Spooning for stripers on Lake Murray

Tony Alexander loves spoon feeding Lake Murray’s stripers in cold weather.

Lake Murray stripers love to be spoon fed

They call him the Spoon Man, and for good reason. Tony Alexander of Batesburg-Leesville, SC is a master at spoon-feeding stripers on Lake Murray. And he especially likes doing it during the cold weather months.

“You’ll see a lot fewer boats on the lake this month, but the fishing can be really good. One species of fish that doesn’t mind the cold weather is stripers. They bite like crazy this time of year,” said Alexander.

He finds schools of fish two ways this month. Watching the birds is one way. They are flying overhead, watching for schools of baitfish that get pushed to the surface by stripers below.

“That’s the easy way, and on days when the birds are working, they will show you where to cast,” he said.

When the birds aren’t working, however, Alexander still finds his share of fish.

“I watch my electronics for deeper holes — those in the 20 to 40 foot range. If I see clouds of bait, I drop the spoon,” he said.

Stripers will often appear as large Vs under the bait clouds, but under certain conditions, they may not appear at all, even when they are present. Sometimes, they are too close to the bottom to show up. That doesn’t stop Alexander from lowering the spoon to them.

“I drop the spoon all the way to the bottom. Once it hits, I rip it up, let it flutter back down again, then rip it up once more. I’ll do that over and over and over. At some point, if the stripers are there, one will grab it. And then it’s game on,” he said.

If he could have his way, the weather would be bitterly cold when he goes fishing.

“The colder it is, the more tightly the bait schools pack up. The cold also causes lots of baitfish to die. The dead ones just flutter about in the water, and the stripers attack them. That’s what the spoon looks like to them, so it’s very effective, especially when it’s extremely cold,” he said.

Alexander prefers to use medium powered casting rods, baitcasting reels and 12-pound test line. White and chartreuse are his favorite colors for spoons and he prefers 1/2-ounce Binks spoons and Bubba spoons.

Follow Alexander at tiktok.com/@tonyfish66.

About Brian Cope 2343 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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