The newest Lake Murray fishing report, updated September 15, can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-lake-murray-sc-fall-2017-fishing-report/
Lake Murray water levels are at 356.57 (full pool is 360.00), and water temperatures have dropped into the lower 80s. Clarity is still good.
After an extremely successful Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray in the middle part of the month, many people thought that bass fishing on Lake Murray in August was no longer bass fishing on Lake Murray in August. They watched a parade of anglers rotate through offshore spots, often loaded up with cane piles, and throw topwater baits including pencil poppers, Spooks, flukes and more to draw up suspended bass or target actively busting fish. Anglers new to this technique who followed the action online, or who followed in a boat and were actually able to mark waypoints, thought they would also be able to match the 20-pound sacks caught during the event.
In the weeks following the tournament it has become apparent that, while the offshore suspended pattern has now gone mainstream, Lake Murray in August is still tough. The FLW anglers (and locals fishing around the same time) hit a really good week for a variety of reasons, but weights have dropped significantly since then. Some of the best anglers on the lake fished a roughly 50-boat benefit tournament last Saturday, and only about 20 anglers weighed in. The winning anglers were Andrew Allen and Chris Vickery from Greenwood, and they won the event with a weight in the 17s. They caught five fish all day on three cane piles, showing that the pattern is certainly still there, but don’t expect to catch 20 pounds every time you do it.
One other pattern is about to come online. The shallow bite is still off, but as the fall progresses expect more fish to be caught on buzzbaits around the bank. In the Oakley Big Bass Tournament September 23-24 expect some of the better fish to be caught this way.
In striped bass news, Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that with cooling water temperatures the pattern has started to change a little. The bulk of the fish are still being caught on down rods fishing live herring, but the depth range is now 40-80 feet. The shallower end of that range has more small fish. There is also some schooling on the lower end, and locating these fish is simply a matter of keeping your eyes open. These same fish are also being caught on free-lines fished out over open water when they are not busting on the surface. Right now the bulk of the better fish are in the main water between Shull Island and the dam, and as you start to go back in the creeks you can locate plenty of smaller ones. Before long bigger fish will start to go into the creeks following threadfin shad schools.
On the crappie front, Brad reports that with cooling temperatures fish should be starting to turn back on. Like the striper they will be pushing back into creeks to eat small threadfin shad, and that means right now you should look in the mouths of creeks up the lake around brush. 10 feet down over about 15-20 feet is a good place to start. Fish will also be found around deeper docks in the 15-foot range.
In catfishnews, Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that 30 feet continues to be a good depth range to target during the day, while at night 15-25 feet is a good range. Fish will be found off long points and humps, and fishing the deeper side of channel buoys on the lake is a good bet. Dip baits are hard to beat although the herring bite has also been picking up.