Clarks Hill Fishing Report – February 2008

GON Staff | January 29, 2008

Clarks Hill: Level: 12.6 feet below full pool. The amount of recent rain has only been enough to keep the lake from dropping more. Anglers are hoping the lake will come up 6 feet by the spring, so it’ll help with the ramps and courtesy docks. Wildwood has just re-opened four more ramps. Temp: 49-52 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Bill Crompton will concentrate in the ditches this month. “Start in 30 to 35 feet of water and move shallower,” said Bill. He starts with a Buckeye Lures Ditch Blade or a 1/4- to 3/8-oz. jig head with a Super Fluke on it. “Just whip it back, 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock,” said Bill. Lucky Craft jerkbaits work well in any part of the ditch. As Bill moves halfway into the ditch, he’ll switch to a Lucky Craft deep-diving crankbait. Toward the back he’ll be throwing a No. 5 or No. 7 Shad Rap in a natural color. He likes a 4/0 hook on the front and a 2/0 hook on the back. An Owner RN70 will work, too. “You’ll find fish anywhere from 8 to 25 feet deep,” said Bill. “I like ditches with stained water in them. Little River (Ga.), Grays, Shriver, Parksville, Chigoe, Keg, Mosley and Cherokee all have ditches.” Don’t forget that you can fish the way Tommy Shaw did this time of year — with a chrome Cleo spoon. Look for bait in the ditches or on main-lake points. Tommy would vertical jig it or swim it back.

“The past couple of weeks have been good with some 20- to 30-lb. stripers being caught, plus some nice largemouths in the 4- to 6-lb. class,” said guide Capt. Dave Willard. “The Parksville area has been really good, and a local tournament was won there. Free-lining live herring on corks and planer boards in 3 to 6 feet of water has been great. One morning I found a large school of big stripers holding right off the bottom in 36 feet of water. My clients had a blast, with teenage stripers pulling the rods down so hard they had trouble getting them out of the rod holders. These patterns will be good for February. The upper tributaries are muddy, so look for clear water.” Guide Capt. William Sasser likes to pull planers early with bluebacks around the main-lake points and shallow-water markers (humps). “By the middle of the day look for schools of fish in Soap Creek, S.C. Little River and Keg Creek,” said William. “Later in the month hybrids and stripers show up at the dam and in the coves around the dam. We’ll fish after dark with downlines and live herring 30 to 50 feet deep. Umbrella rigs work great in front of the dam even after dark.”

Crappie: Great. Crappie have been in large numbers in numerous creek channels, according to William. “Germany Creek, Dry Forks Creek, S.C. Little River and Grays Creek have been holding fish,” said William. “Pulling jigs in various colors or just vertical jigging in the creek beds and around structure is great. With the lake level low, the fish should be easier to find. Later in the month, depending on the temperature of the water, some fish will be in shallow water as the evenings warm up.” William said crappie will pop the top of the water when they move shallow in the afternoons. “We’ll throw corks with jigs or minnows in 2 to 10 feet of water in the backs of coves,” said William.

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