I fish most of the time below the SCSU dam here in town. I have good luck with eyes, northern, crappies, and smallies. I am on the cheep side as i will not throw anything other then a number four hook and a split shot, or a small jig and minnow. There are lots of rocks and debris in the river, so be ready lose some tackle if you fish the river. Also be ready at any moment to catch anything even right in front of you in shallow water.
Great point! I have fished the river so long i seldom even think twice about losing tackle any more 9much to my fishing guests chagrin). If it pains you to buy a $7 Rapala, then the river is not going to be your friend.
On the otherhand, if you are a savvy shopper you can find a ton of good deals on used crankbaits. For example I just bought about 20 Rattltraps for $30. A couple need hooks, the ones with hooks need sharpening. But it's much easier to lose a $2-3 crank than a brand new $7-8 bait.
As well for shore fishing, a hook and splitshot with a minnow is a pretty darn good bait any time of year. Crawlers are also awesome for a multi species bag. With either a minnow or crawler, you just never know what you are going to get with each hookset.