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Lake Murray (SC) Striper, Crappie and Catfish Fishing Report – Updated March 23

  • by Jay

It’s a special time to go fishing on Lake Murray, and instead of one or two species biting well right now you can find a good bite for pretty much whatever you want to target.  For anglers who enjoy catching more than one species, the hardest part of the day may be deciding what to fish for!

Lake World (803-957-6548) reports that the striped bass bite is already good and getting better, and free-lines, corks pulled behind the boat (to keep the bait a certain depth) and planer boards (to get the bait away from the boat) are all catching fish.  A couple of weeks ago they suspected, but it was unconfirmed, that cut bait was catching some of the bigger fish being caught, but now there is no doubt about it.  The cut bait bite is definitely coming on strong.  About the only pattern that isn’t catching a substantial number of fish is down-lining.  Fish are still highly scattered, and they can be found over much of the lake.

Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that he is also fishing free-lines and planer boards, and both live herring as well as shad are catching fish.  He concurs that action will be found all around the lake, but he is finding that most of the fish will to some extent be related to a creek system (even if they are at the mouth of it).  A lot of fish are also being caught under the birds using bucktails, spoons and flukes.

Look for more and more fish to be related to points, too, as the bait continues to stage around points and then the herring (and shad) begin their annual spawn.

A nice striper caught off Captain Brad Taylor's boat
A healthy striper caught off Captain Brad Taylor’s boat

In the market for a good bait tank?  Brad is now a deal for Xtreme Bait Systems, available in 30, 50, 70 and 100 gallon tanks.  Contact Captain Brad Taylor at 803-331-1354) for more information.

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Overall, Lake Murray water levels are around 357.58.

Crappie: Good.  Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that the crappie spawn is definitely underway, but there are also still a lot of pre-spawn fish.  Crappie come up to spawn in waves, and so even though there are plenty of fish shallow there also a good number in the 20+ foot depth range.  Brad expects to see more waves of spawning fish continuing over the next week or two.  Long-line trolling jigs, or jigs tipped with minnows, around banks and docks in the backs of creeks and coves is catching fish.

The kind of crappie being caught right now on Lake Murray with Brad
The kind of crappie being caught right now on Lake Murray with Brad

Catfish: Fair to good.  Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the catfish bite is finally getting better, and fish are beginning to move shallow.  It’s only a matter of time before the bite is wide open.  Fishing around humps and points that top out as shallow as 3-5 feet of water is productive, and the backs of creeks and coves are a good place to look.  The best creeks are “secondary” creeks and coves that come off of major creeks or the main river run.  Because of the effects of warm, sun-drenched days fishing areas that have a good bit of shallow water is a good bet, as these areas will warm up in the afternoons and attract bait and catfish.  The majority of the fish caught will be channel catfish, but there are also some blues in shallow water.  Cut herring and white perch will both catch fish, and especially with the herring expect to pick up some striper as a by-catch.