Lake Hartwell Fishing Report December 2014

GON Staff | November 25, 2014

Hartwell: Level: 5.5 feet low. Temp: Mid 50s.

Bass: Tournament fisherman Kerry Partain reports, “The bass are starting to stack up in creeks, ditches and major pockets, so December should be a good month to load the boat. With the water temperature dropping into the 50s, the bass are really keying on bait to fatten up for the winter. When I find the bait and fish on my Lowrance, I will use a drop shot and a jigging spoon to mimic the bait they are feeding on. If you notice the fish are really active, you can catch them on a Fish Head Spin rigged with a Zoom Fluke. I also always keep a jerkbait and a Zoom Super Fluke on the deck in December because the bass will come up busting bait on the surface, especially on foggy mornings and overcast days. If you get a chance to go on the lake, this month is a good one to catch some big bass as they load up on baitfish.”

Guide Preston Harden reports, “December is a top month for stripers and hybrids, if you like catching big fish on small artificials and in shallow water. December water temperatures send the fish into a feeding frenzy. Fish will still eat herring through December. They are also easy targets with artificials. My favorite artificials are small flukes on small jig heads worked on light line. Some people do well with Alabama-rigs made with small jigs. December is the top month for catching a big striper on a fly rod. Small clouser flies on sinking or intermediate fly line will catch lots of fish. Look for seagulls to lead you to the fish. Approach the fish as quietly as possible. The best days for schooling activity are overcast, calm days. On a bright, sunny day, look for fish 30 to 40 feet deep during midday. They will be close to the bottom. A jigging spoon jigged off the bottom will catch stripers, hybrids and bass. This action should last into January, when the water temperature gets below 48 degrees.”

Donnie Simpson reports, “Hartwell is producing and will continue to produce big blue catfish through the month of December on into the new year. Some days are better than others, but to consistently be on fish, you must find the bait. Once you find the bait, the big blues and flatheads will be there, along with the striper, largemouth and hybrids. To catch the big blues, use cut shad, herring or perch just below the bait balls, and hang on. For the flatheads, use live herring, perch or shad below the bait, although the flatheads will bite fresh cut bait as well. I like to fish on rainy/overcast days for the best results. Bowfishing remains pretty steady with some good-sized fish being taken. The warmer nights seem to be the best.”

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