Lake Hartwell Fishing Report February 2018
Hartwell: Level: 7.7 feet low. Temp: 50 degrees. Clarity: Stained in the rivers and creeks, and clear on the main lake.
Bass: Tournament angler Kerry Partain reports, “The water temperature is at its lowest right now, and fishing has been a challenge. As we head into February, the fishing should pick up as the water begins to warm, and you can catch some big females as they begin to migrate shallower. The weather really dictates your fishing presentation this time of year, so plan accordingly. On a warming trend, you can start to catch them shallow in the creeks and rivers around rocks and wood on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs or Texas-rigged creature baits. However, on colder days, you will have to really slow down and fish deep using jigs, drop shots and jigging spoons. This is also a good time of year to fish the ditches with a Blade Runner rigged with a Zoom Fluke, especially in areas where the baitfish are stacked up.”
Crappie: Guide Preston Harden reports, “As we enter into February, the water is cold, and most fish are dormant. Last year, the water did not get cold, and most fish stayed active all winter. The exception is crappie. They move into the major creeks this time of year in preparation to spawn. They congregate under bridges and boat docks to escape from the sun. I look for them 20 to 30 feet deep in late winter and shallower as the water warms in early spring. Tiny, 1/32-oz. jigs and 4-lb. test line works best in cold water. Working the jig very slowly will get more strikes. I fish vertically in the shade most of the time. Spider rigs trolled very slowly also catch crappie. When the water gets cold, wear a life jacket. Hypothermia is dangerous and can happen quickly. It causes the body to go numb in a matter of seconds. Have a plan to get back in the boat with a lot of cloths on. Carry a spare change of clothes. Pick a pretty day, stay safe, and you might end up with a mess of good-eating crappie.”
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