The word is getting out that the hawgs are feeding on Lake Murray! In the Next Level Fishing tournament this past Saturday two teams weighed sacks over 28 pounds, with Reed McGinn and Andy Wicker winning first place with 28.43 pounds and second place going to Hampton Anderson and Zack Woodam with 28.31 pounds. It’s not every day that a 28 plus pound bag isn’t good enough for the win! And out of 27 teams fishing, an impressive 9 teams had more than 20 pounds (complete results attached below). The winning team of Reed McGinn and Andy Wicker had the big fish at 8.43 pounds.
I caught up with Andy today and he pointed out that they had barely won with a 28 ½ pound bag, and that they had weighed two 8-pound bass in one tournament! The bite was so good that they caught fish doing pretty much everything, including fishing a jig around rocks, cranking and fishing docks. While they did lose one fish in deeper water, everything they weighed was caught relatively shallow in less than 10-12 feet of water.
As for an explanation of why the fish are feeding so well Andy isn’t sure, but he points out that several things have happened recently. One factor could be that water temperatures have dropped significantly. In the last couple of weeks water temperatures have dropped about 8 degrees from the upper 50s to the low 50s. Additionally, even though water levels rose very slightly around Saturday, since January 1 they are down almost 5 feet. As of today Lake Murray is down to 355.15. However, Andy speculates that the most significant factor could be water clarity, and Saturday he saw a mudline the furthest down the lake that he has ever seen it. Around Shull Island the visibility was less than a foot. Considering the weights on Saturday, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the fish may have been excited by the stained conditions in areas where they weren’t used to them and decided to feed. At the very least the mud didn’t keep them from biting!
Next Level Fishing will be having another open team tournament out of Shull Island this Saturday, January 23. For more information check out their Facebook page, where usually about mid-week they post whether there will be a tournament that week, or contact Troy Lytle at (803) 463-6129.
Full results from Saturday:
1st place Reed McGinn and Andy Wicker 28.43
2nd place Hampton Anderson and Zack Woodam 28.31
3rd place Tim and Dalton Dowdy 24.99
4th place Chris Marshall and Blake Bostic 24.76
5th place Troy Lytle 22.43
6th place Wendell and Brandon Causey 22.27
7th place Calvin Hewitt and Grady 20.87
8th place Mark and Rhett Richardson 20.65
9th place Levy Brack and Jeff Murray 20.60
10th place Herman Vining and Little Herman 17.56