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Santee Cooper River System

Posted by on April 8, 2011

Posting has been slow this week. There is no campground WiFi so we’ve had to resort to our own Verizon MyFi. And that’s slow as well as cell towers are as scarce as the biting largemouths. A large part of the time has been spent exploring the lake. Lake Marion is the largest lake in South Carolina, centrally located and with territory within five counties. The lake is referred to as South Carolina’s inland sea. It has a 315-mile shoreline and covers nearly  175 square miles of rolling farmlands, former marshes, and river valley landscape. The Santee River was dammed in the 1940s to supply hydroelectric power, as part of the rural electrification efforts initiated under President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s New Deal during the Great Depression. The lake, much like everything else around here is named after the Revolutionary War hero, Frances Marion, known as the “Swamp Fox”. If you’re a baby boomer you’ll remember on Sunday evenings back in the 50’s the weeekly program with the same name. I loved this show. At the east end the lake is dammed and the Pinopolis lock system leads into Lake Moultrie. Lake Moultrie offers a varied fishing environment. There are shallow swamps, black water ponds, thousands of tree stumps and live cypress trees, as well as large open areas of water. This lake does not form ice in winter months. A world record Channel Catfish weighing 58 lb was caught from this lake. The lake also holds the state record for Black Crappie (5 lbs). For fisherman that prefer the bank, the catfish tend to move up to shallow water near dusk and bite well at night. It is not uncommon for fisherman at Lake Moultrie to catch catfish over 20 lb (9.1 kg). Trotlines are common at Lake Moultrie as well as trolling and even arching with a bow and arrow by spotlighting catfish in the shallows at night. You would think after learning all this, I would be somewhat successful at either the bass, crappie, or some catfish catching. However, all I’ve managed to catch lately is a few decent photos.  A diversion canal exists between the two lakes and the Pinopolis lock is a seventy-five foot drop to sea level and Lake Moultrie. From the lake the Cooper River then winds its way southeast to the seaport town of Charleston and then out to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a full day trip through the locks across both lakes and then rolling into Charleston for some great dining, and then a hotel room for the night while the pontoon sits idly in dock. Another seven or eight hours brings you back to Eutawville, a helluva two day trip.





2 Responses to Santee Cooper River System

  1. Debbie

    What you see through a lens still amazes me……your gift just keeps on giving! Happy Trails to you Gypsy Larry~

  2. Barb and Jerry

    Larry, Jerry said he will teach you how to fish when you get back down here. Weatheer has been great.
    As usual we are at the pool by 1 or 1:30 every day. Carol and Dick left yesterday. Wwe have been on seveeral boatr rides and wen to Cedar Key (5 of us on Tuesday).

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