Lake Hartwell Fishing Report – April 2007
Hartwell: Level: 1.2 feet below full pool. Temp: 58-61 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Good. According to Hartwell guide Buster Green, the fish are staging ahead of the spawn, and you should be able to catch bass off nearly any main-lake or secondary point. “They will hit a crankbait, like a Shad Rap or a shallow-running Bandit — and I like a bream color. You can also catch them on the points with a Carolina-rigged lizard or worm. The largemouths should be on the bed at Hartwell with the full moon on April 2.
Stripers/Hybrids: Hot and cold. Buster said the live bait or cutbait on the banks hasn’t been producing well. The hybrids and stripers are on the banks, however, and he has been “knocking the fire” out of them by casting a Creme Lil Fishy. “It is a search and hunt proposition,” said Buster. “You have to find them, but when you find them on a bank, it can be a fish on every cast.” On a recent guide trip, Buster’s clients caught 42 fish on Lil Fishies, and none on live bait. On another trip, his clients boated 24 fish in 90 minutes. The fish have been a mix of hybrids and stripers running up to 20 pounds. Dingy water is key to the Lil Fishy bite. Buster has been throwing a 3-inch bait on a 1/4-oz. jig head. “I am throwing it on a 6 1/2-foot, medium-action rod, and you get a lot more fight out of the fish,” said Buster. Just before dark, Buster has been seeing some schooling activity begin, and that will pick up as the water temperature rises. With extremely hot weather at the end of March, the fish will soon move off the banks. The Lil Fishy should still catch fish early, but easing along the banks in 12 to 18 feet of water pulling freelined bluebacks should catch fish.
Crappie: Excellent, said Buster. “They are catching them trolling jigs back in the creeks in 10 or 12 feet of water, but with the water temperature coming up, the fish should be on the banks soon.”
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