Waccamaw River

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Fishing in Waccamaw River

We already know that South Carolina offers incredible deep sea fishing, but the state’s freshwater potential should also be acknowledged. The Waccamaw River fishing scene is one of the main reasons why both South Carolina and parts of North Carolina have a lot to offer to passionate river anglers.
 
The Waccamaw is about 140 miles long, and as it flows from north to the south, the current increases in speed and plays home to many freshwater species. Black Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Bream, Bowfin, and Catfish (Blue, Channel, and Flathead) are the most common catches, but the scenery changes as you approach Winyah Bay. Here, you can find anything from Bull Redfish and Flounder to Speckled Trout, and even Tarpon.
 
Because the river has an incredible number of side channels and shallow creeks that are teeming with fish, navigating it can be intimidating. Local guides know all the best hotspots and have well-equipped boats that allow you to reach the skinniest of waters with ease. You can book a private trip for your group, and spend anywhere from 4–8 hours on the water.
 
Conway and Georgetown are the towns where you’ll easily find a charter to take you out, and one of the best fishing spots is definitely the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge. If fishing the Waccamaw River is on your bucket list, either of these is a great place to start!
 

Rules & Regulations

Since the Waccamaw runs through North and South Carolina, fishing regulations will depend on where you cast your line. The best practice is to talk to your guide before your trip to know what to bring. You’ll usually need to buy a fishing license and dress for the weather, and make sure your target species is in season.

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Waccamaw River Fishing Seasons

In January, waters on the river are usually high, which makes fishing a bit more difficult than usual and discourages anglers. However, if you know where to go and which setups to use, Crappie, Bass, Bream, and Catfish are out there, hungry.

Fishing conditions are improving in February, and you’ll notice there are more fishermen out. You can target Catfish and Crappie, and Bream fishing is also very good.

With spring comes Crappie ready for spawning, which in turn usually means a lot of good action. Bring live bait and hit deep waters and holes where Crappie like to hang out as they prepare to spawn.

Fishing on the Waccamaw River is excellent in spring! Whether you’re in the mood for some exciting Bass action or you’d prefer to attract Catfish to your line, you’re going to have a great time.

The weather is an important factor in May, but even if there’s some rain it will only make a difference between good and even better fishing. Bream are biting all over the river, along with Catfish, Bass, and Redfish in the Winyah Bay.

Crappie fishing is slowly taking the back seat, but Bream are still out there in good numbers. If you need more good news, Largemouth Bass fishing is getting hot, and the Catfish bite isn’t far behind.

In July, Bream are just about everywhere, and if you use the right setup around drop-offs, you’ll be awarded. Bass prefer to stick to the deep waters where there’s plenty of cover from the heat.

According to some local anglers, August is the month to go after Largemouth Bass on the Waccamaw River. Topwater lures are the thing to use to get the attention of some good-sized fish.

As the days are slowly getting colder, Crappie are making their big comeback to the Waccamaw. Bass fishing is still superb, and if you’d like to catch yourself a nice Cat, cut eel is the bait you want to use.

Whatever you’d like to target on the river, October is the time to do it. Fall fishing is in full swing, and Crappie are taking center stage. Largemouth Bass, Bream, and Catfish are also biting, and some of them are lunkers.

Colder water means that fish will be congregating in large groups all over the river, but that’s just the beginning in November. Catfishing is really good this month, and there are many anglers out there on a Crappie hunt.

Winter is one of the best periods to target Black Crappie on the Waccamaw – where you find one, you’ll find many more. Bream are also biting, and Bass are trying to stay warm in the shallow waters.

Waccamaw River Fishing Calendar

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Top Targeted Species in Waccamaw River

Catfish

Catfish

Bass (Largemouth)

Bass (Largemouth)

Crappie

Crappie