Downsize your baits on Lake Murray when the water begins to cool in early fall. This is the key to hooking stripers on both live bait and lures. “As the water temperature begins falling, the stripers will move from the lower basin up into the mid-lake area, looking for shallow, warmer water in the coves,” says Richard Hall of Lake World, a tackle and bait shop near Lake Murray Dam. Hall studies gull activity to pinpoint the location of schooling stripers early in the morning. Then he casts into the schools with Little Fishies, the smaller versions of Creek Chubs and Striper Delights, a locally made topwater plug. “After early morning, look for them in 20 to 35 feet of water and drift live bait across points and along banks in the coves,” he says. Blueback herring are the forage of choice for Lake Murray stripers, but this time of year Hall says smaller minnows work just as well and are much easier to keep alive. “Just use a size 6 or size 4 hook,” he says. Contact: Richard Hall (803-957-6548).