For most of his 47 years, Tom Mundy of Laurens has been trying to figure out better ways to catch fish. As a kid, he would sneak into local farm ponds, and as he grew up, he expanded his territory to include nearby Lake Greenwood. As time went by, the creative bug hit Mundy, and he began designing lures that would give him the edge on Greenwood's native fish populations.

"I first started out by making topwater baits to catch stripers below the Greenwood dam," Mundy said. "After that, I learned how to pour plastic baits, and largemouth bass were the target. Later it was bream and crappie."

Each time Mundy developed the itch to make a new fishing lure, Greenwood was where he went to scratch. No matter what fish he's after or what bait he's working on to add to his Fish Stalker Lures line, Mundy's first thoughts always focus on how Greenwood fish would react to this bait.

Knowing the lake as well as he does, Mundy provided South Carolina Sportsman with a handful of his best spots.

 

1 River Forks Ramp

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The first spot on Mundy's list is the newest public ramp on Lake Greenwood: River Forks public access.

"In November, I like to put in at this ramp because I'm usually fishing the rivers," Mundy said.

The ramp is southwest of the town of Waterlook, off River Fork Rd. just before it crosses the Reedy River arm of the lake southwest of the town of Waterloo.

"The best news for boaters is that the ramp was built in accordance with (S.C. Department of Natural Resources) guidelines for construction" said Tim Vinson, Boating Access Section supervisor for the SCDNR, "this means the ramp extends at a minimum to 4 feet below the lowest historical water level for that impoundment."

 

2 Rabon Creek Bridge

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After putting in at River Fork, Mundy motors north up the Reedy River and hangs a right into Rabon Creek, a short tributary that drains much of Laurens County. He heads about 300 yards up the creek to the bridge.

"We fish for crappie in November by the pilings under the bridge," he said, "but also keep an eye out for stripers and largemouth bass, both of which love to school around both sides of the rip-rap on either side of the bridge."

According to Mundy, the lake is typically drawn down for winter pool in November, so anglers can expect to find water depths in the 8- to 12-foot range in the creek channel under the bridge and 5 to 8 feet deep up on the flats to either side.

"Some of the bridge pilings are angled like fingers down into the water, and crappie love to hang around those pilings," he said. "It's a great place to drop a tiny jig down beside the piling, and you'll find a couple of brush piles between the rows of pilings; they will also hold crappie."

"Out there by the riprap, you can throw a crank bait or top-water bait any time you see fish schooling," he said. "Expect to catch a variety of largemouth bass, stripers and white perch."

 

3 The Bird House

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This is an open-water spot back just down the lake from the junction of the Reedy and Saluda rivers. Over the years, Mundy and some buddies took a good spot and made it better by sinking brush on a gradual slope from a flat down to the Saluda River channel, which has heavily silted in over time. Before he had GPS, he used to line up two bird houses on the Laurens County side to locate the spot.

"In this spot, we've got three brush piles laid anywhere from 10 to 16 feet deep," he said. "Obviously, that makes it a good crappie spot, but you'll also find some big shellcrackers that move in here in November. Stripers will school out here in this big water too so keep your stuff ready for them".

To catch panfish, Mundy suggests fishing vertically over the brush; another productive method is to mark the brush with a buoy marker, then back off and cast a 1/64-ounce jig, letting it fall slowly until it touches the top of the brush.

Mundy said that striped bass will often school across the lake, pushing bait up on the flat. Their movements are often shadowed by schools of white perch - and vice versa.

 

4 Upper Railroad Trestle

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Down the lake, a railroad trestle crosses the lake. Anglers can catch bream, crappie, bass and catfish all over the trestle, which is constructed of large creosote timbers. Mundy's hotspot within a hotspot is an area where anglers have planted brush beside the structure.

"This time of year, I'm fishing from 45 to 50; you set up on 45 and you throw towards 50," said Mundy. "The railroad put numbers on the vertical supports so when they come out and service the railroad; they'll know what numbers to go to. We use them as fishing markers, because fish will move up and down the trestle with the weather. If I've got a friend who wants to know where to go, I tell him which number, and he knows where to go to find fish without having to fish the whole trestle."

Mundy's No. 1 target is crappie, and he catches them using one of his own baits: a Slabtail jig.

"Cast it out and let is slow fall on a 1/32-ounce jighead," he said. "The better colors this time of year are ugly green or black emerald."

Mundy said fish should be holding right at the top of the brush in water that's 16 to 17 foot deep.

 

5 Quarter Creek

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According to Mundy, largemouth bass will school on the sides of this hump in Quarter Creek just base the US 221 bridge heading downlake.

"This exact spot is the drop off the side of a hump," said Mundy. "Largemouth come up schooling on this hump, which drops off to 22 foot at the bottom. The top comes all the way up to 12 feet when the lake is full. During November, it'll probably be about 8-foot, 10-foot down to the top, but you can fish with Pop-Rs, Carolina rigs, shaky heads - anything like that - and you'll do pretty good on this spot."

For an Upstate lake, Greenwood enjoys the immense fertility usually found only in Lowcountry lakes like Santee Cooper. As such, scores of baitfish are at home in the lake. This is a perfect ambush spot in the middle of a wide creek that's known for collecting bait in the fall.

 

6 Striper Ridge

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The problem with chasing birds to find striped bass on Greenwood is that the narrow nature of the lake tends to bunch up anglers as well as fish. When other anglers are motoring up and down the lake chasing birds to find schooling striped bass, Mundy heads here.

"In November, the birds will be diving and they're easy to spot from anywhere on the lake," said Mundy. "With this spot, you don't need the birds. It's a steep ridge right off the bank. You've got 36 foot of water behind you, and it runs all the way up to about 10 foot of water on the ridge.

"Striped bass hang out on the drop right here and push the baitfish fish up against the ridge and eat them. You don't have to chase birds on this spot."

Boat positioning plays a critical role. Mundy suggests facing the boat down the lake and keeping the first covered pier you come to right outside Lighthouse Cove on the left hand side of the boat in about 40 feet of water. From this vantage point, he'll cast a Pro Shad Spin up on the ridge and let it slow roll across the bottom.

 

7 Mouth of Morse Landing Cove

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Striped bass will dip into the mouth of Morse Landing Cove to school, but it's the point between the cove and the next pocket on the left, headed down the lake. where Mundy finds the most success. Like the previous hotspot, he's not chasing stripers, but looking for them to ambush baitfish from deep water to shallow. He's also going to target them using the same bait.

"You can sit and watch these fish move up on the graph," he said. "Fish will move up on the big flat in the back of the pocket and there's another good flat to the left of you that drops of into the channel.

"If you start seeing smaller marks on the graph near the bottom, that's going to be perch," he said. "Drop a quarter ounce or half ounce jigging spoon on top of them. Bounce it on the bottom to get their attention. They don't pull as hard as the stripers but it's still a lot of fun."

 

8 Mid-Lake Brush Pile

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Another favorite jigging-spoon spot in Mundy's playbook is,a group of brushpiles on the main lake outside the mouth of Banks Creek.

"We've got another bass fishing spot here," said Mundy. "Use a jigging spoon, ½- to ¾-ounce, Some guys use chartreuse, but I prefer a white spoon with silver tape on it. Drop in down on the edge of this brush pile right here in about 32 foot of water and jig it up and down, you'll be surprised what you'll catch."

Mundy said he's caught everything from largemouth bass to striped bass to white perch and even catfish. The spoon elicits a response bite as it flashes past a fish's nose, but Mundy explains that there's a bit of technique involved to be successful.

"I prefer a spinning rod, myself," he said. "I use a medium- action rod and a spinning reel with 10- and 15-pound test. Just drop the jig down and watch your line. Let it free fall. Don't cast it or do too much bouncing your jig or the hook will come up and snag your line. Just let it fall free and let it touch bottom. Then, snap it up and follow your line back down."

 

9 Catfish Hole

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Mundy said November is a great time to load up on whiskerfish, and he points to the mid-lake area between the US 221 bridge and the lower railroad trestle as his catfishing grounds. All the major points and cuts fish about the same, but this is his favorite.

"This hole produces good catfish, good channel cats, year- round, and where they'll be is determined by the time of year," he said. "The little flat between the (GPS) mark and the bank comes up to 16 and drops off to 22 foot behind us. In warmer months, we'll fish it from here to the bank, but now you want to turn around and throw out to the 22 foot of water."

Mundy uses a variety of cut bait, stinkbait, nightcrawlers, and anything else that channel catfish favor. He uses medium action rods to present the Carolina-rigged baits on a ¾-ounce sinker with a one to two foot leader on it. He fan-casts several rods from an anchored boat and indicates most days he doesn't have time to get all his rods out before the catfish start biting.

 

 

10 Steel Bridge

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The final spot on Mundy's list is where the idea to make his Slabtail jig hit him. The tiny bait on a tiny jighead has produced more crappie from the pilings under what he calls the "Steel Bridge" than Mundy can count.

"I usually fish the third, fourth and fifth set of pilings on the Laurens side a using little ole Slabtail jigs on either a 1/64- or 1/32-ounce jighead," he said. "Just let it go all the way to the bottom, slow roll it straight up back up beside the boat and the fish will let you know what depth they're at and you'll catch plenty of fish."

 

For more information on Fish Stalker Lures, visit their website at www.fishstalker.com or give them a call at 864-682-3404.