One Tank Trip: Lake Wateree

(Winnsboro) July 23, 2004 - Beaver Creek is what the locals call the capital of Lake Wateree.

Bob Brown with the Riverdeck Grill, "We have fishing, restaurants, we have a bar right here in the middle. Anything you want to do, you can do it right here at Beaver Creek."

You can have a sit down meal at the Beaver Creek Restaurant with some karoke at the Flamingo or a giant burger at the Riverdeck Grill

Resident Ricky Cauthen says it's a great place for lots of fun, "The food is wonderful and the atmosphere is fun."

The weekday afternoon News 10 stopped by it was quiet with just a few skiers on the lake and some sunbathers in their boat. Bob says Friday night is a different story, "It's packed, people will be all over here. You've got everything from motorcycle riders to doctors and lawyers."

He says they'll stay for most of the night and be back on the lake early the next morning, "You can come down right on the boat all day, go fishing, go skiing, go tubing."

There is also the motorcycle of the water, the jetski. On an average Saturday, there are hundreds of riders out on the lake. For some, it's the highlight of the weekend, but Ricky says others aren't so happy with them, "If you ask a bass fisherman, they wish they were all outlawed, but they're a lot of fun."

Bob says, for the most part, they're not a problem because the lake is 29 miles long, "It's very rural. You have a lot going on. The traffic is not that bad, you don't have the hustle and bustle of a bigger lake."

The rural aspect of the lake is exactly what Ricky loves most about her home, "Every morning and every night, when you wake up and look out at the water you just know that life is wonderful."

Fishing, like any lake, is a big part of the experience on the water and the day WIS checked in the fish were practically jumping out of Lake Wateree.

The first thing you'll need is a fishing license. It's required in South Carolina. You can buy one with a drivers license and $10.

Folks around the lake say you should keep it with you at all times because the game warden is always out.

News 10 picked up some bait and headed out to Dutchman's Creek with local fisherman John White, Captain Jerry Garret and his son Chris.

Chris and his dad pulled in a few catfish big enough to eat, but say their nighttime fishing has been much more successful, "Mostly stripers, a couple of catfish, perch and one or two crabs."

After about an hour we end up with four fish, which John kindly fileted. John says you might need a little more to make the meal just right, "You may need some cole slaw, hush puppies. Fishing is an excuse to eat fattening foods."

The roundtrip is about 84 miles to Lake Wateree from downtown Columbia and at today's gas prices it would cost $7.52.

By Heather Brown
Posted 9:51pm by BrettWitt