Lake Murray is a reservoir in South Carolina that is popular for fishing. The most popular species caught here are largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and channel catfish. The lake is also home to many other species, including bluegill, redear sunfish, and black crappie.
Lake Murray is a natural body of water created in the 1930s by constructing a dam on the Saluda River. Five significant tributaries feed the lake and cover approximately 18,000 acres with a maximum depth of 40 feet.
Types of fish that can be found in Lake Murray
Lake Murray in South Carolina is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts, thanks to its diverse range of fish species and the many scenic spots available for angling. Here are some of the types of fish that can be found in Lake Murray, as well as the best spots to catch them and the baits and times of day that are most effective.
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth bass are one of the most popular game fish in Lake Murray and can be found throughout the lake. Some of the best spots for catching largemouth bass include the lake’s many docks and other structures, near drop-offs, and underwater ledges. Some of the best baits for catching largemouth bass include plastic worms, crankbaits, and topwater lures. Early morning and late afternoon are often the best times for catching largemouth bass.
Striped Bass: Striped bass is another popular game fish in Lake Murray and can be found in the deeper parts of the lake. Some of the best spots for catching striped bass include around the dam and other deep water structures, along underwater ridges and drop-offs. Some effective baits for catching striped bass include live baitfish, jigging spoons, and other artificial lures. Striped bass is most active during the early morning and late evening hours.
Crappie: Crappies are a popular panfish in Lake Murray and can be found throughout the lake in large numbers. Some of the best spots for catching crappie include around underwater structures such as brush piles and submerged logs, as well as near the lake’s many docks and piers. Some of the best baits for catching crappie include small jigs and live minnows. Crappies are most active during the early morning and late afternoon hours.
Catfish: Lake Murray is also home to several species of catfish, including channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish. Some of the best spots for catching catfish include along the lake’s many underwater channels and ledges and near the dam and other deep water structures. The best baits for catching catfish include chicken liver, cut bait, and live worms. Catfish are often most active during the evening and nighttime hours.
Best fishing spots in Lake Murray
Here are some of the best fishing spots in Lake Murray to try out:
Dreher Island State Park: This park is located on a 348-acre island on the lake and offers several fishing piers, boat ramps, and fishing boat rentals.
Saluda Dam: The Saluda Dam area is a popular spot for fishing, with deep waters home to various fish species.
Sandy Beach Park: This park is located on the lake’s northern shore and offers several fishing piers and a boat ramp.
Hilton Recreation Area: This recreation area is located on the western side of the lake and offers several fishing piers, boat ramps, and boat rentals.
Billy Dreher Island State Park: This park is located on a small island on the lake and offers several fishing piers, boat ramps, and fishing boat rentals.
Lake Murray Dam: The dam area is a popular spot for fishing, with deep waters and various fish species.
Spinners Resort & Marina: This marina offers several fishing charters and is located on the lake’s northern shore.
What time of year is the best to fish in Lake Murray?
The best time of year to fish in Lake Murray is April. The weather is starting to warm up, and the fish are more active. The water temperature is also comfortable for fishing. The first part of the month is the best time to fish because the fish are spawning, and there is more activity.
Lake Murray is one of the best bass fishing lakes in South Carolina. There are many different types of fish to catch here. The most common are the largemouth bass, white perch, black crappie, and bluegill. You can also find catfish, sunfish, redbreast sunfish, and largemouth black bass in Lake Murray.
What bait should you use to catch fish in Lake Murray?
You can use a variety of baits and lures to catch fish in Lake Murray. Some standard baits include minnows, worms, and crayfish. Lures can be either artificial or natural. Artificial lures are usually made of plastic or metal and are designed to resemble real baitfish. Natural lures are generally made of wood or feathers and are intended to resemble insects or other small animals.
You can also use “bait rigs” to catch fish. A bait rig is a small line with a hook and some weight, such as a sinker or bobber. You pull up on the line when a fish bites and set the hook by jerking it back toward you. You attach your bait to the clip, then drop it into the water.
How can I get a fishing license for Lake Murray?
You can buy a fishing license at tackle shops, sporting goods stores, marinas, and online. The permit costs $10.50 for a three-day pass, $21.25 for seven-day access, and $43.75 for an annual fishing license that is good until March 31 of the following year.
A permit is required for anyone over 16 years old fishing in South Carolina’s lakes, ponds, and streams or on its coast.
A freshwater fishing license allows you to fish in all the lakes, ponds, and streams of South Carolina. You can fish from a boat or by wading. A saltwater fishing license allows you to fish only on our coast for finfish. You cannot fish from a boat in salt water.
What are the fishing regulations for Lake Murray?
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) sets fishing regulations for Lake Murray to ensure the sustainable use of the lake’s resources. Here are some of the most important regulations that fishermen should be aware of:
Fishing license – All anglers over 16 must have a valid South Carolina fishing license to fish in Lake Murray.
Bag limits – There are bag limits for different species of fish in Lake Murray, which specify the number of fish that can be harvested daily. For example, the bag limit for largemouth bass is five fish per day, while the bag limit for crappie is 20 fish per day.
Size limits – There are also size limits for certain species of fish in Lake Murray, which specify the minimum size at which a fish can be harvested. For example, the minimum size limit for largemouth bass is 14 inches, while the minimum size limit for striped bass is 21 inches.
Fishing methods – Some fishing methods are prohibited in Lake Murray, including dynamite, chemicals, or other illegal methods. Anglers should also be aware of the regulations on using certain types of fishing gear, such as trotlines and juglines.
Protected species – Certain fish in Lake Murray are protected and cannot be harvested, including American shad, blueback herring, and Atlantic sturgeon.
Are there any fish stocking programs for Lake Murray?
Yes, there are fish stocking programs for Lake Murray that are conducted by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) in order to maintain healthy fish populations and improve fishing opportunities. The specific fish species that are stocked can vary depending on the needs of the lake and the availability of fish from hatcheries.
In recent years, the SCDNR has stocked Lake Murray with various fish species, including striped bass, hybrid bass, largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie. These fish are typically raised in hatcheries and then released into the lake at various locations to ensure widespread distribution.
The SCDNR also works with local fishing organizations and volunteers to conduct periodic fish surveys to monitor Lake Murray’s fish populations’ health and abundance. This data helps to inform future stocking efforts and other management decisions.
Does Lake Murray have sturgeon?
While sturgeon historically lived in Lake Murray and other rivers and lakes in South Carolina, they are currently considered a threatened and protected species, and it is unlikely that you will find them in Lake Murray today. The Atlantic sturgeon, a species that was once common in Lake Murray, was overfished and suffered from habitat loss and pollution, leading to a significant decline in population.
As a result, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) has implemented protective measures to prevent the harvest or harm of sturgeon, and it is illegal to target, keep, or harm sturgeon in South Carolina waters. If you happen to catch a sturgeon while fishing in Lake Murray, you should immediately release it unharmed back into the water.