October Fishing Forecast

Striper Report:

The summer bite on Lake Murray was outstanding – one of the best summers I can remember. What you can expect in October : 1) SCE&G will begin drawing the lake level down to 350’ to control weed growth AND 2) the fall lake turnover will likely take place mid-month (i.e., cold water rotates to surface).

Fishing will be tricky but fun. When the lake turns over top water action will be great. Suggest you head to the lake with pencil poppers, flukes & a few live herring. Schooling action will be hot. Target points & coves. When you see schooling fish slam on breaks and start chunking lures. Hold your rod tight – bite will be aggressive!

When you shove off in October go a little slower and pay attention to your electronics. Lake levels will be 10’ below full pond (360’). Stumps, shoals & standing structure will be visible. Boat Safely !!

Capt. Mike Glover, (803) 609-0066, www.StriperMike.net 


Trout Report

The cooler air of autumn is a signal for most to hit the woods and fields in pursuit of fur and feathers. Even though I enjoy doing the same, October is one of my favorite times on the river.

The convicts of summer have moved back to their winter waters in Santee Cooper after Hurricane Florence caused high flows in the rivers in Columbia. Now is the time for the trout to finaly relax after a summer of dodging stripers. Look for them to begin moving into their normal holding areas in eddies and deep pools. For the fly angler, the most productive flies will be Hare’s Ear or Pheasant Tail type nymphs fished under a strike indicator. A large streamer may turn a big brown trout or two also. On spinning gear use Mepps spinners or Rooster Tails in chartreuse or brown.

With the new regulations that took affect on July 1, the section from the Interstate 20 bridge to Stacy’s Ledge rapid (just above the zoo), is now a Catch and Release trout fishery. Barbless, single hook lures and flies are recommended to insure safe release of the wild rainbow trout that call this section home. If you want to take a few fish home then the section above Interstate 20 to the Lake Murray dam is the section you want to fish. Saluda Shoals Park is a great place to access.

As always, stay safe. Keep an eye on water levels as they charge without notice. Tight lines!

Jake Howard, Saluda Valley Guides LLC, (803)312-2435   Barron’s Outfitters , (803)254-553 


Lake Murray Report

In the month of October, the water temperatures are beginning to cool off and the color of the leaves begin to change with the season. The length of day continues to become much shorter and fish are in full swing of their fall patterns. Schooling fish will become more visible chasing bait on points and humps during the day, especially from Dreher Island to the dam and around the mouths of the major creeks. Shallow patterns should also be more prevalent as shallow resident fish become more active and migratory fish follow schools of bait into the shallows by the end of the month, especially on the upper end of the lake and in the backs of the creeks.

On the upper reaches (from Dreher Island up river) of the lake, and in the backs of main lake coves, where the water has more color, look for fish to be shallower. Techniques of choice will be slower techniques and shad mimicking baits. Good lures of choice are Ima squarebill crankbaits; Ima Finesse Popper; Greenfish Spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, Jigs, and Ploppin’ Toad Toter; Soft Plastics or Finesse worms, creature baits, tubes and beaver type baits, such as the Reins Craw Tube, Reins C-pod rigged on a Jika rig, the New Reins Paddle Tail Worm, and Swamp Mover in a natural or green pumpkin color. Target moving baits during cloudy or windy conditions, switching to areas of shade around laydowns, docks, and overhanging trees as the day gets brighter. Focus on slower techniques in the same areas when fish are not as aggressive at times with lack of wind and abundant sunlight.

On the lower end of the lake (from Dreher Island to the Dam), focus on walking topwaters, like the IMA Little Stick, Skimmer and Skimmer Grande in a Chrome Herring or Blueback Herring color, wakebaits such as an IMA Bone Floating Flit, Swimbaits like the Optimum Boom Boom swimbait in a Shad or Jackson Trout color, as well as, soft jerkbaits, like the 6” Optimum Victory Tail in a Shad, white or Chrome color, especially if there is wind. Look for flatter primary points where fish will be suspended over 15-20 feet, fish topwaters and the Optimum Victory Tail in the mornings or during the day if it’s windy or cloudy conditions, slowing down with a jig, shakey head or dropshot a Reins Bubbling Shaker as the day progresses and the wind dies down and the day becomes brighter with a lack of cloud cover. Be sure to key on the ends of flatter points with a hard bottom. You may be off shore as many as two to three cast lengths off the bank. Points with these characteristics are typically marked with a hazard buoy. This time of year on the lower end of the lake, boat positioning can be key, with the boat positioned over water as deep as 25-35 feet, casting toward the point. A Lakemaster chip in your graph, setting the shaded depth on your Humminbird (Press Menu twice, under Chart), to 20 feet can be Extremely helpful in locating ideal humps and points. Be sure to follow the wind from day to day, fishing points that have the most direct wind blowing on them. Paying attention to the wind can be the difference between a successful day and a difficult one this time of year.

The month of October is when Largemouth Bass start to transition into their fall patterns and into the shallows. Much of this progression can be easily followed by identifying the bait in the given area. Bass will be shallow on points, and in the back of creeks and pockets. In the river and in the backs of creeks and coves, where resident fish are more prevalent, fish could be as shallow as six inches. Be sure to focus on areas with shade. Down the lake where Bass are feeding on Blueback Herring, they could be as deep as 20-25 feet, be sure to focus on open water long tapering points. When you find the fish, they should be grouped up and ready to bite. Be sure to have an open mind, several lure options on your boat deck and be willing to cover water.

A great way to get out, enjoy the outdoors, and do a little fishing is to book a trip with one of the Lake Murray area guides. I am a certified Fisheries Biologist, United States Coast Guard Approved, full-time Largemouth Bass guide, have fished full-time and competitively for the past 12 years across the country on both the BASS and FLW trails, and have a lifetime of fishing experience. I offer a learning experience on multiple techniques of your choice, tournament preparation, and/ or electronics education. I would love to share my knowledge with you on the water and enjoy a day of fishing.

Michael Murphy, USCG Approved, Merchant Mariner Licensed, 803-567-5263,  www.MichaelMurphyFishing.com


Lake Marion/Moultrie

S &S is preparing for October madness on fishing for crappie and bream on brush piles using a down line with minnows and crickets. Don’t miss these good times fishing with S&S guide service.

Lake Moultrie catfish will be caught in 25 ft. – 30 ft. of water drifting all ledges. Catfish can be caught at this time using butterflied blue back herring or river herring as cut bait.

In Lake Marion, you should fish all ledges and creeks. And, don’t forget to fish shallow water around the trees in the early morning hours. S&S is ready to book your trip for October madness. All you need to do is give us a call. Captain David (803) 308-3635

Capt David Adams, S & S Guide Service specializing in catfish bream andcrappie, 803 308 3635, sandsguideservice@gmail.com, www.sandsfishingguide.net. 


Lake Marion Report

With the water temperatures dropping from the summer time highs and back down into the mid 70’s to the upper 60’s on both Moultrie and Marion the Crappie have started their Fall feeding and the bite has really picked up. We are seeing good numbers of healthy fish in the 1 ••• to the 2 ••• pound range with the bite starting early in the morning and lasting till mid day. The fish have moved to a little deeper water than last month and are back out on brush piles in 15 to 25 foot. I have been catching them on brush at 22 feet with a pink or chartreuse marabou jig and live minnows.

The Bream have moved out to deeper water brush piles and fish attractors in the 15 to 25 foot depth range with the dropping temperatures. The Bluegill bite is on, we have been catching quite a few and some nice sized ones. We are catching these fish all over the structure on crickets and jigs. Fish right above the structure on drop shot rig with a 3\8 casting sinker with #6 Aberdeen long shank tied 12 to 18 inches above the sinker to the sides of the structure. We are also seeing a few white perch being caught with minnows and worms on a drop shot rig.

Stevie English, 4G Guide Service 843 709 8138, 4Gguidesertvice@gmail.com  


Lake Wateree Report

Transition month the fish will start moving into the major creeks this time of year. Anchor up fan casting cut perch in 5 to 20ft of water is best for catfish and the stripers will be up to schooling on shad. Casting top water works the best

Jason Wolfe, Wolfe’s Guide Service, 803-487-3690