Lake Murray March Fishing Report

In the month of March, the water temperatures on Lake Murray will begin to warm, rising to the 60-degree mark and above by the end of the month. Fish will be in full swing of pre-spawn and typically beginning to spawn by the end of the month, roaming the banks and into the shallows. Fishing techniques for largemouth bass will differ depending on which end of the lake you are fishing. Lake wide, look for largemouth to be staging on secondary points or deeper banks outside of spawning areas, as well as moved into spawning coves with sand, rock or hard bottoms.

On the upper reaches of the lake, from Dreher Island up river, where the water has more color, look for fish to be further along and shallower, in most cases positioned around spawning areas on visible cover or adjacent deep water on steeper rocky banks or points. Techniques of choice will be slower techniques with crayfish and shad mimicking baits toward the beginning of the month, with the fish giving chase to moving baits in preparation of spawn by the end of the month. Good lures to use are crankbaits that dive to the 2- to 4-foot range like an IMA square bill, Greenfish Tackle spinnerbaits, flat-sided crankbaits like the Ima Shaker, soft plastics creature baits, tubes and beaver type baits such as the Reins Craw Tube and Punchin’ Predator, and finesse worms in a Natural or Green Pumpkin color. Start with moving baits during cloudy or windy conditions, and switch to slower moving baits as the day gets brighter and without wind.  Focus on areas with rock or a hard bottom, as well as docks built on black floats.

On the lower end of the lake, from Dreher Island to the dam, try slower moving bottom baits, such as a Greenfish Tackle jig, shaky head or a dropshot like the Reins 5-inch Bubbling Shaker in a Watermelon or Green Pumpkin color, especially during times with no wind. If there is wind, focus on suspending and moving baits like the IMA Flit and Ima Pinjack 200 on points and swimbaits like a Reins 4-inch Fat Rockvibe or an Alabama Rig with small swimbaits or grubs around docks. Look for fish to be staging more on secondary points around rock and docks with black floats adjacent to spawning areas.

The month of March is when the fish start to venture from their pre-spawn staging areas into spawning coves, especially on the upper end of the lake. This is a great month to catch fish in predictable areas, as the fish can be easy to pattern. Bass will be in the backs of creeks and pockets, holding on the last deep water areas around rocks and docks, and set up mostly in the 10- to 20-foot range off of points and in ditches. Up the river and in the backs of creeks and coves, where resident fish are more prevalent, fish could be as shallow as a couple feet in areas that hold heat. Be sure to focus on areas with bait, hard-bottom areas, and Northshore banks that get the most sunlight and the most protection from cold North winds. Down the lake where bass are set up slightly deeper, they will be feeding on blueback herring, white perch or crayfish, and will be positioned on secondary points adjacent to spawning coves.

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, Coast Guard Approved, and a full-time largemouth bass guide. For the past 11 years, I have fished fulltime and competitively across the country on the BASS and FLW trails. I have a lifetime of fishing experience to offer including a variety of 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.

USCG Approved  Michael Murphy
Merchant Mariner Licensed
(770) 605-6373