Lake Hartwell Fishing Report – August 2008

GON Staff | July 29, 2008

Hartwell: Level: Down 12 feet below full pool. Temp: Upper 80s. Clarity: The main lake and the rivers are clear; the backs of the creeks are a good fishing color.

Bass: Bass fishing has been fair the past few weeks, according to Hartwell guide Josh Fowler. “I am still catching fish, but you have to work hard to catch them,” he said. “The afternoon pot tournaments have been taking around 11 pounds to win, but some teams are only bringing in one or two fish. The morning bite has been better for me, and as the day goes on it seems to get tougher. If you are on the water at daylight, try casting a Buckeye DH2 buzzbait around any shallow cover you can find. This bite doesn’t last long, so once the sun gets up I will head for the humps and points. When fishing the offshore stuff, it’s basically a run-and-gun deal where you can only catch one or two and you have to move to the next spot. I will keep jumping from spot to spot looking for an active school of fish. I usually stay with the basic topwater baits like the Super Fluke or a Sammy. If you’re not fishing a tournament, there are a bunch of small stripers schooling on the lower end of the lake. They are running around 2 to 5 pounds, and you can have a ball when you run across them. The best bait I have found for these fish is a 3/16-oz. Scrounger jig head rigged with a Fluke Jr. You can catch one almost every cast while they are up feeding. When they go down you can see them on the graph and catch them on a small jigging spoon straight under the boat. If you’re headed to Lake Hartwell any time soon, keep safety in mind. There are some shallow places that are not marked that would be easy to run across. Pay attention to the channel markers, and stay inside them if you’re not familiar with the lake.”

Excellent. “The night bite for stripers is great,” said Hartwell fishing guide Mark Waller. “It’s about as good as I have ever seen it, and I’ve been doing it a long time. The fish are holding over the river channel from the dam to the river split. Mark has been anchoring over the river near the edge of submerged trees and dropping live bluebacks. “Early in the night the fish are in the 30- to 40-foot range, but as the night progresses, they move deeper — to 90 or 100 feet,” he said. The fish are running in the 8- to 10-lb. range. Anglers pulling bucktail jigs on lead-core line along the river channel are also catching fish, and there is a good topwater bite early and late if you are in the right spot. “They have been schooling like crazy a couple hours before dark for the first 5 miles of the lake if you are in the right spot.” What you throw to schooling fish doesn’t much matter said Mark. “They will hit anything if you can get in them,” he said. “I still prefer single-hook lures, so I don’t have to mess with treble hooks.”

Slow. Your best bet is brushpiles 20 to 25 feet deep near deeper creek or river channels. Minnows just over the brush early or late, or under lights at night should catch some hand-sized fish.

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