A Reel Q&A with Reese Melven

August 4, 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

August is National Fishing Month, so we thought we’d kick off the month with a Q&A with our Intern Reese Melven. As you’ll come to find out, Reese knows a thing or two about fishing and Lake Murray. 

Reese grew up in Irmo with his parents, Chad and Jane and his older brother and sister, William and Meredith. He later moved to Chapin, SC and graduated from Chapin High School in 2019. He is currently at the University of South Carolina studying Advertising and will graduate in December of 2023. Reese is the current President of the University of South Carolina Bass Fishing Team, where he competes in the Bassmaster and MLF College Series, as well as other collegiate and local trails. He works at Capital City/Lake Murray Country as the Marketing and Special Events Intern.  


What does it mean to you to grow up fishing on a body of water like Lake Murray?

Lake Murray truly is one of the best lakes in the country. Thanks to fishing at the collegiate level I have been fortunate enough to fish all over the US, and not much compares. Lake Murray is a place I’ve been able to cut my teeth and learn different styles and patterns of fishing. On Lake Murray, you can stay down the lake and fish for bass chasing Blueback Herring or run up the river and fish the abundance of shallow cover.

What is it like fishing at the collegiate level?

It is an amazing opportunity to serve the University of South Carolina Bass Fishing Team as the President! This team has a very prestigious past winning 2 National Championships in 2015 & 2016 as well as various college tour events so it has been an honor to lead and be a part of the program. Aside from all that, the camaraderie of this team is amazing. It is a group that eats, sleeps, and fishes and, without a doubt, has given me some friends of a lifetime.  Although there are many late nights doing homework in a hotel room and then waking up at 4 AM the next morning to fish, it is all worth it. These college fishing trails give us an amazing platform to compete across the country and sharpen our skills fishing different bodies of water against the best of the best.

When is your favorite time to fish Lake Murray?

You really can’t beat Lake Murray during April and May. There is so much going on because there’s bass in every stage and just about everywhere. They’re deep, shallow, spawning, or chasing Blueback Herring (Baitfish) on points! You can do a lot of different things and it’s pretty hard to go wrong.

What is your go-to bait on Lake Murray?

I think I would have to go with a weightless Berkley Jerk Shad in White Ice. If you’re not familiar with a Jerk Shad, it imitates a bait fish, specifically the Blueback Herring in Lake Murray. This bait can be fished just about anywhere. I work it with a few erratic twitches followed by a short pause then repeat.

If you could give some advice to a younger angler what would it be?

Bass fishing is an ever-changing game; It is always a puzzle that needs to be solved. That’s what keeps us coming back. The biggest piece of advice I could give would be to fish as much as possible. Whether that’s fishing in your neighborhood pond, on the lake in a boat or kayak, or even from the bank, get out as much as possible. We live in a time where there is so much information readily available online, so use it to your advantage and learn something new! Lastly, don’t get discouraged. We all have bad fishing days, every day is a new day so get out there and have some fun!