Lake Murray: Lake Murray water levels are at 356.88 (full pool is 360.00) and water temperatures at the dam are in the mid-50s.
Striped bass fishing has been good on Lake Murray, with Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reporting that the best bite is up the river around Riverwinds Landing on the Big Saluda. The best bite has been a live bait bite, and the most successful pattern has been following the birds and pulling free-lines through the areas they are in. The bait and birds move around from day to day, and on warmer days they usually go shallower. Riverwinds has recently starting carrying live herring.
Fish can also be caught be caught chasing schooling fish and throwing bucktails and ice flies. On warm, pretty days that bite is not as good as when conditions are more severe.
There have also been some good reports from the Ballentine area.
Tournament anglers Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that the bass bite has not been as good as last year, and even though there were some 26-pound bags at the top of the CBC standings last weekend weights dropped off after that. Last year when the lake was up and the water was heavily stained it took about 20 pounds to get a check, but this year about 15 was good enough.
A lot of anglers are fishing shallow right now, and crankbaits fished around rocks as well as jigs around docks have been popular patterns. However, there are a lot of deep fish too and some big bags have been caught on jigging spoons and drop shot rigs in 30-45 feet of water.
Guide Brad Fowler of Pendleton fished the CBC with tournament partner Brent Long and cut a check with about 16 pounds. They found fish both shallow and deep and put together a bag with fish from a variety of depths.
Captain Brad Taylor reports that crappie are starting to be caught tight-lining in the mouths of creeks. The Little Saluda and Buffalo Creek have been the best areas, and the mouths of creeks have been the best places to fish. Depths vary from day to day but fishing jigs and minnows 6-8 feet deep over 12-15 feet of water has been the best bet.
On the catfish front, Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that fish remain pretty scattered, but now more fish are relating to the shallowest portion of humps. The best pattern is anchoring on humps that top out at about 15 feet of water and putting out cut herring.