Lake Hartwell Fishing Report February 2011

GON Staff | January 25, 2011

Hartwell: Level: 5.6 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 40s. Clarity: Clear.

Fair. Josh Fowler reports, “The windows of opportunity are short, and if you don’t hit things just right it can be a grind. The first few hours of the day are critical, and you need to take advantage of the low light. If you’re on the main lake, you need to locate ditches or drains that funnel out into the deep timber. The fish can be anywhere from 5 to 50 feet deep in these ditches depending on the conditions. I like to start out shallow and gradually work deeper. The first bait I reach for is a Lucky Craft Pointer 78 XD to cover the 5- to 10-foot range in the backs of the drains. As you work deeper, try a 1/2-oz. Buckeye Lures Football Jig rigged with a Zoom Creepy Crawler and a Berry’s Flex-it Spoon. Try to work these baits from the edge of the timber all the way out to 50 feet deep. It pays to have a milk run so you can move around as you search for an active school. As we move into February, we should begin to see several strong bites start to develop. The main-lake ditch bite should remain strong, but you will also see a shallow cranking bite in the creeks begin to fire up. Typically the bigger creek arms up the rivers will warm up quicker, and this is where you can find some active fish. I like to cast small, shallow-diving crankbaits like a Lucky Craft D-7 Slim Shad or a Lucky Craft Flat Mini CB in any shad imitation color. The other pattern that can produce some big stringers in February is targeting shallow docks. On warm, sunny days the black floats on the docks will warm up, and the bass will move up and hang out just under those floats. Try fishing a 1/2-oz. Buckeye Lures Flat Top Finesse Jig rigged with a Zoom Super Chunk Jr. or a 3/16-oz. Net Boy Baits Screw Ball jig head rigged with a Zoom Trick Worm around the shallow docks.”

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