Lake Murray: Lake Murray water levels are at 356.83 (full pool is 360.00) and core surface water temperatures morning temperatures still range from about 57 at the dam to 58 or 59 up the lake. The lake remains atypically clear.
Striped bass are grouped up in the middle part of the lake according to Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354), who reports that the best fish are being caught pulling free lines and planer boards off the channels over 15-30 feet of water. Brad suggests that anglers zig-zag to find the right depth. Fish have been on the main lake but they are starting to move into the main creeks including Bear Creek, Beards Creek and Crystal Lake. They are setting up near areas where they know the herring will be spawning before too long.
Warm weather has decreased schooling activity, but there are starting to be a good number of fish caught down-lining with herring. Forty to 60 feet of water has been a good depth, and fish have been found at the mouth of Bear Creek and out from Putnam's Landing. Generally down-line fish have been smaller.
The cold front over the weekend backed a lot of the crappie off, and for now Brad says that the fish have been in deeper water than one would think. They were shallow, but right now he is finding them in 20-30 feet. It has been so windy that a lot of the time he has been back trolling with the big motor. Fish were deep and very close to the bottom this past weekend, but he expects them to move up again pretty quickly with this warmer weather. Within 10 days the spawn should be on.
On the catfish front, Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that anchoring is a little more consistent than drifting, but there have also been some good days for drifting. The best depth for drifting has been 20-45 feet. Anchoring around humps that top out around 15-20 feet of water is still a strong pattern. Cut herring is hard to beat and will pick up stripers too.