In the month of November, the water temperatures on Lake Murray are pretty well cooled off, and the leaves are changing with the season. As the length of day continues to become much shorter, fish will be in full swing of their fall patterns.
This is the time of year that Dominion Energy will typically draw the lake down. As of this writing, the level of the lake has yet to be determined.
Regardless, in the midst of increased rainfall this fall, there has been quite a bit of current flowing through the lake, and fishing has picked up lake wide.
With much schooling mid-lake last month, focus should still be on the main flow of the lake, around the mouths of creek arms and on both primary and secondary points, as well as steep banks, focusing on rock and hard-bottom areas.
Schooling fish may not be as visible but will still be in the same areas. These fish will be best fished with subsurface techniques, especially from Dreher Island to the dam and around the mouths of the major creeks.
Shallow fall patterns will be in full swing
Shallow fall patterns will be in full swing in Lake Murray, with shallow resident fish much more active than in prior months, especially on the upper end of the lake and in the backs of the creeks where increased water flow has been draining in from the rain.
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 shallow.
Techniques of choice will be slower techniques with crayfish and shad-mimicking baits.
Good lures of choice are Ima squarebill crankbaits, Greenfish Spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, and Jigs, Soft Plastics or Finesse worms, creature baits, tubes and beaver type baits, such as the Reins Punchin’ Predator, Craw Tube 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. Be sure to key 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, focus on slower moving bottom baits, such as a jig, shaky head or a dropshot in a Watermelon or Green Pumpkin color, especially during times with lack of wind.
During conditions with wind, focus on suspending and moving baits like the IMA Flit, Ima Pinjack 200, Ima Beast Hunter, and even a large casting spoon like the Lake Fork or Ben Parker Spoon.
Stick with a foil color and flash during sunny conditions
At times, there will still be schooling fish in Lake Murray, especially at the beginning of the month. During these times, focus on walking topwaters, like the IMA Skimmer or Ima Little.
Stick with a foil color and flash during sunny conditions, such as Chrome or Chrome Herring, and a non-flash color during cloudy conditions.
Like a Bone or Blueback Herring color; wakebaits like an IMA Bone Floating Flit; Swimbaits such as the new Optimum Boom Boom Shad.
Soft jerkbaits, like the Zoom Super Fluke or Optimum Victory tail in a Chrome or Sexy Shad color, especially if there is wind and during lowlight conditions.
Don’t be afraid to throw a larger 6- or 7-inch Optimum Victory tail, to catch an above average fish. Rig it on either a 5/0 or 6/0 ewg hook with a jerk-pause retrieve or on a ½-ounce or ¾-ounce Scrounger with a constant retrieve.
Be sure to key on the sides of flatter points with hard bottoms where there may be a drop or an ambush area. Points with these characteristics are typically marked with a hazard marker buoy warning boaters.
This time of year on the lower end of the lake, position the boat over water as deep as 25 to 35 feet, casting toward the point.
An Navionics 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.
The month of November is when the bass are in full swing of their fall patterns and active in all water columns
Wind is also very important. 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 on Lake Murray.
The month of November is when the bass are in full swing of their fall patterns and active in all water columns of the lake. This is a great month to catch fish just about any way you would like.
Bass will be shallow on points, in the backs of creeks and pockets, and starting to show up in deeper, 25 to 35 foot areas off of points toward the end of the month.
In the river and in the backs of creeks and coves where resident fish are more prevalent, fish could be as shallow as 6 inches.
Be sure to focus on areas with bait and hard-bottom areas. In the lower section of the lake, where bass are feeding on blueback herring, bass will be positioned shallow on long tapering points or in adjacent coves.
Fish should be grouped up and ready to bite when you find them. Be patient, have several lure options on your deck, keep an open mind, 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, a full-time largemouth bass guide, have fished fulltime and competitively for the past 10 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, as well as tournament preparation, and/or electronics education. I would love to share my knowledge with you on the water and enjoy a day of fishing on Lake Murray.
Updated By CAMC Staff