By Michael Murphy, Michael@MichaelMurphyFishing.com
In the month of March, the water temperatures on Lake Murray will begin to warm, warming into the 60’s 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. Look for Largemouth lake wide 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 (from Dreher Island up river) of the lake 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. Toward the beginning of the month, techniques of choice will be slower techniques with crayfish and shad mimicking baits along with deeper diver moving baits, with the fish giving chase to shllower moving baits in preparation of spawn by the end of the month. Good lures of choice are crankbaits, like the IMA Pinjack 20, IMA square bill and IMA Shaker, Greenfish Tackle spinnerbaits, 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. Target moving baits during cloudy or windy conditions, switching to slower moving baits as the day gets brighter and without wind. 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 Greenfish Tackle jig, shakey head, or a dropshot like the Reins 5″ Bubbling Shaker or C-Pod 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 and Ima Sinking Glide Fluke 125 on points, and smaller swimbaits like a Reins 3.25″ Fat Rockvibe. By the end of the month, on calm days in pockets, and around spawning areas, be sure to try the Floating Glide Fluke. Look for fish to be staging more on secondary points around rock and docks with black floats adjacent to spawning areas, moving up by the end of the month to spawn.
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 10-20 foot rangeoff of points and in ditches, sliding up to feed in the 2-6 foot range. 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 North shore banks that get the most sunlight and the most protection from cold North winds. Down the lake where Bassare 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, full-time Largemouth Bass guide, have fished full-time and competitively for the past 13 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
Copyright © 2019 Michael Murphy Fishing