When Lake Murray guide Mike Glover points to an open-water target and says “There!” it’s time to get a lure airborne in that direction. Most times the lure is still sailing when the fish begin boiling the surface and the when lure lands in the middle of a pack of stripers feeding at the surface, it’s game on!
“Right now, we’re getting some excellent striper schooling action very early and late in the day,” he said. “I’m fishing in the lower end of the lake, and that’s where a lot of the stripers are piling up, near the deeper water. The fishing was very good in early May but has gotten even better and in the next couple of weeks will likely improve even more.”
Glover (803-609-0066) said it’s important for one person on the boat to be watching for tell-tale signals that stripers about to school. “On my boat, I’m that guy,” he said.
Glover’s best lures for schooling stripers have been a white/ice Magnum Super Fluke and a ghost minnow imaSkimmer topwater plug.
“The Fluke is usually my go-to lure, and it typically produces great action for the first couple of hours in the morning,” Glover said, “but the imaSkimmer will produce equally well and occasionally will produce more bites. But the versatility of the Fluke, working it on top or just under the surface, is usually more than these stripers can stand. Stripers must be 21 inches or longer now, until June, but we’re not having any problem catching plenty of considerably larger fish. This has already been a very good year in terms of average size of fish.”
Glover said that when the striper action slows later in the morning, he’ll using live herring and will work points, underwater islands, ledges and deeper holes.
“I’ll pull Water Bugz planer boards off each side of the boat to cover as much as a 50-yard wide swath,” he said. “I’ll put a small split-shot above a 2/0 Gamakatsu circle hook to get the bait down a bit deeper. I use 12-pound Berkeley Big Game line. I’ll also run a couple of no-weight freelines out the back of the boat. The stripers are still biting from fairly shallow water to mid-depths in the mid-morning right now and should stay that way for a couple of weeks. Late-evening good surface action returns.
“Toward the end of the month, I expect the stripers to begin to transition to suspending in the deeper water after the early morning topwater action, and that’s when we can really hammer the stripers,” he said. “The fish will congregate in big groups, we’ll spot them using graphs and drop the bait to a foot or two above the depth they’re suspended. That action can get real wild, real fast.”
I’m already excited about the size of the fish, as well as the numbers of good fish we’re catching,” Glover said. “The great fishing we’ve got now should just get better over the next few weeks.”