Santee Cooper Lakes Ranked Among The Best For Bass

By Coastal Angler Magazine Staff

In the depths of August, with the bass fishing struggling under some of the most difficult conditions of the year, it might have come as a surprise to many South Carolina anglers that Bassmaster ranked Santee Cooper the second best bass fishery in the nation.

Well, better days are close at hand. With the onset of fall, those fish will come up to put on the feedbag. Lakes Marion and Moultrie will again have the chance to show us why they are some of the best bass fisheries in the country.


Bassmaster’s rankings are based on information gathered from its vast network of anglers as well as data from the state fisheries departments. The re-emergence of the Santee Cooper lakes in the top echelons seems to have been driven by spring tournament results.

According to Bassmaster, Bryan Thrift won a three-day event last March with 79-15, and he was a fish shy of a limit on the second day. That’s spectacular fishing. The same event produced two bags of fish that weighed more than 30 pounds and 16 others that topped 25 pounds.

Cypress gets a lot of attention when Marion and Moultrie come up. But the Santee Cooper fisheries offer 170,000 surface acres with a wide diversity of structure and cover. For many anglers, so many choices could be intimidating. For others, it just means there is a lot of opportunity.


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