Clarks Hill Fishing Reports – May 2023

GON Staff | April 26, 2023

Clarks Hill: Level: 0.5 feet above 330. Temp: 69-72 degrees. Clarity: Georgia Little River has a heavy stain upstream of Mistletoe. There’s a light stain in the Savannah River.

Bass: Tournament angler Trad Whaley reports, “Fishing is weird right now on all our Savannah River lakes. They are spawning to postspawn and everywhere in between. It still takes 18 to 22 pounds at every weekend tourney. It seems the best bite is in Little River Georgia. The bluebacks are on flat, main-lake points and in the flooded main-lake stuff. Berkley Cane Walkers and Jerk Shads are the go-to baits. If it’s calm, a shaky head and drop shot in the same areas will get a bite. This should last until mid May if we keep getting cool nights. Confidence is key.  Take a kid fishing, they are our future.”

D.J. Hadden, with Hadden Outdoors in Appling, reports, “The first two weeks of May will be the best fishing all year. The herring spawn is a little late, and it will be in full swing. Three-fourths of the bass are done spawning, and they will be feeding heavily on the herring. Target hard clay and gravel points and blow-throughs 2 to 5 feet deep on the main lake with walking baits, flukes and swimbaits. Later in the month, move deeper around brush but still drag a Creeper Head on humps and points 5 to 7 feet deep on top. Shellcracker and bluegill will be bedding around the week of the full moon on May 5, and the remainder of the bass should bed then, too. Look for bluegill and bass on sandbars back in pockets and shellcracker on shellbeds. Fish topwater and lizards for bass on all kinds of beds. You can catch bass just about any way you want, from the herring spawn to spinnerbaits shallow in the stained water to weightless worms around bushes and wood cover. The Clarks Hill Classic on May 6-7 sponsored by Hadden Outdoors is an open tournament with first place guaranteed $20,000. Timing for it should be perfect. Contact DJ at Hadden Outdoors for more information.”

Linesides: Capt. Eddie Mason with Mason Guide Service reports, “We’re fishing on the lower end of the lake. The herring are spawning in the blow-throughs and on long running points. We’re leaving the dock every morning about 5:30 and starting in about 15 to 20 feet of water and throwing down on the bottom. Our rigging is a 2-oz. sinker and a barrel swivel on 2 feet of leader line with a 2/0 octopus hook. When that bite is over, I start using planer boards.”

Multiple Species: D.J. Hadden with Hadden Outdoors said, “To catch shellcracker, fish crickets on the shellbeds. The islands at Raysville have many good shallow shellbeds. Flathead catfish will be spawning on hard bottoms like boat ramps and rip-rap all month. The Highway 47 bridge is well known for producing numbers and big flatheads. Fish live minnows or cutbait from 2 to 15 feet deep. When you catch one, slow down. There will be more flathead catfish nearby.”

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