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I hit up one of the camping areas set up by the power company early today. Lake Murray was constructed in the 1920's as a power generation reservoir... And the South Carolina Electric And Gas Co. maintain a good half dozen of these public recreation sites around the lake.

This one is on a point, so you can walk around and get several micro-environs as you go.

I started on the wind side, something I didn't relish. Roll casting into a stiff, cold breeze isn't a thrill. Often enough, the windy side of a point is a decent place to fish; the wind drives both freshened water, cover and food into the windward shore.
Except today's early wind was a northeaster; the worst kind. It was all snags and no fish - with not even a reasonably good picture to share. It was a fairly quick trip around that side of the point!

Out at the end, I hoped the point would slow the water and create a slack zone where fish might feed. It was also pocked with dead stumps and wind-blown tangled driftwood - a good sign.
But alas, it was cold and the fish were elsewhere. Two guys nearby in a boat had no better luck, and also abandoned the spot.

A cool thing about this spot is that just across the waterway are some eagles nests, set on tall poles. These are maintained as an aerie, the entire area a sanctuary and breeding habitat for the birds. Much of the shore is developed residential, but there remain large tracts of undeveloped land, like this one.

Further along the leeward shore, the wind finally abated; the woods and land blocked it. Okay, this was nice. And I got a few rises to my new "Boobie" fly. Here again, the entire shore is littered with stumps, downed trees and tangles all in about 4-8 feet of water. This should be a good spot for the float tube.

Finally, I'd worked my way around to the boat ramp. By now, the wind had shifted to southerly one and things started to warm.
Some campers had a cheap inflatable kayak tied up, which made me worry for anyone in the thing.
But here and there, rising fish were breaking the water, and I was getting a few tentative rises to a Stimulator. Which is when the early boaters started to arrive to load and head home.

I was just that "weird guy" hanging around with his fly rod at that point. You're not supposed to fish at boat ramps, so I waved at everyone trying to be diplomatic. A few folks came over to wonder at my line and little flies, and I maintained a low profile.
But I was waiting for the boats to leave - AFTER STIRRING UP THE BOTTOM WITH THEIR PROP WASH.
The fish around boat ramps are used to boats, and wait for this bottom stirring- all kinda things get swept up for them.

So I tied on a leech pattern and that was the trick. Bingo! A medium strip and rod lift, and I was feeling bumps. Finally, I connected - with crappie!
I haven't seen a crappie in years; I've joked for several seasons that they run when I arrive. So this was a welcome change.
Soon, though, the bite died and it was time to go.

All in all, a nice start to Easter Sunday. Now, to the family festivities. Hope you all have a good one!

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Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on April 6, 2015 at 12:05pm
Smart guy - I like it!
Comment by Slip Sinker on April 6, 2015 at 9:37am

yep launches are fish magnets ive discovered... the largest populations of shad are generally found around the boat launch especially on the busy days... just like you said prop wash stirs the sediment and the bait fish move in for the easy feed ... preds are then attracted to the  bait fish. our local bass tournament s release the catches right at the launch and im sure alot of them take up residence. when i take my boat out its the first place i fish. i also initially make a few under the dock pitches and parallel casts along the docks before i launch... many bonus fish this way.

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on April 6, 2015 at 9:27am
Actually, boat ramps are petty open for fly casting. I can stand off to one side or the other and pretty much cover the zone.
Once the traffic has cleared, I can go out on the docks proper and reach other spots.
Finally, I always bring worms. When all else fails, chop them into 3-4 pieces and toss them right out nea the end of the ramp. Come back in about 20 minutes and the fish will hit just about anything that swims by.

Boat ramps warm first and are an anomaly in the fishes environment. Fish are there.
Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on April 6, 2015 at 9:21am
Thanks Ken, it's greatly appreciated.

For a month or so more, it's a possibility.
Comment by Slip Sinker on April 6, 2015 at 9:21am

yeah fly fishing would be tough around a crowded launch...

i have really only one area from shore where ill bring the fly rod ... locally

Comment by Slip Sinker on April 6, 2015 at 9:19am

well mcscruff ive got my fingers crossed hoping the crappie floodgates have opened for you

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on April 6, 2015 at 9:18am
Agreed Jeff.
I just wave, smile and offer some help.
No one takes me up, except an occasional old guy who really NEEDS a hand anyway.
Comment by Slip Sinker on April 6, 2015 at 9:11am

i know michigan greatly respects the fisherman generally for the revenues they bring in ... huge business in michigan... plus our boating season is so short smaller revenues from boating are generated. money talks

i fished for a year off the accesses... most of the ones i fished had double docks and most boaters recognized you were fishing off a dock and they generally used the other dock for launch or loading. if the lakes were busy and loading and launching were streaming i recognized courtesy almost always. 

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on April 6, 2015 at 9:06am
Thanks folks. I whined about being crappie-less for so long, I figured the least I owed you guys was a look.

Ken-
I didn't really expect it, although not surprising. Water temp is just under 60°, so they are moving into the back areas to feed in preparation for spawning.
Here in South Carolina, large signs proclaim, "No fishing from dock." There are bass to catch and the ramps are often the scene of frenetic, even manic activity. Trucks backing in and out, boats coming and going, etc.
The last thing needed, or wanted, is some noodle-headed nimrod casting his Kmart 202 in the mix.
He's as much a danger to himself as everyone else at that point.
Most people take note of fly anglers, too; there ain't many in these parts. So I wave, get out of the way, and keep a low profile. When things quiet down, I go back to casting.

A couple seasons back, one of the biggest bass I've caught in SC was taken right off a boat ramp... just after the boats had taken off!
Comment by Jeffrey D. Abney on April 6, 2015 at 9:03am

I think it boils down to "mutual respect" in the case of fishing from the ramp.......I acknowledge that I started on the bank and anywhere else I could find a spot to cast......I always yielded to boaters as needed and it seems things always worked out and I went right back to fishing.......This can be challenging at some of the busier ramps but I have no issues around the Albemarle......all and all anglers are good people trying to enjoy a favorite past time......I.M.O....humanity as a whole could learn a lot from ethical sportsmen........

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