Anglers catching Lake Murray stripers down deep

Guide William Attaway targets main-lake humps and channel drops for August stripers on Lake Murray.

Fish early, fish late, fish deep

South Carolina summers are infamously hot, and by August, the thought of a cool dip in the lake can be little more than a dream. As a result, fishing can get tough, but fish can still be caught.

William Attaway’s guide strategy for August stripers on South Carolina’s Lake Murray includes this: fish early or late, fish deep and don’t kill your bait.

“By August, it gets tough to catch stripers. But you can usually find them around main-lake humps and in the deep water next to the river channel,” said Attaway (803-924-0857). “That way, they can run up on the humps and feed.”

Attaway targets underwater humps from 40 to 70 feet deep this month, fishing live blueback herring on down rods.

“You need to locate fish on the graph, but if you can’t find them, it doesn’t hurt to look for a good hump. Then put the baits down and sit on it for a good 15 to 20 minutes,” he said. “The fish are on the move all the time, and they could move up to feed. If nothing happens in 20 minutes or so, pull in the rods and go find another hump.”

Look for schooling fish late in the day

The key is getting the bait to the deeper level quickly, he said.

“”I like a 2-ounce weight, sometimes even a little bigger,” he said. “Don’t play around, and don’t let the herring swim around on top of the water. The water on top is going to be almost 90 degrees, and it doesn’t take long to kill a herring coming out of 60-degree water in your tank.”

If the fish are not taking the herring, Attaway will usually tie on a spoon.

“Jig deep with a flutter spoon,” he said. “In the heat, flutter spoons will often produce fish when they won’t take live bait.”

Attaway said the best times to fish are early morning until 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to dark.

“One thing about fishing late in the day is that sometimes the fish will come up schooling,” he said. “You can throw about anything to them, bucktails or topwater like a Zara Spook, and catch them.”

Click here for some night striper fishing tips on Lake Murray.