Tips for Recreational Anglers on Lake Murray: A Rod, Float, and Bait Are All You Need | Colombia News

COLUMBIA – Covering over 140,000 acres of freshwater, Lake Murray can seem daunting to an amateur fisherman.

But those who have trawled the lake for years say there are a few key tips that can help anyone catch any of the millions of fish that migrate to the lake from the Saluda River, or are stored there by. state wildlife officers.

And there’s still time to drop your lines before the clock turns. While the cold can lead to poor fishing, the lake’s catch will strengthen for the winter until December, that is, while eating.

“Now is the time for them to get fat and happy,” said Shelton Yonce, a 26-year-old Midlands Bass Anglers club member who has trawled the lake since he was a toddler.

A tournament fisherman, his tours of Lake Murray, near Columbia, usually involve a boat and finding the biggest freshwater bass he can bring home.

For the less advanced, there are other ways to catch Lake Murray’s three most popular large fish: bass, catfish, and crappie.

The officials of the Department of Natural Resources of SC insist on a few reminders.

For one thing, if you are 16 years of age or older, you need to get a state fishing license. An annual pass can be purchased for $ 10 from the MNR website.

For those who don’t have boats, authorities point out the dozens of public fishing spots across the lake. This includes eight piers and five shores along the coast.

MNR also builds its own fishing hotspots, using abandoned trees or other debris to create makeshift reefs. Lake Murray has 24 so-called “fish attractors,” which anglers say are all decent places to start.

But no matter where you decide to cast, use the following tips to target the most common fish in the lake.

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The most prized catch, bass can be picked up just about anywhere on Lake Murray. But the shores are as good a bet as any. Yonce suggests keeping an eye out for topographic changes that fish prefer, such as where a clay bank meets a rock. When it comes to bait, artificial worms work very well, Yonce said. And to set up your line, all you need is a float placed 3 feet above the baited hook. Even if you don’t snag a bass, the technique may also work for the lake’s smaller and abundant bluegill or bream.


Catfish like cloudy and dirty water. But they can be found in any part of the lake, especially in places with movement or influx of water, Yonce said. Because fish are bottom feeders, your line does not need a float. Legal baitfish, like shad, can help attract them, but worms or chicken livers also work very well. More importantly, because they feed at night, Yonce said the best time to catch them is after dusk.

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These are perhaps the most difficult fish to catch in the lake. But that’s what attracts some fishermen to them. Yonce said that a bobber and hook setup, like with the bass, can work. But for bait, he recommends live minnows. For a more advanced approach, said Yonce, anglers can use their rods to move a jig in the water, mimicking the movements of a minnow. This method does not require bait.

Follow Joseph Cranney on Twitter @joey_cranney.

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