I fish on Lake Murray almost everday. December is normally a great time to fish for stripers on my end of the lake-West side Near Batesburg/Saluda area. Once again due to the drought and poor lake management by the powers that be, fishing is slow for stripers in this area. Normally I am pulling in 10 to 35 fish in a 1 1/2 to 3 hour period. This year with water being low once again I am lucky to get even one striper.
I start off normally with lures. 1/2 oz. Buck tail jigs, rapala shad raps, spoons, and even beetlespins near creeks and skinny waters. At times I get a few dozen minnows and float a bobber with a 1/8 oz jig (3/0 hook) and minnow when I know the schools have been running and get fish every 5 to 15 minutes for hours. Be it on the bank, in our bass boat or even our canoe. The canoe and a striper is a blast. A good size one can carry you and the canoe a good bit with the anchor up until landed!
Anyway with the drought this year plus the power company letting water out when they shouldn't and the core of engineers doing the same, fishing once again sucks on this end of the lake. Mind you fishing is still good but it could and can be so much better once the lake level is maintained for a few years in a row.
Largemouth fishing at this time of year tends to slow but you can always catch a few small ones and have an even better chance of getting a few 4 to 7 pounders if you know what your doing.
I tends to fish 70% of the year with believe it or not a BEETLE SPIN 1/8 oz. I catch everything and anything with this magical lure. Its dressed with a white 3 inch grub or a white with black dots 3 inch grub. I catch bass, crappie, bluegills, shellcrackers, white bass, bowfins, gar, perch and catfish on this lure. Some say you can't catch big fish on that lure but I have caught all of my big fish on this lure-5 lb- 7lb and even 10+ lb largemouth with it.
Of course at this time and other times of the year I will switch over to other lures when I feel the need. Varies Mepps lures I use more often during cold periods since you can roll them slower than a beetle spin through the water. Also used a lot for bluegills in the Summer months.
Rapalas I turn to for stripers and largemouth during feeding frenzies by both types of fish in the winter months. But you can't beat a bucktail most times for stripers I have been finding out.
The only good thing about the water being so low is that when the water warms up for a few days at this time of the year and the shad are everywhere, the largemouth turn on and most shallow running lures work in the area I fish in. Little clelo's or other spoons work well.
Thats it for now. I had no point in writing this other than to write for anyone whom might read this in this area that I live in. Hopefully in the coming years the lake management and or lake level will be consistant and fishing will get back on track for years to come as well as it was over 10 years ago. This is a great lake to fish once you can figure it out. I'm still trying but each year I learn something new. By myself and you the fellow readers of this magazine.
May the Sun be on your neck and a fish on your line,