AHQ INSIDER Lake Murray (SC) Fall 2019 Fishing Report – Updated September 5 Reviewed by Momizat on . -- The newest Lake Murray fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-lake-murray-sc-fall-2019-fishing-report/ September 5 La -- The newest Lake Murray fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-lake-murray-sc-fall-2019-fishing-report/ September 5 La Rating: 0
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AHQ INSIDER Lake Murray (SC) Fall 2019 Fishing Report – Updated September 5

The newest Lake Murray fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-lake-murray-sc-fall-2019-fishing-report/

September 5

Lake Murray water levels are at 357.62 (full pool is 360.00), and surface water temperatures in the morning have generally cooled into the lower 80s.  Clarity is normal.

While schooling action has not been as widespread for striped bass as it was a week or two ago, Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that fish are still pretty shallow. Any time now he expects the schooling action to bust open again, and it could be that storm conditions today set it off.

For right now fish are in limbo between summer and fall patterns, but they are roaming across the lake from Shull Island down about 15-25 feet below the surface.  Both free lines and shallow down lines are working. Fish are in the main lake and the creeks, but the further back in creeks you go the smaller the fish get.  There are significant numbers of good fish at the mouths of creeks.

Overall, any significant rain or cooling should set the fish back to schooling as they seem ready to make the transition.

A couple of nice fish caught with Captain Brad Taylor

A couple of nice fish caught with Captain Brad Taylor

Just like the striper crappie are related to bait that has pulled up relatively shallow right now, and Captain Brad reports that fish are roaming around the bridges up the lake following threadfin shad.  While crappie won’t generally show themselves on the surface like bass or striper, if you see threadfin on the surface you are in the right area.

Water quality is not great deeper and so most of the fish up the lake are within 6-8 feet of the surface, but they can be a little hard to catch.  They don’t seem to want to chase baits being trolling, so casting or tight-lining with live bait has been the best pattern.

The end of summer is usually a grind for bass fishing on Lake Murray, and FLW angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that this year is no exception.  The best fish seem to be coming running a buzzbait or Whopper Plopper around the banks early and late, and some good fish are being caught first thing around brush or lighted docks still holding fish that spent the night there.

The best daytime pattern is looking for suspended fish that will come up to eat a fluke or topwater around offshore spots, but the action is not very widespread and fish are only on a few random spots.  There are also deeper fish that can be caught around grass during the day.

On the catfish front, Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that fishing has been a little slow but the best action has been in the river channel, creek channels, or in flats off the river.  Most of the fish that are being caught are coming in 20-35 feet of water, and right now most of the fish are channels.  Cut bait is the best option for drifting or anchoring.

August 22

Lake Murray water levels are at 357.78 (full pool is 360.00), and water temperatures are in the mid- to upper 80s.  Clarity is normal.

The striped bass fishing continues to be ahead of schedule on Lake Murray, and Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that fish are just under the surface 25-30 feet down – instead of at a typical August depth.  They could be over 100 feet or over 30 feet, and fish can be found most anywhere from Dreher Island down – from the main lake to the creeks. They are not exclusively in the lower pool as is typical at this time of year.  The mouths of creeks are a good place to start searching for fish if they are not visible on the surface.  While Brad’s boat is catching most of their fish on down-lines, have a lure tied on in case of schooling activity.

It’s a tough time for bass fishing on Lake Murray, and veteran tournament angler Captain Doug Lown reports that hot weather has decidedly hurt the bite.  It also appears that fish are very scattered at the moment, perhaps because there is so much grass in the lake.  Overall the best fishing seems to be in shallow water right now, with most of the best catches coming in less than 8 feet of water.  There are a few fish in a suspended pattern that can be caught on flukes or topwaters but that action is not very good right now.

On the catfish front, Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that right now there are relatively small feeding windows, and overall fishing is a little slow, but anchoring and putting out dip baits, worms or cut bait should pick up some channel catfish.

Crappie fishing continues to be a grind, and Captain Brad reports that catching two or three fish on a trip is pretty normal right now. Things should improve in September.

July 31

Lake Murray water levels are at 357.54 (full pool is 360.00), and water temperatures are in the mid-80s.  Clarity is normal.

It’s been an exciting week for striped bass on Lake Murray, and Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that the cool weather has shaken the fish up and there has been a ton of random schooling activity over much of the lake.  Lots of schools are over the river channel, and there are some on the ridges too.  Overall the down-line bite has struggled a bit, but if you can locate fish with shallow down-lines and get one to come to the surface it is not unusual for widespread schooling to break out.  From that point you can either pitch free-lines or topwater lures to them.

It is anyone’s guess how long this bite will keep up, but if temperatures rise again it is a good bet that the best action will be in 50-70 feet of water on down-lines at the lower end again.

As is not unusual in July, veteran tournament angler Captain Doug Lown reports that in the last week there have been some good bass catches over relatively shallow water on into the day. The moon phase and cooler weather are probably affecting this, but this bite is not expected to last very long.

As temperatures and conditions normalize again there are a few main options. One option is fish shallow stuff off the main lake early with frogs and buzzbaits.  Having deep water nearby is key, and even though this is chiefly an early/ late bite there will also be some fish caught through the day that stay shallow around bream.

Another option is to fish channel swings and breaks in 15-20 feet of water that have some rock on them. Shakey heads and Carolina rigs can work for this pattern.

You can also fish at night around brush.

One other option is to get out of the main body of the lake and fish up the river.  The bite is related to many things, including whether or not they are pulling water and possibly the presence of a mayfly hatch.  However, fish will basically be related to the channel or the flats and flipping shallow cover is usually an option.

On the catfish front, Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that the best pattern is to fish main lake points and long humps from the bank out to about 30 feet.  The best bet is to fish dip baits, and with cut herring you will likely be fighting a lot of garfish.  On the weekends fish will generally hold a bit deeper because they don’t like the boat traffic.

There are some good blue catfish and flatheads being caught up the rivers on cut bait.

Crappie fishing remains really tough, but Captain Brad reports that the best way to fish is in brush about 20-30 feet deep on the main lake. It is mostly a minnow bite and fish are oriented towards the bottom.

July 18

Lake Murray water levels are at 357.76 (full pool is 360.00), and water temperatures are in the upper 80s.  Clarity is normal.

There’s little doubt the striped bass bite is the best thing going on Lake Murray, and Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that on the lower end of the lake from Shull Island down the fishing has been good.  During the day fish are generally 55-80 feet deep off the end of main lake ridges and related to the dam, and they are mostly being caught on down-lines although spoons and cut bait have also been working at times.  At times they will move shallower to feed.

There has been an unusually good bite during the heat of the day, with some of the best fishing from noon to 3:00 recently.

A hot-water striper caught this week with Captain Brad Taylor

A hot-water striper caught this week with Captain Brad Taylor

There has not been a ton of bass fishing activity lately, but veteran tournament angler Captain Doug Lown reports that with the heat the majority of the fish have moved out a little deeper.  As always you can catch a few fish shallow on buzzbaits and topwater lures covering water along the bank, but that bite dies off by 10 a.m. or so.

During the day the best pattern is to fish steep points where the channel swings close by, with 15-20 feet a good depth range. The presence of rock helps, and both shakey heads and drop shot rigs are good options.

The suspended bite does not seem to be very good right now.

As usual when water temperatures get this warm the fishing slows down, but a cool day or two can pick things back up.  When it’s super hot night fishing is usually the best way to catch fish – and the only way to beat the heat.

Crappie fishing has been really tough for about two weeks, but Captain Brad reports that the best way to fish is in brush about 20-30 feet deep on the main lake.  It is mostly a minnow bite and fish are oriented towards the bottom.

On the catfish front, Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that the best pattern is to fish main lake points and long humps from the bank out to about 30 feet.  The best bet is to fish dip baits, and with cut herring you will likely be fighting a lot of garfish.  On the weekends fish will generally hold a bit deeper because they don’t like the boat traffic.

There are some good blue catfish and flatheads being caught up the rivers on cut bait.

June 26

Lake Murray water levels are at 357.84 (full pool is 360.00), and water temperatures have gotten into the low to mid-80s.  The water color remains a little more stained than normal.

Bass still haven’t gotten into the high summer pattern one might expect at the end of June, and veteran tournament angler Captain Doug Lown reports that fish are still fairly scattered.  There are a lot of fish in 4-6 feet of water, plenty in 8-12 and they have not gotten into the suspended pattern yet.  This is wait-and-see time to see what develops as the water heats up.  For now the bait seems to be shallower than usual, but it is unclear how long that will last.

Probably the best pattern for right now is to throw a buzzbait first thing (or in the evening) around the banks, and then after that to concentrate on the grass.  It holds a variety of prey that bass eat, but unless you try to fish over the top of it with a floating worm or wacky rigged Senko, or on the surface with a frog, you need to concentrate on the edges. That means fishing 8 feet on the inside, or fishing in about 15-20 feet on the outside.  A drop shot rig has been working for some anglers, and with some wind you can also pull a spinnerbait beside the grass.

As it has gotten warmer striped bass are starting to group up in the lower pool, and Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that there are still fish further up the lake but striper are concentrating in the big water.  Fishing down-lines in 40-60 feet remains the best pattern, and with some oxygen issues from all the water they have been pulling the fish are pretty much glued to the bottom around offshore humps, ridges and the like.  One good sign is that the average sizes have been big.

Some nice striper caught recently with Brad Taylor

Some nice striper caught recently with Brad Taylor

The crappie bite remains pretty strong around brush in 15-20 feet of water, and most of the fish have been caught 10-12 feet down on minnows.  Brad has found the best action mid-lake at the mouths of creeks.

On the catfish front, Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that the best pattern is still to fish shallow at night from Dreher Island to the dam with dip baits. Up the lake and into the river section he advises fishing around the bank and up in the trees and flats with cut herring, gizzard shad, perch or bream at night.  During the day boat traffic makes it harder to catch fish, and they are also feeding more at night in the summer.

June 20

Lake Murray water levels are at 357.87 (full pool is 360.00), and water temperatures have rebounded to the lower 80s.  The water color is a little more stained than normal.

With a few weeks of unusual weather bass have not really gotten into the deep pattern that looked inevitable at the end of May, and veteran tournament angler Captain Doug Lown reports that fish are still somewhere between deep and shallow.  Smaller fish can still be caught off the ends of the points where they were chasing herring in May, but it’s hard to catch fish much over two pounds or after 9:00 this way.

A productive pattern can be to throw a buzzbait first thing (or in the evening) around the banks, and then after that to concentrate on the grass. It holds a variety of prey that bass eat, but unless you try to fish over the top of it with a floating worm or wacky rigged Senko, or on the surface with a frog, you need to concentrate on the edges. That means fishing 8 feet on the inside, or fishing in about 15-20 feet on the outside.  A drop shot rig has been working for some anglers, and with some wind you can also pull a spinnerbait beside the grass.

There are probably some fish on the suspended spots that became popular two years ago with the FLW Championship, but that bite has not really gotten going yet.

Cool weather has kept the striped bass from moving straight into a high-summer pattern, and Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that there are still some fish being caught on free-lines fished on the very ends of points and main lake ridges.  There has also been some schooling activity on rainier days.

As expected the best pattern has been fishing with down-lines, though, and most of the fish have been 40-60 feet deep.  The majority of the fish can be found from Shull Island down.

The crappie bite has been pretty strong around brush in 15-20 feet of water, and most of the fish have been caught 10-12 feet down on minnows.  Brad has found the best action mid-lake at the mouths of creeks.

A couple of nice crappie caught with Captain Brad Taylor

A couple of nice crappie caught last week with Captain Brad Taylor

 

And the rest of the haul

And the rest of the haul

On the catfish front, Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that the best pattern is to fish shallow at night from Dreher Island to the dam with dip baits. Up the lake and into the river section he advises fishing around the bank and up in the trees and flats with cut herring, gizzard shad, perch or bream at night.  During the day boat traffic makes it harder to catch fish, and they are also feeding more at night in the summer.

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