Lake Murray August Fishing Report
In the month of August, the water temperatures are pretty warm, ranging in the mid to upper 80’s and cooling to the low 80’s by the end of the month. This time of year, the fish are suspending much more. Many of the fish are feeding more at night now; however, on the lower end of the lake, top-water and surface baits will continue to get better by the end of the month. Additionally, the shallow bite will improve up the river where bluegill spawns are finishing up and where shad are starting to migrate into the pockets as the length of days continues to get shorter.
On the upper reaches of the lake, from Dreher Island up river, and in the backs of main lake coves, where the water has more color, look for fish to be shallower hanging in areas where there could be bluegill spawning. Techniques of choice are topwaters and slower techniques in times of lulls. Good lures to use are Topwater frogs, Greenfish 3/8-ounce Buzzbait in Black; prop bait, like a Deps buzzjet or Ima HeliPs; Greenfish 1/2-ounce flipping Jigs in green pumpkin; Greenfish 1/4-ounce swim jigs in green pumpkin; soft plastics flipping baits, such as the Reins Punchin’ Predator and Ring Claw Daddy; and Finesse worms like the Reins Swamp Mover in a natural or green pumpkin color. Target top-water techniques early in the morning, transitioning to areas of shade around laydowns, docks and overhanging trees as the day gets brighter. Switch to slower techniques in the same areas if the fish do not seem very aggressive, typically when there is no wind.
On the lower end of the lake, from Dreher Island to the dam, focus on walking topwaters, like the IMA Skimmer, and soft jerkbaits, like the Optimum Victory Tail in a chrome or sexy shad color. Look for flatter primary points where fish will be suspended over 15 to 20 feet and fish topwaters and the Optimum Victory Tail in the mornings or during the day if it’s windy or cloudy, slowing down as the day progresses, if the wind dies down or if it becomes brighter with no cloud cover. Slow down with a jig, shaky head or dropshot. Drop shot of choice is a Reins Bubbling Shaker in a green pumpkin or margarita mutilator. Be sure to key on the ends of flatter points with a hard bottom. You may be off shore as many as two 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. Position the boat over water as deep as 25 to 35 feet while casting toward the point. To locate ideal humps and points, I recommend using a Navionics chip in your graph and setting the shaded depth on your Humminbird (press Menu twice under Chart) to 20 feet. Wind is another important factor. 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.
August can be one of the toughest months of the year. Bass are in full swing of their summer-time patterns; however, when you find them, they are likely to be grouped up. In the river and in the backs of creeks and coves, where resident fish are more prevalent, bass could be as shallow as six inches to as deep as 20 to 25 feet down the lake where they are feeding on blueback herring. Be sure to focus on open-water long tapering points, and remember wind is a plus. When you find them, fish should be grouped up and ready to bite. Always keep an open mind, have 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, am Coast Guard Approved, am a full-time largemouth bass guide, and have fished fulltime and competitively for the past 10 years across the country on both the BASS and FLW trails. I have a lifetime of fishing experience and can teach you multiple techniques of your choice, including tournament preparation and/or electronics education. I would love to share my knowledge with you on the water and enjoy a day of fishing.