The striper bite is still hot on Lake Murray, and it’s especially so for anglers who fish in the morning before the day heats up, and it’s also good for anglers hitting the water in the late evening on into the night.
Capt. Brad Taylor of Taylor Outdoors Guide Service (803-331-1354) while he has a slight preference for fishing in the morning this time of year, the biggest stripers are usually caught at night, so he will gladly take clients in the evening and past dark.
Taylor said one rule that can help anglers this time of year, whether they choose to fish early or late, is that the dam should be in sight of wherever they are fishing.
“That’s pretty much the rule of thumb this time of year. You need to be able to see the dam. If you can see the dam, you’re in the right area for stripers. There is plenty of water in this part of the lake that is 60 to 80 feet deep, and while the stripers aren’t necessarily that deep, this is the water they prefer this time of year,” said Taylor.
Using down rods is the way to go here, which means anchoring the boat when you spot a good concentration of fish on your sonar, baiting your hooks with live blueback herring, and sending the bait straight down with 1.5- to 2-ounce weights to the depths the fish are holding at. It doesn’t take long, said Taylor, for the fish to let you know if they’re in the feeding mood.
Taylor uses 15-pound test Berkley Big Game fishing line on Abu Garcia reels and Ugly Stik striper rods.
In the evening and on into the night, the best bite is right around the towers at the dam. Taylor recommends fishing with the same technique, just finding the fish on your sonar and putting the bait in front of them.
Taylor’s Tidewater 22-foot center console is equipped with Hydro Glow lights, which come in handy at night. These lights that shine down into the water are not just for looks. They attract baitfish, which in turn attract stripers, and the lights can mean the difference in having a stellar fishing trip or an average one.