Lake Murray is at 358.08, and surface water temperatures at the dam are in the low to mid-50s. Further up temperatures as high as the upper 50s have been seen, with temperatures significantly warmer on the north side of the lake than the south side (because of the sun’s angle).
White Perch: Excellent. Lake World (803-957-6548) reports that the white perch remains king on Lake Murray, with schools scattered all over the lake from 20-70 feet of water. Use electronics to locate the perch which will be found around schools of bait. The fish will take spoons, minnows, worms or most anything else, with most anglers fishing for them vertically.
Crappie: Fair but improving. Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports that fish are in an unusual pattern right now, and while they are where they should be for this time of year they seem to be pretty scattered. High water levels are probably a factor as well as unsettled weather patterns. Numbers of fish are a little bit off, but some really quality fish are being caught right now. The best pattern is fishing in creeks both tight-lining and trolling with jigs and jigs tipped with minnows, and anglers should concentrate on 8-10 feet of water. Fish can also be caught casting jigs and jigs under corks at docks. The bite will get better and better over the coming weeks and fish should move shallower very soon.
Striped bass: Fair. Lake World (803-957-6548) reports that striper are a little slow making their way down towards the dam for this time of year, and the best action is coming from the mid-lake up to the area where the rivers split. The target depth range is shallow out to about 30 feet of water, and dragging herring on free-lines (and planer boards) has been most productive. There has also been some schooling activity, and contrary to conventional wisdom the best schooling action has come on sunny days. Keep your eyes open for the birds which will tell you everything you need to know about where the fish are located.
Largemouth bass: Fair. Veteran tournament angler Captain Doug Lown reports that fishing is starting to improve, and with warmer weather and water temperatures anglers are starting to get more bites. Fish are starting to transition into pre-spawn mode and they are moving up shallower into points and pockets adjacent to areas where they will eventually spawn. If water temperatures continue to rise into the low 60s look for spawning activity in the next week or two. While not all fish will spawn at the same time, because things have been running a few weeks behind this year expect it to happen fast once things begin. On days when there is some wind and cloud cover a crankbait may be a good option, and jigs remain good bets. In the stained water above Dreher Island try throwing a spinnerbait. We are also finally getting to a stage where plain old Texas-rigged worms and shakey head worms will catch fish. Once the fish have fully moved up then fishing will be at the point where anglers can pretty much throw what they like to fish.
Catfish: Slow to fair. Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that there has not been much to get excited about on Murray lately, and while a few quality fish (big blues and channels) are being caught the numbers are still way down. Anchoring on humps and points and fan casting in 20-40 feet of water has been a little more consistent for catching fish than drifting lately. Herring and shad are the best baits right now.
Shellcracker: Slow to fair. Lake World reports that the shellcracker bite hasn’t picked up yet, but a few fish are being caught in 4-10 feet of water.
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