Calhoun Falls, SC Fishing: Experience Exceptional Angling in the Mill Village

Calhoun Falls boasts an exceptional angling experience for anglers, mainly because of its location near the shores of Lake Russell and the Savannah River.

Calhoun Falls, SC Fishing: Experience Exceptional Angling in the Mill Village
Calhoun Falls, SC Fishing: Experience Exceptional Angling in the Mill Village
Team Guidesly

August 30, 2022, 6 min read

Updated on August 30, 2022

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Calhoun Falls is found near the South Carolina-Georgia border in Abbeville County, South Carolina. Calhoun Falls was named to honor the Calhoun family and Colonel James Edward Calhoun, one of the first families to settle in the area in the 1700s. Colonel Calhoun owns Millwood, the large estate on the Savannah River.

Calhoun Falls was founded in 1891 at the crossroad where the Savannah Valley Railroad met the Georgia, Carolina, and Northern Railroad. As the railroad industry in Calhoun Falls grew, so did the textile mill and local businesses in the area. The opening of the Calhoun Mills causes Calhoun Falls to grow exponentially. People from other cities begin to relocate to Calhoun Falls and work at the textile plant. 

Aside from a massive textile mill industry, Calhoun Falls is recognized because of its location and the fishing opportunities it offers.

Calhoun Falls Fishing

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Calhoun Falls boasts an exceptional angling experience for anglers, mainly because of its location near the shores of Lake Russell and the Savannah River.

Richard B. Russell Lake, known to locals as simply Lake Russell, is a 26,650-acre impoundment on the Savannah River, perfect for all water sporting activities. Nearly 1,500 acres of the lake are flooded timber, an excellent habitat for largemouth bass, spotted bass, striped bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, bream, white crappie, black crappie, and longnose gar. Anglers can access the South Carolina side of the lake via 12 public access points, including Calhoun Falls State Recreation Area. The shoreline of Lake Russell remains almost undeveloped after the Corps of Engineers bans exclusive private use of the lake's shoreline, except for some state parks and areas. The interesting thing about Lake Russell is the area flooded by the lake has covered several areas with archaeological significance. Different sites include Millwood Plantation, Fort Independence, a Native American village and mound, and the historic Georgia-Carolina Memorial Bridge remains untouched underneath the lake.

Lake Russell is open to anglers year-round. Fly fishing, baitcasting, and kayak fishing are commonly practiced on the lake. The lake also has boat ramps, piers, and docks. It is also wheelchair-accessible. Kids as young as five until age 15 can participate in the Annual Kids Fishing Derby at Blue Hole Recreation Area in Lake Russell, organized by the Lake Russell Recreation and Tourism Coalition. Participants are allowed to fish for stocked catfish. Parents and guardians of the participants can still cast their line and fish outside the net during the fishing derby with a Georgia or South Carolina fishing license. Youths aged 15 and younger do not need to obtain a fishing license. Beginner fishing and outdoor recreation workshop for kids are also held in Lake Russell from time to time. 

The Savannah River is a major river found on the border between the states of South Carolina and Georgia. Anglers can access the Savannah River from public access available in Calhoun Falls. The Savannah River sustains a large combination of native and introduced aquatic species. The most popular species caught in the river system are bass, catfish, trout, and bream. Sharks like the Bonnethead shark and Blacktip shark are available in the river.

Anglers who wish to fish in the Savannah River are advised to book a fishing charter and a chartered captain. Deep sea fishing is one option for anglers to explore the river. 

The Savannah River is known for its notable tributaries. One of its tributaries is the Rocky River. The river is located near the Georgia-South Carolina border and flows into the Savannah River in the western part of Calhoun Falls. The Rocky River is home to largemouth bass, spotted bass, striped bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, longnose gar, black crappie, and pumpkinseed

Calhoun Falls Country Club Lake is another fishing area in Abbeville County. It is a reservoir located just 1.5 miles from Calhoun Falls. Spotted bass, striped bass, white crappie, channel catfish, and bluegill are the commonly caught species in the lake. Bank fishing is a good option for anglers testing the waters of Calhoun Falls Country Club Lake. Anglers can also visit the largemouth bass-rich Sherard Lake near Greenwood and Calhoun Falls.

Calhoun Falls also offers small rivers and streams for anglers who prefer to fish in smaller areas. McKenley Creek, Sawney Creek, Little River, and Gill Creek are some of the smaller water bodies anglers can explore. Calhoun Falls' fishing locations are dubbed as family-friendly and welcome anglers of all ages, regardless if they are professionals or beginners.

Aside from fishing in the waters of South Carolina, anglers can also cross the border to Georgia and fish on the other side in lakes like Beaverdam Creek and Tate Lake. It is important to remember that South Carolina and Georgia have different fishing laws, and obtaining a fishing license is necessary.


Top 10 Fish Species in Calhoun Falls, SC

The top 10 fish species found in Calhoun Falls, SC, are largemouth bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, striped bass, white crappie, black crappie, flathead catfish, longnose gar, bluegill, and blue catfish.

Seasonal Fishing

Calhoun Falls is known for its fantastic bass fishing. Fishing for bass is a year-round activity for anglers, but it is best done during spring when most bass species spawn. Largemouth bass breed during spring, while spotted bass start their spawning period every March to late May. The best time to target spotted bass is every early summer and after their spawning season. Striped bass spawn in March, April, and May. Early fall is a suitable season to go after stripers. Generally, the increasing water temperature usually provokes the breeding season of catfish. Although anglers can still target catfish any time of the year, catfish are preferred to be targeted during summer. Blue catfish breed every spring or summer, while the channel catfish commence their spawning period during the early days of summer. Flathead catfish's spawning period takes place in late spring. Anglers typically target bluegill during spring and the early weeks of summer. Spring is an excellent time to head out, especially for anglers targeting crappie. They intend to spawn their eggs in warmer waters. The spawning period of longnose gar occur from May to June and takes place in shallow and weedy fresh waters. The months of July and August are dubbed as the best months to target gar.

The Best of Calhoun Falls Can Offer

Calhoun Falls' location near incredible bodies of water makes it a perfect place for other outdoor water activities. Experience the best activities Calhoun Falls can offer with its stunning state parks and activity centers.

1. Book A Fishing Charter

Anglers with limited knowledge about Calhoun Falls are encouraged to book a fishing charter. Fishing charters and professional captains provide all the necessary equipment anglers might need for the fishing journey. Anglers can study and learn more about fishing and proper navigation of the waters with the help of a fishing charter. Chances are also there for anglers to be informed of the top fish species to capture in a certain area and some angling tips and hacks that can help them along the way.

2. State Parks and Recreational Areas

The opening of Calhoun Falls State Park in the 1980s and its expansion in the 1990s played a vital role in Calhoun Falls' economic success. The tourism sector has since boomed and saw an increase in tourist uptake. Calhoun Falls State Park sits along several pine-covered headlands extending into Lake Russell. It is perfect for camping, fishing, hiking, and other water activities. Tourists can also visit the Edgewood Park and Blue Hole Recreational Area in Calhoun Falls. 

3. Public Library for Visitors

Calhoun Falls offers a public library open to residents and tourists. The library is affiliated with Abbeville County Library and is publicly funded.

Fish in Calhoun Falls and beyond.