Randolph's Landing Resort
On the Santee Cooper Lakes
USCG Licensed and insured Catfish and Striper Fishing Guide - http://www.spencesguideservice.com Call 803-478-5029 or cell# 803-983-8284 for fishing reports, rates, and to book your trip.
USCG Licensed and insured Catfish and Crappie Fishing Guide - over 40 years experience. Call 803-460-4608 for fishing reports, rates, and to book your trip
Not ready to tackle Santee-Cooper lakes by yourself or just want to learn some of the tricks of the trade? Randolph's Landing not only offers a wide variety of services, we also offer guided fishing trips with some of the best fishermen this lake has seen. Our guides will help you to learn all the basics that you'll need during the day and you might even learn some of those special hot spots on Santee-Cooper. All of our guides are US Coast Guard Licensed and operate fully equipped, up to date boats. Call any Guide listed for their current rates.
We are located at the north end of the Santee-Cooper Dam on Lake Marion. We look out on 6 miles of open water through the famous ‘Dead Forest'. Meaning, what makes Santee-Cooper famous is just outside our front door.
Starting in January the stripers will slow down on their schooling in the dead forest and near the spillway, as the schools of shad get tighter with the dropping water temperature. As the shad get tighter, fishing for the Arkansas Blue Cats under the bait will get better and better through January and February (great fishing for numbers). Sometime in February, the water will start to rise and the Stripers will start their spawn run. First they will group at the dam and swim up the current into Wyboo Creek & Potato Creek. This means trolling a deep diving Rebel, but first stop by our Tackle Shop and we’ll be glad to tell you what color is working the best. Late February or early March the Stripers will move up the lake to the Wateree and Congaree Rivers - we’ll see them again soon. During this same time period the big Black Crappie will come on to the bed, depending on water temperature and the lake level. This will last 2 to 4 weeks and is difficult to pin down just when it will happen.
As March comes on stronger, the Largemouth Bass will go into pre-spawn and become much more active. Also in March, the Arkansas Blue Cats will move into the shallows and we will fish cut Herring almost exclusively for March & April. When the Dogwoods bloom this is a sure sign the White Crappie will come to the bed. Remember the limit is 30 fish per person. Potato Creek, just around the corner, is the next best to a sure place to catch ‘em. Late March to early April brings a lot of changes. The Bream start up slowly, especially around the full moon. The Largemouth Bass will begin to spawn, but because of the variety of depth and number of creeks around Randolph’s you may actually fish pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn all within a mile of us. The Arkansas Blue Cats will move back to deeper water and drifting will become more popular.
When April sets in, everything, fish and all, is in bloom. Bream, Largemouth, Crappie, and big Blue Cats are as easy as it gets on the Santee-Cooper system. May will actually be the best all around month on the system because the spring weather will have stabilized and it will not have gotten too hot yet. Bream and Crappie will be best on the full moon but good all month. Crappie will be moving to deeper water on the ledgesand brushpiles. Big Blue Cats will be caught in deep water but will be moving to the canal. Stripers will be returning and we will be fishing with live bait drifting the river beds and deep water. Best of all, the water temperature will approach 70°, which is not the beginning of swimming season. It’s actually when the trophy sized Flathead Catfish are waking up and usually hungry for a nice hand-sized Bream or Perch. Home for most of the Santee-Cooper Flathead population is from the dam upstream for about 10 miles.
Flathead fishing will be good from the beginning of May through the beginning of November. June will continue to be great for the Panfish, and even better for Crappie. The Largemouth will move down the drop during the heat of the day, taking a little more motion in order from May to September. Blue Catfish will drop in average size through the summer, using stink baits in the river current is popular fishing method. Striped Bass will continue through late June, July, and August using live Blue Back Herring, but will get very fussy as they move to the lower lake (Lake Moultrie) for the summer.Frankly some folks think it’s too hot to fish late July and through mid August, but for me early morning fishing in the cool air followed by a short swim, then a nap, some afternoon fishing, a steak on the grill, is a great summer day not wasted. All species continue as in June just a little less active during the mid-day.This is when night fishing is on. Fishing at night produces monster cats in the summertime.
September is next on the hit parade, my second favorite month on Lake Marion. The weather begins to cool just a bit. Flathead Catfish are doing great this month. They prefer a nice live Bream, Perch, or Crappie. Bream and Crappie fishing picks up again especially on the full moon. Largemouth Bass start to become more active again. Stripers tend to scatter a bit until they move to our front yard again in October to start their schooling.During late September to October, the big Blue Cats are on the prowl again in deep or moving water, and we will start to drift gizzard shad for them now. Crappie fishing on beds and drops are close to as good as it gets here in this time, using live bait. Bream will start to slow down in October as the water temperature drops, but we’ll see them again in the spring.
We are in the process if updating our photo gallery of recent fish that have been caught here on Lake Marion. Some of these fish have been caught off of our pier here at Randolph's Landing, some from guided fishing trips that are taken with licensed captains, and some have been caught by fisherman who were out on the lake on their own. Whatever the case may be these are some of the fish that you should expect to see when you come to the gorgeous lakes of Santee Cooper.