Lake Hartwell Fishing Report – December 2010

GON Staff | November 23, 2010

Hartwell: Level: 5.62 feet below full pool. Temp: 63 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Fair. Josh Fowler reports, “It’s taking weights in the mid teens to win the local pot tournaments, but 10 pounds will put you near the money. We are still seeing some affects of the fall turnover, and the fish seem to be scattered out at a variety of depths. The shallow cranking bite is producing the better fish, but there is a short window of opportunity during the morning to get in on this bite. The small, shallow-diving crankbaits that match the threadfin shad like a Lucky Craft Flat Mini CB or a Lucky Craft LV 200 lipless crankbait will be good choices when you locate a creek with active fish. The first hour of the day is critical for this shallow approach, and once the sun gets up it’s going to slow down. The most consistent bite going is on the main lake, but it’s hard to find a quality fish. If you’re on the main lake, the fish are holding in 20 to 40 feet of water near sharp contour drops like creek channel bends, submerged roadbeds and ditches. When you are fishing these types of places, you will need a drop shot rigged with a Zoom Swamp Crawler, a small Berry’s Tackle jigging spoon and a Buckeye Lures 1/2-oz. football jig rigged with a Zoom Creepy Crawler. Pay close attention to your electronics as you work around these places, and be ready to drop a lure straight down to any activity you see on the graph. If you catch fish with the vertical approach and the bite shuts off, you can cast the football jig into the same area to pick up a few more fish. For now, most of the fish you will catch on these deeper places will be spotted bass, but look for the largemouths to show up on these same places as the water temperature continues to drop. Both of these bites should continue to produce as we move into early December.”

Good. Preston Harden reports, “Topwater fishing has been very good all fall. The schooling fish have been almost all hybrids averaging 3 to 8 pounds. Some days the fish have fed for hours covering many acres. By the second week of November, the topwater bite changed over to sub-surface out-producing the topwater. When the fish swirl, instead of splashing or knocking water into the air, I switch to subsurface lures. I have had great success with a jighead called a Scrounger and a Zoom Fluke in white-ice color. This lure will work until about next May when I switch back to topwater. I will go to a smaller jig and Jr. Fluke when the water gets colder. The fish are moving into the creeks and farther up the lake as we go into December. Throw small shad imitating lures early and late on sunny days, and use a jigging spoon during mid-day when there is no surface activity. Use your sonar to locate fish 35 to 45 feet deep in creeks and channels. Drop a jigging spoon to the bottom, and bounce it off the bottom. I like to raise it 3 or 4 feet and slowly twitch the rod tip as I lower it back to the bottom. Sometimes I feel the take as I stay in contact with the spoon. Lots of times the line goes slack as the fish hits going up. Be ready to set the hook.”

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