Clarks Hill Fishing Report – January 2010

GON Staff | January 4, 2010

Clarks Hill: Level: 1.7 feet below full pool. Temp: 52 degrees. Clarity: Lake is stained on the upper end of Little River and Savannah River; slight stain down lake.

Fair. Craig Johnson reports, “The best pattern in the clear water seems to be cranking hydrilla clumps in 15 to 17 feet of water. Use any crankbait you can get down deep enough to tip the grass. Up lake, where you have stained water, the bigger fish are killing a 1/2-oz. Buckeye Mop jig in the brown living rubber. Those fish are on rocks and are relatively shallow between 6 and 10 feet deep. The 3/4-oz. Buckeye football jig is working best out deep in the main river where the channel sweeps next to a flat. Target stumps that hang on the edge of the drops. That is your best bet for a fish over 8 pounds.”

Very Good. Capt. William Sasser reports, “January is always a great fish-catching month with the Holiday Park area of Georgia Little River and Buffalo Creek off the Savannah River being great places to look for schooling fish chasing threadfin shad to the surface. White and blue Little Fishies on 1/4-oz. jig heads are killing the 3- to 5-lb. hybrids this year. The larger fish in Clarks Hill are hard to find after the oxygen problem we had earlier in the year. We are catching some teenager fish but not the 20- to 30-pounders. All of the bigger stripers are coming off live herring fished 50 feet deep off drop-offs.” Capt. Dave Willard reports, “We are having one of the best fall fishing experiences in recent years. Because the lake has been low for several years, it’s been hard to fish up river, but now the lake’s almost at full pool. Holiday Park up the Little River, Georgia side is hot, as is Buffalo Creek. Live herring pulled behind planer boards early and late are producing some good catches. Watch for the birds, as they can tip you off. We found a huge school of fish 24 to 30 feet down in the river channel pushing the bait to the surface. My clients can put 40 stripers in the boat in 45 minutes fishing live herring on downrods.”

William reports, “Unless our weather warms up a lot, all of our January fishing will be in deep water (30 to 50 feet) fishing 15 to 20 feet deep over brush with small shiners or jigs tipped with shiners. The lake this year really has some quality slabs.” See page 44 for more on William’s crappie techniques.

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