Santee Cooper Guide Service

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Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie in Santee Cooper Information
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Glenn Baxley
Office: 843-753-3269

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Lake and Area Information

Santee Cooper - Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie


Danny Watter, Dover, Delaware, 7lb 2oz Largemouth caught on Buzzbait
Danny Watter

The Santee Cooper lake system consists of two lakes, Marion 110,600 acres and Moultrie 60,400 acres. These two lakes are joined by the 6.5 mile Diversion Canal. These world-class fishing lakes were created from 1939-42 for a hydroelectric project by the S.C. Public Service Authority, commonly known as "Santee Cooper" because of the two river systems the project connected. At the present time these lakes hold a world record Channel Catfish (58 Ibs) and a Warmouth weighing 2.2 Ibs was caught in a creek a few miles from lake Marion. These lakes held the record for striped bass until 1977, its weight was 55 Ibs. State records held are:

Todd Sages Tinton Falls, NJ 7 lb Largemouth caught Sight Fishing
Todd Sages Tinton Falls, NJ
7 lb Largemouth
caught Sight Fishing

Largemouth Bass (16.2 Ibs), Black Crappie (5 Ibs), Chain (Jack) (6.4 Ibs), Channel Catfish (58 Ib.), Arkansas Blue (109.4 Ibs) The Santee Cooper Lakes vary from shallow swamps and blackwater ponds to vast open water with a multitude of underwater structures. Lake Marion was not completely cleared, as a result, fishermen will find there are thousands upon thousands of stumps, standing dead tree trunks and live cypress trees. Lake Moultrie is more open and is 14 miles across at its widest point. These lakes do not ice over during the winter and there is no closed season for fishing season. Weather permitting, fishermen can fish year round. Listed below is some information and seasonal tactics for fishing the waters of lakes Marion and Moultrie. Each section will begin with Spring, our prime season.


Joe Bone Screnton, Pa. Post Spawn 6lb largemouth Caught off a Cypress Tree
Joe Bone Screnton, Pa.
Post Spawn 6lb largemouth
Caught off a Cypress Tree

Spring - When water temperatures reach 64 to 70 degrees the male constructs a nest in one to five feet of water and approximately 20 to 30 feet from the closest neighbor. The female lays 10,000 to 11,000 eggs which are fertilized, guarded and maintained until the young fry disperse. This is the best time of the year to catch big bass. Big females strike to protect beds, if small buck bass don't hit first. Spoons, spinners and six to eight inch plastic worms are effective. After spawning,worms, crankbaits and spinner baits are effective around the cypress trees stickups, lily pads and grass beds in water 2 to 4 feet deep.
This is Cecil Fry's first fish he ever caught while sight fishing.
Cecil Fry - 7 lb 3 oz

Summer - Most bass head for deeper water ledges and drops where heavily weighted jugs or worms are effective. Early and late in the day the bass will often feed in the shallows. Bass are usually found in waters less than 20 feet deep and rarely go beyond the area where rooted vegetation will grow.

Mike Simpson from N.C. caught these two ladies while sight fish. One was a little over 6 lbs and the other around 7 lbs.
Mike Simpson

Fall - Largemouth move into more shallow water and cypress, gum and tupelo trees where plastic worms, spinner baits and crankdown lures are effective. Each tree must be fished completely from all angles for maximum results. Fishing points in early morning is effective using plastic worms and crankbaits.

Winter - Bass move back to deep water where jigs, spoons and heavily weighted worms are productive. At this time of year fish the lure very slowly.



Recommended Lodging:

Black's Camp 1370 Black's Camp Road; Cross, SC 29436 843.753.2231
Holiday Inn Express 505 R.C. Dennis Blvd., Moncks Corner, SC 29461 843.761.5900
Swamp Fox Inn  102 S HWY 52, Moncks Corner,SC 29461   843.761.5401 


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