Lake Hartwell Fishing Report August 2014

GON Staff | July 31, 2014

Hartwell: Level: 1.9 feet below full pool. Temp: 85-87 degrees. Clarity: Clear, although the frequent rain and boat traffic muddy up the shallow water some days.

Bass: Tournament pro Shane McFarlin reports, “Hartwell has been tougher this summer compared to years past. I believe high water levels has more grass for the fish to use and keeps them spread out. Your typical run-and-gun topwater bite with flukes and walking baits has been key. The more offshore brush and humps you can run in a morning, the greater your chances. The bite has been better early unless they are pulling water, then it stays good most of the day. When the fish get bunched up in the mid-day and you can’t get a rise, try a drop shot rigged with a Wackem Baits Big Sissy. Sensitivity is key for drop-shotting, and I like to rig mine on a 7-foot medium ALX IKOS spinning rod with 8-lb. braid and a fluorocarbon leader. As the water temps rise, even more fish should move out.” Tournament pro Kerry Partain reports, “The bass fishing has been better the last few weeks with the fish starting to really set up in their summer pattern. You can catch a lot of spotted bass right now on a drop shot in 15 to 25 feet of water using a Zoom Z-Drop or finesse worm. Keep a close watch on your electronics as you pull up onto the points and humps, as the fish are usually pretty active and moving around throughout the day. Also, we have seen some schooling activity late in the evenings, and you can catch some good largemouth on a Zoom Super Fluke and topwater. The recent rains cooled the water back down some in the creeks, and there are still some fish shallow in the flooded grass, especially early and late. As we go into August, I expect to see more schooling activity, so keep an eye out for this as you move around the lake.” Guide Donnie Simpson reports, “Largemouth bass fishing is fair to good. Bass are being caught shallow early around bream and docks with buzzbaits early and a 3/4-oz. football jig after the sun gets up on deep docks with shade. You can also find good numbers of largemouth schooling on long points for a early topwater or fluke bite.”

Linesides: Guide Preston Harden reports, “Fish deep. Fish the lower lake. Have good electronics. These three statements sum up August fishing. Everything goes deep in August. Stripers and hybrids can be more than 100 feet deep and feeding well in August. If you plan on releasing fish from deep water, bring the fish up slowly so they can adjust to less water pressure. If you pull them up fast, their swim bladder swells and they can not get back down. Sometimes in August the stripers get lethargic, and reeling the bait up and down through the fish will provoke a strike. Power reeling a big jig and swimbait sometimes works better than a live herring. Fish the lower lake in August. This is a big area. I call the lower lake anything from Andersonville Island to the dam. A good topo map and GPS is as important as a good sonar. I use a Navionics chip installed in my Lowrance to guide me looking for fish in the deep channels and creeks off the main river channel.”

Catfish: Good to excellent, according to guide Donnie Simpson. “Now is the time to catch a good mess of channel cats with the stray blue mixed in. Anchor on points in about 10 feet of water and fan cast at different depths early in the morning or late evening for best results. Cut perch, bream shad work well along with stink bait and nightcrawlers,” Donnie said.

Bowfishing: “A good many carp can be found on any given night along with a few gar and tasty channel cats,” said bowfishing expert and guide Donnie Simpson.

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