perch and shiners.
Several anglers have enjoyed some respectable largemouth bass fishing action on a variety of lures, however the slow moving plastic worms have produced the majority of the action, according to most reports. Early morning top water action has been good, however mid-morning action is best by fishing cover such as brush piles or deeper water along the ledges using plastic worms.
Good reports have been received from the coastal areas, particularly around Georgetown and down to Charleston on flounder, trout and redfish. Best results for flounder have been trolling the ledges with mud minnows. For redfish, the action has been best fishing live bait along the grass beds on the outgoing tide. Good action is also reported on sheepshead around the jetties and bridges and for black drum and a variety of other species in the surf.