Lake Murray: Lake Murray water levels are at 357.99 (full pool is 360.00), and temperatures are in the lower 80s. Down the lake the water is very clear with more stain as you move up towards the rivers.
Lake Murray bass are getting into a summer pattern, and veteran tournament angler Captain Doug Lown reports that the bait spawns are winding down if not completed. In early June there can still be a few threadfin spawning in the mid- to upper lake, but very soon it should be over.
First thing in the morning there can be some fish shallow, and some of the better fish will be caught throwing a buzzbait, Pop-R, or some other topwater. After that fish head to deeper points closer to the channels in 10-14 feet. The best action right now is from the mid-lake on up, and fish will be near places with some deepwater access nearby. Worms presented on a drop shot or shakey head are good options, and rock is always good to have nearby.
In this period when fish first head offshore it can be a good time to target deeper brush, particularly brush in 15-20 feet of water that rises at least 6-8 feet off the bottom. Texas rigged worms are the best option around this stuff. Up the river fish can also be caught shallow flipping jigs in stained water around docks. For the next few months getting a bite after 10 or 11 in the morning may be tough.
More proof that fish are getting into a summer pattern comes from the striped bass, which Captain Brad Taylor (803-331-1354) reports are getting into a summer pattern. Fish are scattered out about 50-60 feet deep on the main lake, and anglers need to be willing to spend some time searching to find them. Almost all of the catches are coming on down-lines with herring. There has been a little bit of schooling action but it is winding down.
Crappie fishing has been a little slow, and Brad reports that the few fish that are being caught are around brush in 15-20 feet in the middle part of the lake. However, since the recent rains the action has slowed for crappie.
On the catfish front, Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) reports that it can be a tough time to catch bigger channel catfish on Lake Murray as in many parts of the lake the fish are in the midst of the spawn. While the catch is smaller the basic pattern remains the same in the daytime and at night, with fish around secondary points, humps, and back in coves. The best depth range during the day is 25-35 feet. At night fish will be in 1-15 feet of water around fallen timber and riprap. While you can catch probably catch bigger fish on cut bait, you have to deal with the gar and turtles and so William's preferred bait right now is dip bait. Sonny's Super Sticky is his personal favorite.