Fall is a lot of things to a lot of different outdoorsmen, but for landlocked linesider fans, November’s cooling waters mean that hungry striped bass, aka rockfish, and their test-tube cousins, hybrid bass, will be moving into shallower water in search of prey.
Cold or cooler water and striped bass go hand in hand, as fish thrive better in lower water temperatures. Rather than simply surviving — which is what a lot of landlocked stripers do through the summer — water temperatures that dip below the 70-degree mark put striped bass in a much better mood and open up a lot more water in which they can comfortably roam. Coincidentally, threadfin shad start in November to bunch up and move en masse into creeks and over long points and shallow flats, so it’s not hard to guess where the best places to target striped bass will be.
Wildlife agencies in both North Carolina and South Carolina have embraced the striped bass and continue to support thriving put-grow-and-take fisheries across. Since minimal natural reproduction occurs in either state — and only in isolated areas — striped bass and hybrid striped bass are produced in state-supported hatcheries and released into local impoundments. If you are looking to get in on some hot striped bass action this fall, here’s a few lakes you should consider visiting: Lake Murray and Lake Hartwell in South Carolina and Lake Norman and Lake Tillery in North Carolina.
Historically, Lake Murray has struggled to produce both sizes and numbers of striped bass. Thanks in large part to some stringent regulations that were enacted several years ago, Murray has hit its stride, and fishermen are seeing a large population of big fish return to the