Lowcountry’s freshwater fishing is world class

George Wilgus of Charleston with a 12-pound largemouth bass he caught from a private dock near Bonneau Beach on Lake Moultrie using an artificial worm.

You don’t have to look far to find world-class freshwater fishing in the Lowcountry.

Since the Santee and Cooper rivers were impounded approximately 75 years ago, fishermen have flocked to upper Lake Marion and lower Lake Moultrie.

Fishing legend Roland Martin honed his bass fishing skills on Santee Cooper Lake. An unexpected bonus was having striped bass migrating from saltwater to freshwater being trapped in the lakes, where they spawned and flourished. World record crappie and catfish have been taken from these waters. The fishing for shellcrackers and bream can be spectacular.

Similarly, the Santee and Cooper river systems that empty from the lakes also produce excellent fishing, especially in the old rice fields that were constructed centuries ago.

South of Charleston you have the ACE Basin, formed by the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto rivers. The Edisto is renowned for redbreast fishing and a perfect place for a float trip with your canoe or kayak.

The U.S. Forest Service’s Francis Marion National Forest also offers plenty of opportunities: 18 freshwater lakes or ponds and a handful of places where you can fish from a kayak or canoe.

A cane pole and some bait and you’re all set.