Lake Russell Fishing Report


Lake Russell boasts an abundant forage base and healthy crappie, channel catfish, and bream populations. Anglers can locate black and white crappie around brush piles in coves off the main lake using either jigs or minnows for fishing success.

Shad spawn is in decline, yet you can still catch bass in shallow waters at daylight using spinnerbaits.


This Savannah River impoundment boasts a healthy population of crappie as well as trophy-striped bass, catfish, white and yellow perch, and an abundant supply of threadfin and gizzard shad, herring, blueback herring, and bream. A natural setting with plentiful standing timber allows one to experience this fishery like none other in the area.

Crappie fishing is ideal in spring as the waters warm. Focus your search around docks, fallen trees, and woody structures along the shoreline with less than 8 feet of water depth. Jigs fished under bobbers work great when using fresh and artificial baits; spinning or spin-casting reels fitted with floating lines work particularly well when targeting crappie; monofilament lines of 4-8 pound test are perfect.

Once the water temperature reaches the high 60s, crappie will begin spawning activities. They form spawning beds – shallow bowel-shaped depressions in the weeds – in protected areas like backwater bays or calm coves. Crappies should also be caught along the outside edges of weed beds, points or drop-offs, and over humps, hollow logs, brush piles, and stump flats using lures such as worms, grubs, or jigs fished under bobbers.

Once the spawn is over, the crappie will head deeper into the water in search of food sources such as recessed brush tops, stake beds, and rip-rap. Drifting with a jig or minnow tied under a bobber is another effective strategy to catch them on lakes.

As fall approaches, crappie will move deeper once temperatures cool off. Tactic: Fish the points, humps, and drops in the main lake and creek mouth areas using a jig or minnow under a bobber; when temperatures dip below 70 degrees, they become much more aggressive eaters of various baits; you will often see them feeding during early and late hours.


Lake Russell offers an impressive variety of fish species and provides an enjoyable recreational experience for anglers of all skill levels. Its diverse fishery contains healthy populations of largemouth bass and spotted bass trophy striped bass, crappie, channel catfish, white and yellow perch, and bream. Lake Russell also provides plenty of fishing opportunities, including bank fishing areas with brush piles or docks to set up shop on.

Crappie is abundant in this Georgia reservoir and caught with various methods. Anglers can target them using jigs, minnows, or live bait, with optimal locations around brush piles, fallen trees, and submerged structures.

Lake Ontario boasts an abundant catfish population, which can be targeted using various techniques. Anglers can target catfish by searching underwater structures or drop-offs for hiding places where these predatory fish congregate, or try trolling with spinnerbaits or casting artificial lures to lure these aggressive species closer.

Lake Russell is known for producing large catches of trophy-sized striper bass, providing action year-round. Anglers can catch these fish using various techniques, including casting and flipping.

Trout fishing at Lake Russell is another highlight, as it is regularly stocked with trout. This fishery peaks during fall months when anglers can target these fish by trolling with spinners and casting artificial flies.

Lake forage base is also extremely healthy, boasting abundant threadfin and gizzard shad populations that contribute to large panfish populations and provide excellent bass cover from surrounding flooded timber areas.


Lake Russell offers 26650 acres of water and 540 miles of shoreline to fishermen – a dream come true! Situated between Hartwell and Clarks Hill Lake in Georgia and Abbeville and Anderson counties in South Carolina, its relatively undeveloped shoreline gives a sense of remote Canadian lakes while maintaining convenient and comfortable American lifestyles. Lake Russell’s clear waters support largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, bream, and sunfish for excellent fishing adventures.

Currently, anglers enjoy an excellent bream and sunfish bite, catching nice-sized bream in shallow waters using jigs and worms. Meanwhile, crappie are biting well using bottom baits or artificial flies in mid-lake locations.

Herring spawn has begun at the southern end of Lake MacBride and should continue to expand as water temperatures increase. Spotted bass are likely to feed around herring spawn as it disperses and roam banks and points throughout their migration.

Striped bass action has slowed as the shad spawning ends but should rebound as soon as the sun rises and fish move to chase shad. Look for shad boils along the banks or points from Black Rock to California Bay, where there may be concentrations. Trolling with either a super spook or chrome/blue Rattle Trap with either gizzard shad or whitebait in either morning or evening is likely your best bet for success.

Drift fishing across clay and mussel shell bars at 4-to-8 feet depth with cut baits such as Sonny’s blood, herring, or gizzard shad can be an effective strategy for catching giant channel catfish. Other effective tricks include chicken livers, nightcrawlers, and prepared stink bait.

Anglers also have the chance to fish for trout at Lake Russell. Stocked regularly with rainbow trout, anglers can target these beautiful fish with artificial lures or live minnows. Lake Russell is an excellent boating destination and caters to novice and experienced anglers alike.


Bass fishing on Lake Russell has been very productive. According to guide Wendell Wilson, largemouth and spotted bass are actively feeding on spawning activity and bank/point structure. Wilson suggests using buzz baits, spinnerbaits, soft plastics, jigs, or flukes around shallow sloped banks with dense tree cover for best results.

Bream is abundant throughout lakes’ channels and coves and can be easily caught using crickets and worms as bait. Jigs, spinnerbaits, and imitation crawfish imitations may also prove effective when fishing for these fish – the best time being summer when they spawn.

Crappies are one of the most abundant species in lakes and can usually be found near protective cover. Night fishing with minnows around fish attractors or the bottom is an effective way to catch crappie when they spawn in spring and early summer; otherwise, small jigs and spoons work just as effectively at other times during the year.

There is a good population of trophy-sized largemouth bass at this lake, according to an electrofishing sample taken in 2023. An electrofishing survey also indicated that largemouth people were above average at the lake; crappie populations are also more significant than average compared to surrounding waters, suggesting this fishery will perform well over time.

Georgia or South Carolina fishing licenses are required for fishing on Lake Russell, including its shorelines and tailwaters. Nonresidents may purchase a South Carolina license to fish here but must refrain from using public boat ramps, courtesy docks, bridges, water intake structures, or areas marked with restricted access. Camping facilities nearby Lake Russell enable anglers to extend their stay and fully experience its breathtaking scenery and recreational offerings; fishing from any public fishing area is permissible, but please be courteous when fishing near swimmers, water skiers, or boats if that may come into play!