Lake Hartwell Fishing Report April 2011

GON Staff | March 30, 2011

Hartwell: Level: 0.5 feet below full pool. Temp: 55 to 58 degrees. Clarity: Stained.

Bass: Good. Josh Fowler reports, “It’s taking weights in the mid to upper teens to win the local tournaments on Lake Hartwell. On March 19, the team of Shane McFarlin and Justin David won the Media Bass Tournament with 14 pounds. The prespawn shallow cranking and spinnerbait bite has dominated the entire month of March, but look for this bite to fade away as we get into April. The sight-fishing game will be the ticket as we move into April. The lake has come up a few feet, and we have some flooded weeds and grass in the backs of the pockets. The bass are starting to cruise the shallow pockets, and some are on the verge of going on the bed. If the conditions will allow it, you can cast to these cruising fish with a Net Boy Baits 1/8-oz. Screwball jig head rigged with a Zoom watermelon-seed Trick Worm or a weightless Zoom Magnum finesse worm. If you see a bed, you can try a variety of baits, but I like a Zoom Speed Craw rigged on a 5/16-oz. Spot Remover jig head. During windy or low-light conditions, you can fish the same areas with a Lucky Craft Redemption Spinnerbait or a Buckeye Lures Pulse Jig rigged with a Zoom Super Fluke. If you’re not into sight fishing, you can still get plenty of bites by fishing rocky secondary points with a Lucky Craft Staysee 90 or Weightless Zoom Super Fluke. As we move deeper into April, look for the bluebacks to move up into blowthroughs and on shoal markers. The bass that spawn early will pull out to these same areas, and you might see some schooling activity. You might want to have a Lucky Craft Sammy tied on just in case you encounter some of this activity.”

Good. Preston Harden, of Bucktail Guide Service, reports, “With warming weather starting in late February, the March fishing has been excellent. The stripers and hybrids are shallow and relating to windblown banks late in the day. The creeks are muddy with all the rain. As they clear up, the fish will move back in the creeks. They are in the main rivers with some fish preparing for a spawning run. I have not fished down lake because fishing has been so good up lake, but the lower lake should be turning on now with the water temperature approaching 60 degrees. My technique has been to cast small jigs and flukes to the banks. I run up the Tugaloo or Seneca rivers and hit points and red banks. I fish into the main creeks until the water turns from light stained to muddy water. The fish are plentiful and spread out all over the lake. By the first of April, they will eat blueback herring good. I will also use freelined herring early and downlined herring under bright sky. By April, the morning bite will turn on and be as good or better than evening.”

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