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Lake Murray Fishing Report

Please see below for the most recent reports.

About Lake Murray

Now owned and operated by Dominion Energy South Carolina, Lake Murray was built in the 1920s and 30s to provide hydroelectric power for Midlands residents.  The approximately 48,000-acre lake with roughly 650 miles of shoreline lies just to the northwest of South Carolina’s capital city of Columbia in the four counties of Richland, Lexington, Saluda and Newberry.  Today it is difficult to imagine the area without this important source of recreation for a region known as “Lake Murray Country.” The lake is oriented in an east-west direction, with the town of Lexington on the southern side of the lake and the town of Chapin on the northern side.  To the west the lake is fed by the Big and Little Saluda Rivers, and on the east side of the lake is the Lake Murray Dam.  Below the dam the Lower Saluda River is formed from the depths of Lake Murray and flows into the city of Columbia.  The full-pool elevation of Lake Murray is 360 feet above sea level, and at the deepest points near the iconic intake towers the lake is approximately 190 feet deep at full pool.

Fishermen target Lake Murray’s populations of striped bass, largemouth bass, crappie, bream, catfish, and more.  Unlike the other species, striped bass cannot reproduce naturally in Lake Murray and so they are entirely stocked (at fingerling size) by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.  In terms of its forage base, Lake Murray has both gizzard and threadfin shad, but the baitfish that may have the most effect on large predator species are non-native blueback herring.  Lake Murray is a popular fishing destination 365 days per year.

September 18

Lake Murray water levels are down to 356.19 (full pool is 360.00) and water temperatures have dropped to around 80 in the big water. Clarity dropped with yesterday’s rain. 

It’s hard to know how long this pattern will last, but right now Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports

September 11

Lake Murray water levels are down to 357.05 (full pool is 360.00) and water temperatures have dropped into the lower 80s. Clarity is a little below normal after recent rains.

The offshore suspended/ cane pile bite is just getting started on Lake Murray, and veteran tournament angler Stan Gunter of Saluda reports

August 26

Lake Murray water levels are at 357.69 (full pool is 360.00) and water temperatures have dropped slightly into the mid-80s. Clarity is pretty typical although recent rains have dirtied some areas, including creeks and up the river.

Water temperatures started to fall a little earlier than is typical this late summer, and perhaps as a result Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports

July 29

Lake Murray water levels are at 357.45 (full pool is 360.00). While the main lake is clear some creeks are a little stained, and water temperatures range from the upper 80s to lower 90s. 

While there certainly are some striper being caught 70+ feet down, and they are mostly good ones, Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports

Looking for More?

Read more fishing reports from Lake Murray and other popular places at the AHQ Report!