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Fishing Lake Monticello

AKA: Monticello Reservoir

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Lake Monticello, SC

Popular Fish Species Lake Monticello, SC

Lake Monticello Popular Fish - Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass Fishing

Lake Monticello is home to numerous, annual bass fishing tournaments primarily because it offers good fishing for largemouth bass. Recently, some big bass are being caught here, thanks to long-standing fisheries management by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. The lake is fertile and has plenty of baitfish and other small fish to allow the bass to grow big. When the bite is good, bass typically move shallow and are quite aggressive. If you find them shallow and they are not tempted to bite, slow down and use smaller, lighter baits. Fishing for largemouth bass is good virtually any time they are shallow - in spring, mornings in summer, and during warm Fall afternoons. Use shallow crankbaits around rip rap. Around grass use worms, jigs, topwater and spinnerbaits. In deeper water, big worms, jigs and spoons are three good weapons. In winter, spend your time fishing Lake Monticello on deeper structure where the bass spend much of their time. Smallmouth bass also reside here in good numbers and often play a role in bass tournaments.

Lake Monticello Popular Fish - Crappie

Crappie Fishing

Black crappie and white crappie both reside in Lake Monticello. They often school together, so when you find them you may catch both species. Crappie fishing is on the rise and they can be found in sizeable schools. Crappie always like cover and structure, so locate brush and vegetation. Using a fish finder can help locate schools of crappie, which tend to stack vertically around cover. Live bait and small jigs are the most common method for crappie here. In spring and fall focus on the 8 to 12 foot range. The best time to catch crappie tends to be at dawn and dusk. As the crappie move deep in summer and winter, follow points out deep, as well as find ledges near channels in deeper water.

Lake Monticello Popular Fish - Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish Fishing

This year a healthy population of channel catfish populate the waters of Lake Monticello, and can be found all around the lake. In Spring channel cats migrate toward incoming water, so stay up river away from the main lake. Night fishing for channel catfish often delivers better results than fishing during the day. In early summer look for rocky banks, the bigger the rocks the better. In summer and winter deeper structure is where to look. The river end of the lake is often the area where the bigger catfish are caught. Fishing for channel catfish is often productive around any kind of structure in the area. Road beds, creek channels and rocky points are all good places to begin. Use a slip sinker or Carolina rig with popular catfish baits. Blue catfish, flathead catfish and white catfish also reside in the lake, and fishing for them is often good as well.

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, white catfish, black crappie, white crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, redbreast sunfish, redear sunfish, white bass, white perch and yellow perch at Lake Monticello in South Carolina.

Lake Monticello Fishing Video

As a cooling water, storage reservoir for a nuclear reactor, Lake Monticello, aka Monticello Reservoir is loaded with a great variety of fish species. It covers 7,000 acres, and is located in the north-central part of the state. Fish from the bank or explore the nearly 50 miles of available shoreline by canoe, kayak, bass boat, pontoon or pleasure craft.

Lake Monticello, nestled in the heart of South Carolina, is a hidden gem for fishing enthusiasts. This 7,000-acre reservoir offers a serene and picturesque setting for anglers seeking a memorable fishing experience. The lake is well-known for its thriving fish population, which includes largemouth bass, striped bass, crappie, catfish, and bream, making it a prime spot for a variety of catches.

Fishing on Lake Monticello is a year-round activity, with different seasons presenting unique opportunities. Anglers can explore the lake's many coves, points, and submerged structures, which serve as ideal habitats for fish. Whether you prefer casting from the shoreline, fishing from a boat, or utilizing the lake's fishing piers, there are plenty of options to accommodate different fishing styles and preferences. The tranquility of the lake and the abundance of fish ensure that anglers have a good chance of landing their desired catch.

In conclusion, Lake Monticello in South Carolina is a hidden paradise for fishing, boating, and camping enthusiasts. Its diverse fish species, scenic surroundings, and peaceful waters create an ideal setting for outdoor adventures. Whether you're casting your line, cruising on a boat, or camping under the stars, Lake Monticello offers a tranquil escape where you can connect with nature and indulge in your favorite outdoor activities.

Varying water levels throughout the day, as much as 5 feet, require boaters to use extreme caution. Due to this fluctuation, water-skiing and jet skis are not allowed on the lake. Use of lake water to cool the hydroelectric station warms the water year round, providing warmer water in winter than nearby lakes. This creates a longer growing season, which creates trophy size fish. Big catfish (channel, flathead, blue and white) are a favorite of local anglers. Bass, crappie, bream, white bass, sunfish and perch also grow in size and quantity in this fertile fishery.

Fishing Boats For Rent In South Carolina

Primary fish species residing in Lake Monticello

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Channel catfish Flathead catfish Blue catfish White Catfish Black crappie White Crappie Bluegill Pumpkinseed Sunfish Redbreast Sunfish Redear Sunfish White Bass White Perch Yellow Perch

Lake Monticello Amenities

Marina: NO
Boat Rental: NO
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: NO
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: NO

Today's Weather & Forecast

In addition to its excellent fishing prospects, Lake Monticello is also a popular destination for boating enthusiasts. Boaters can enjoy the peaceful waters while exploring the lake's scenic beauty. Whether it's a leisurely cruise, water skiing, or pontoon adventures with friends and family, the expansive surface area of Lake Monticello provides ample room for water-based activities. The lake's boat ramps and marinas offer convenient access, allowing boaters to make the most of their time on the water.

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

99 Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest corner of the lake, off State Road S-20-99, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Monticello Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off Monticello Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Fishing Guides On Lake Monticello

If you offer fishing guide services on this lake, please contact us for a free listing, to be posted here.

Fishing License

Click here for a South Carolina Fishing License.

For those who wish to extend their stay, Lake Monticello offers camping facilities in nearby parks and campgrounds. Campers can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area, surrounded by lush forests and the sounds of nature. Whether you prefer tent camping or RV camping, there are designated areas with amenities such as picnic tables, fire pits, and restrooms. Camping near Lake Monticello allows visitors to enjoy the tranquility of the lake while being in close proximity to fishing spots and other recreational opportunities.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Stonewall RV Park - 803 402-1754

River Road Family Campground - 803 603-4366

Broad River Campground - 803 749-9100

Lake Monticello SC Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Lake Monticello
Broad River Campground and RV Park
16842 SC-215
Winnsboro, SC 29180
803 749-9100


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