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Species in the lake

Blue Catfish- Blues are the king of the lake.According to the SCDNR and the biologists, they were never stocked into the lake.According to the SCDNR, the blues were illegally stocked.Theres also been speculation that some of the farm ponds that were covered up by water, from the damning of the lake, may have contained blues, but who knows.The thing is, they are in there, they are thriving and doing well and its a very good and unique fishery for both big blues and eating sized blues.

Channel Catfish- 
Channel cats are also plentiful in the lake but their size is very small.Its pretty uncommon to catch a channel much over 2 or 3 lbs out of Monticello.They seem to be extremely over dominated by the blues.Which is why the size of the channel cats are much smaller on Monticello than most other lakes in SC.Alot of them will look very unhealthy, almost starved looking.

White catfish- Theres also a good population of these in there too.Like the channels, you very seldom catch any of any size.White catfish can be confused with channel cats and bullheads both.They sorda look like a channel and bullhead combined.They have a big head for the size of their body, like a bullhead but they have a forked tail like a channel, but not as deeply forked and the coloration is more similar to a channel cat.

Bullheads- Theres lots of different kinds of bullheads in the lake too.

Flathead Catfish- I've never seen one personnally but it wouldnt surprise me if they started showing up in there, like they have in all the other lakes in SC.Theres lots of Flat Bullheads in the lake that can very easily be mistaken as a flathead.Theres 2 differences between the 2.The flatheads bottom lip purtrudes out farther than the upper lip(underbite), the flat bullheads dont, they have an over bite like all other catfish do, they do however, have somewhat of a flat head.The other difference is flatheads grow to 100 lbs or more, the flat bullhead seldom gets larger than 2 lbs.


Largemouth Bass- I dont have much experience with catching them myself but I have seen some very large ones caught.I know several people that have caught double digit largemouth out of both the big and little lake.I have caught a few up to 6 lbs myself, while using live bait for catfish.

Smallmouth Bass- There is a population of smallmouth in the lake but from what I've heard, its not as good and hasnt been there as long as the largemouth.The population will more than likely increase as years go on.

Crappie- From what most of the avid crappie fisherman that I talk to.They say that its not what it used to be as far as size goes but theres still plenty of good ones to be caught.I've never heard any complaints about the over-all population of them.

White Perch- Theres no shortage of white perch in the lake.Tons of small 3 to 6 inch fish but theres also lots of healthy 3/4 to 1 lb fish in there too.Like all the other lakes, the perch multiply by the millions in this one too.

White Bass- Sadly, the white bass population has been badly damaged by the invasive white perch.The lake used to be chock full of this hard fighting and tasty fish and most of the time they were fairly easy to catch.10 years ago, a few hours of jigging a 1/4 ounce spoon off the bottom would result in lots of white bass and only a few white perch.Nowadays, its nothing but white perch.Theres still some there but its nothing like it used to be.

Yellow Perch- I catch quite a few of these while fishing for white perch but they seem to be very spotty around the lake.

Bream- Theres all different kinds of sunfish in the lake and pretty good populations of each.

Carp- I've never fished for them myself but I see them all the time now and theres some monsters in there.

Gar- I've never caught one, seen one and dont know anybody that has and I hope and pray that I never do.

Stripers- No stripers.Biologists have stated that the lake was not nutrient enough to stock stripers in it.

Forage- Gizzard and threadfin shad, bream, crappie, white and yellow perch, small catfish, suckers, shiners, small carp, mussels and snails, crayfish and any other fish small enough for predator fish to eat.Theres also large schools of baitfish that show up on the graph in very deep water, which is characteristic of blueback herring but I dont have any firm evidence of them being there.Up until this year, cast nets were illegal to use on Monticello.

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