Because of the wet weather and cooler water temperatures, fishing for largemouth bass on Lake Murray is on fire, according to guide Chris Heinning.

Heinning said that normally by this time of year, the water temperature is higher and the bass fishing on the lake is locked into a sold summer pattern, but not this summer.

 

"A decent 'suspended bait' bite continues right now, and because of the rain and associated water conditions, fishing is different than what we'd typically have in July," said Heinning (803-236-1257). "Now's a great time to enjoy some very good largemouth fishing on Lake Murray."

 

Heinning said anglers still need to get out before sunrise for the shallow, topwater bite.

 

"However, with cooler water temperatures than normal for July, high water in the lake, and overcast days, good bass remain biting throughout most of the day," Heinning said. "Focus your efforts on points, underwater humps and ridges in 10 to 15 feet of water early in morning, but work progressively out to 20 to 30 feet as day goes on. Good structure spots are close to very deep water, 50 feet or more; main-lake river and creek channels are also important.

 

"Keep an eye out for any activity on the surface throughout the day, as the fish will sometimes give themselves away to their location by schooling," he said. "Many times we will be working a point or hump and turn around to open water to chase schooling fish. Lake Murray largemouth will surprise you and sometimes act like a striped bass roaming in open water chasing schools of herring. These can be some of your larger class of bass on the lake.  

"Bass will be on key spots of this structure, using them as on opportunity to feed on the prevalent blueback herring," Heinning said. "Once you get a bite on a structure, remember that exact line-up of boat and repeat cast again to catch additional bass. My marine electronics are keys to locating structure with good rocks, herring and bass activity, and eventually (I) GPS waypoint good locations." 

Heining said several lures have been producing, starting with topwater "walk-the-dog" hard baits early and moving to subsurface lures as the day progresses.

 

"Hard or soft swimming and twitch baits are hard to beat when fish are not busting the surface," he said. "Also, double-willow blade Buckeye spinnerbaits are producing when the wind is blowing hard. Another trick is to use a flutter spoon or Buckeye J-Will heads and a 4- or 5-inch swimbait over deeper water. I almost exclusively use clear to translucent colors with all my artificial lures.

 

"Just because it is July, don't think it's too hot or you have to night fish to catch nice largemouth bass on Lake Murray right now."