Andy Owens, an avid fisherman who owns Vengeance Tackle Shop (www.vengeancetackleshop.com) has always stuck to shallow water fishing, and while the shallow bite is on - mostly due to spawning fish - he said some anglers are also having success in deeper water. Postspawn fish are guarding their fry along docks, resulting in a third option for anglers of these midlands impoundments.
Owens said hollow-bodied topwater frogs are a great bait choice right now. Many anglers target the plentiful alligator grass in Wateree with these baits, but Murray's lack of grassbeds shouldn't deter anglers from using the same lures there.
"I throw mostly Snag-Proof frogs, and they are good in the alligator grass, but grass doesn't have to be present for these frogs to work." Owens said. "The bedding bass, or those guarding fry in shallow water, are all along the banks in super shallow water. If there is a downed tree or grass nearby, it makes the spot even more likely to hold bass."
The warm weather caused bass to spawn earlier than normal this year, and Owens said that is one reason for the trio of productive patterns anglers are enjoying.
"The full moon in April is usually the first big spawn around here, but some bass were bedding on Murray as early as February, and a lot of bass spawned in March on both lakes," said Owens, "but I think there will be plenty of bedding bass in the coming days too."
The bass holding along docks will readily bite jigs and spinnerbaits, and soft plastics will work as well. Owens said many of these bass are nest guarders that have moved their fry under the shade and protection of these structures.