Fishing Upstate

By | April 9, 2017
Upstate Trout

Welcome to our fishing Upstate South Carolina page!

Few things are as pleasurable as wetting a line with special friends or family. We would like to help make your Upstate fishing excursion a success so that you go home with a memory that will last forever.

There are many different fishing opportunities available in the Upstate ranging from Bream on cane poles to huge 60 pound catfish and everything in between. We are going to guide you through each of these opportunities so that you can catch the fish of a lifetime in the Upstate.

Fish You Can Catch in the Upstate

Here is a list of the different species of fish that you can target in the South Carolina Upstate.

Largemouth Bass

largemouth bass

Smallmouth Bass

smallmouth bass





Black Crappie

Black Crappie

Brown Trout

brown trout

Brook Trout

brook trout

Rainbow Trout

rainbow trout





Blue Catfish

blue catfish

Flathead Catfish

flathead catfish

Channel Catfish

channel catfish

Chain Pickerel

chain pickerel



White Perch

white perch

Yellow Perch

yellow perch

Trout Fishing in the Upstate

Trout Fishing Upstate

South Carolina is not the first state that comes to mind when you think of quality trout fishing.


Don’t tell anyone, but there is some wonderful trout fishing opportunities in the South Carolina Upstate. It doesn’t matter if you are a fly fisherman or a bait fisherman, opportunities exist regardless of your preferred method.

The South Carolina DNR stocks approximately 500,000 trout every year in the waters of the Upstate. These trout are stocked in crystal clear mountain streams that often see very little fishing pressure, creating the opportunity to catch feisty trout without another fisherman around.

In addition to the stocked trout, the South Carolina Upstate has a tremendous wild trout fishery.

Upstate Trout Fishing Streams

  • CHATTOOGA RIVER – Oconee County
  • WHITEWATER RIVER – Oconee County
  • Thompson River Gorge – Oconee County
  • Devils Fork Creek – Oconee County
  • Howard Creek – Oconee County
  • Limberpole Creek – Oconee County
  • Corbin Creek – Oconee County
  • Wright Creek – Oconee County
  • Coley Creek – Oconee County
  • Cheohee Creek  – Oconee County
  • Moody Creek  – Oconee County
  • Cantrell Creek  – Oconee County
  • Tamassee Creek  – Oconee County
  • Brasstown Creek – Oconee County
  • Laurel Fork – Pickens County
  • Cane Creek – Pickens County
  • Emory Creek – Pickens County
  • Willis Creek – Pickens County
  • Matthews Creek – Greenville County
  • Headforemost Creek – Greenville County
  • Gap Creek – Greenville County
  • South Pacolet River – Greenville County

Upstate Trout Fishing Lakes

Kid trout fishing upstate


In addition to the great Upstate trout fishing opportunities in the streams, there is also some great trout fishing to be had in the Upstate lakes.

LAKE JOCASSEE – Lake Jocasse offers some great trout fishing in a lake environment. The conditions in Lake Jocassee are optimum for keeping and growing large trout as evidenced by the catch of a 17 pound 9 ounce brown trout and a 11 pound 5 ounce rainbow trout. Those are huge trout anywhere you go and to have these kinds of opportunities available in the Upstate is phenomenal.

Methods Used for Upstate Trout Fishing

Upstate trout fisherman can be found using spinning gear as well as fly fishing gear.

The best baits for Upstate trout are worms, mealworms, Powerbait, whole kernal corn, salmon eggs, crickets, crayfish and other live baits.

Best lures for Upstate trout include spoons like the Pheobe and spinners like Mepps and Rooster Tail. Also don’t overlook the use of crankbaits and jerkbaits like a Rapala.

Fly fisherman should keep an assortment of dry flies, streamers and nymphs. One of the best ways to find what the trout are eating in the upstate streams is to turn rocks over and try to match the aquatic insects that you find underneath them.

If Upstate trout fishing isn’t your thing, don’t worry, there are many other kinds of fishing available.

Upstate Bass Fishing

The Upstate has some real quality bass fishing for those that are willing to look for it.

The South Carolina state records for Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass and Redeye Bass were all caught in Lake Johassee.

Smallmouth Bass – 9 Pounds 7 Ounces

Spotted Bass – 8 Pounds 5 Ounces

Redeye Bass – 5 Pounds 2.5 Ounces

Those are impressive fish anywhere in the country!

The South Carolina DNR has put out a video about choosing bass lures.

Upstate Bass Fishing Lakes

  • Lake Cooley – Spartanburg County 
  • Saluda Lake – Greenville County
  • Lake Placid – Greenville County
  • Lake Cunningham – Greenville County 
  • Lake Craig – Spartanburg County 
  • Lake Thicketty – Cherokee County
  • Lake Bowen – Spartanburg County
  • Lake Oak Grove – Greenville County
  • Lake Robinson – Greer SC
  • Lake Hartwell -Greenville County

In addition to these lakes, there are thousands of smaller ponds and bodies of water that provide some of the best bass fishing the the Upstate.

Bass fishing in the Upstate can be as simple or as sophisticated as you like. You can catch Upstate bass in a farm pond with a cane pole or you can catch Upstate bass on a big bass lake with a state of the art bass boat that will exceed 60 miles per hour.

Popular baits for Upstate bass fishing include worms, shiners, crickets, salamanders and other live baits.

The lures used for Upstate bass fishing run from crankbaits and jerkbaits to topwaters and plastics,

Upstate bass can be caught on just about anything that you can think of depending on the time of year.

Upstate Catfishing

Perhaps not as popular as in other parts of the state, Upstate catfishing an be just as good if you know where to look.

Upstate Catfishing Hotspots

Lake Jocassee

This is the Upstates premier fishing lake, so is it any wonder that it would be at the top of the list for upstate catfishing.

Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell is a great place to catch catfish in the Upstate, but don’t eat them! There is a consumption advisory here because of contamination.

Saluda Lake

Saluda is mostly private, but there is access at the marina. They sell bait there, so buy some bait and ask permission to fish.

Saluda River

There is good catfishing both above and below Saluda Lake.

Oak Grove

Oak Grove is stocked with channel catfish.

Best Baits for Upstate CatfishingKid fishing Upstate

Catfishing in the Upstate is no different than anywhere else. Catfish feed largely by smell and will seek out smelly baits. That doesn’t mean you have to use smelly baits, but they work.

  • Worms
  • Chicken Livers
  • Live or cut bait

Remember that bigger baits mean bigger fish. I like to rig one rod with a big live bait on the bottom and another with smaller bait for smaller fish.


As you can see there is no shortage of great fishing opportunities in the Upstate. They range from wilderness fishing on pristine mountain streams for elusive wild trout to catching catfish on a cane pole at the local water supply pond.

It’s time to put down the electronics and get outside and enjoy the recreational opportunities that the Upstate has to offer.

And don’t forget…

Take a Kid Fishing Today!

One thought on “Fishing Upstate

  1. Roy Morris

    I did not know that Yellow Pearch, Walleye and Pickerel were in this area . Where is a good place to fish for these ?
    Also is there a good online daily fishing report for the upstate


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