If it’s catfish you’re after, take a road trip to Bishopville’s Lake Ashwood, a recent recipient of a passel of the popular whiskered species.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources stocked the 75-acre Lee County lake with some 750 channel catfish ranging in size from one to three pounds. This particular batch was raised at the Cohen Campbell State Fish Hatchery in West Columbia.
Each year, the DNR stocks from seven to 10 million fish in state waters, which may be why South Carolina is a favorite vacation destination for anglers. The selection includes everything from striped, largemouth and smallmouth bass to rainbow, brook and brown trout.
Besides channel catfish, Lake Ashwood also is home to largemouth bass, bluegill and shellcracker. Open seven days a week from half-hour before sunset to half-hour after sunset, the lake features a boat ramp, fishing pier and picnic area.
The DNR distributed another 500 channel catfish down the road at the Bonneau Ferry Wildlife Management Area in Cordesville. The preserve features four lakes, including Hog Pond where this latest batch of cats was dispatched.
But FYI, this particular spot is designated an adult/youth area, which means no adult may fish without a partner age 17 or younger.
At Bonneau, you can take home as many catfish as you can catch, but anglers are limited to two largemouth bass and 10 bream each. Fishing on the property is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays during specified times of the year. For a schedule of fishing days, click here.