May 8, 2014 by Jeff Samsel
Normalizing Editor's note: Veteran outdoor writer Jeff Samsel lives just a short drive from Lake Murray and spent his college years at the University of South Carolina, studying Murray's bass population in lieu of his textbooks. He'll be tracking lake trends and gathering local updates from Murray in the weeks leading up to the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Capital City Lake Murray Country Aug. 14-17. You can contact him with updates at firstname.lastname@example.org. The mid-week high for the first full week in May in Lake Murray Country will flirt with 90 degrees, and the 10-day forecast shows no highs of less than 80. Seemingly, the cold has finally fled, allowing the lake to get back on track from the dirty, cold water that has filled the lake thus far. Lake Murray’s current surface temperature is 72.3 degrees, up 5 degrees from a week ago, based on the USGS water data website. Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi hasn’t been on his backyard lake in a while, but from what he understands, the lake is finally normalizing – and he’s certain that by Forrest Wood Cup time in August the fishing will be every bit as much of a late-summer pattern as it always is at that time. A few bass continue to spawn in some coves, which Gagliardi says is normal through May, and while he hasn’t heard a specific report saying so, he’s certain that the herring spawn is underway, creating topwater action in the lower half of the lake. “As warm as it has been, some herring are bound to be spawning,” he says. Most of Lake Murray also is returning to its normal color. Although a bit of stain remains a little farther down the lake than would normally be the case during May, the main body is very clear and looks a lot more like Lake Murray than it did even a couple of months ago. In summary: With winter finally on the way out, Lake Murray is getting back to the lake of old. It’s too early to tell just yet if there’ll be any minor lingering effects of this past winter in August, but don’t expect there to be any major changes in the fishing.