Lake Hartwell Fishing Report – April 2019

GON Staff | March 25, 2019

Hartwell: Level: Full pool. Temp: 55-62 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Matthew Justice reports, “The majority of bass have moved into immediate staging areas in less than 10 feet of water. Fish are holding on the old bank vegetation now in 2 to 6 feet of water. For the fish in the grass, a variety of moving baits can be successful on cloudy or windy days. On sunny days, fishing boat docks with soft plastics and jerkbaits can produce big results. Secondary points in the clear water can be fished with a 8-inch Carolina-rigged lizard in green pumpkin for staging females. The lake for the most part is clearing up from the recent rains and dropping slowly. On the next full moon, look for the fish to move to the beds. Use floating worms and stick baits to catch spawning fish.” Guide Preston Harden reports, “April is the best month of the year for bass fishing. Lots of bass are on the bed for sight fishing. Most bass are close to the bank and are easy to target. They will also eat a jig and a Zoom Fluke in white ice. They are not as picky as hybrids and stripers. They will eat a variety of lures and soft plastics.”

Linesides: Guide Preston Harden reports, “March has been tough fishing with the heavy rain and cold weather. Fish were just starting to move shallow the third week of March. By April, it should be on. I like to throw artificials to shallow banks like a bass fisherman. I expect to catch hybrids, stripers, largemouth and spotted bass. All fish move shallow in the spring. I throw a Zoom Fluke on a small jig head. I give it action and then let it fall. We will also pull blueback herring on a line with no weight. Some fish run up the Seneca and Tugaloo rivers, but lots of fish will stay in the main lake and try to spawn in shallow water.”

Crappie: Guide Preston Harden reports, “Crappie fishing also peaks in April. Crappie are spawning in shallow water around grass, rocks and wood structure. They do not make a bed. They attach their eggs to the structure. You can fish a small crappie jig about 3 feet under a small float. I like to give it a twitch and let it pause for several seconds. Watch the float for any movement.”

Catfish: Guide Preston Harden reports, “Big blue catfish are another spring target for Hartwell. Hartwell is full of big blue catfish, just like Lake Santee Cooper. They move to the backs of major creeks to gorge on threadfin shad. Some of them are huge.”

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