Fishing for striped bass and hybrids in June on Clarks Hill Lake is usually an early morning thing, a quick bite and over, according to guide Billy Murphy.
One morning last June, Murphy and his twin sons took two boats with guide parties out fishing the same underwater hump, and within 90 minutes, they had put 52 fish in the boats.
“We were fishing right off the bottom — two to three cranks up — in 77- to 84-degree water,” Murphy said. “It’s a good thing we were catching them before the sun came up and it got hot. We usually get to our (spot) by 5 or 5:15 a.m., and the latest we limited out was about 7:30.”
In June, Murphy (706-339-4784) concentrates on areas near the dam, up the Savannah River and Little River and Keg Creek. Fish seem to concentrate on humps between 20 and 40 feet deep, with 30 feet being prime.
“One particular place we fish this time of year is Trade Winds Marina in Keg Creek. There is a place where the fish hang out, 30 feet deep, almost at the mouth of where the creek comes into the Savannah River. Most of the fish will be staying close to the main channel of the Savannah River, and we catch them in the creeks and channels running off it.”
Murphy said a lot of the bigger stripers — 10- to 20-pound fish — were lost in a major fish kill two years ago.
“It’s really hard to find any fish in that size class now, but we are catching a lot of fish at 7, 8 and 9 pounds and one or two 10 pounds and over. Right now, the biggest fish will be about 12 pounds.”
He said striper/hybrid fishing in June is a “quick bite.”
“When those fish quit, it’s time to move to another hole.”
As the month progresses and the summer heat begins to build, the water temperature rises, and once it gets into the mid-80s, he said, fish go deeper, and fishermen have to go hunting in deeper water to find them.
Then in July, before the fish get in the summer doldrums and hover around the oxygen line running out of the Modoc area, they start schooling on top, he said.
“They will be chasing shad on top. We troll Little Fishies and lures like that through them,” he said.