Lake Hartwell Fishing Report – February 2019

GON Staff | January 25, 2019

Hartwell: Level: 0.9 feet below full pool. Temp: Upper 40s. Clarity: Stained in the rivers, and clear on the main lake.

Linesides: Guide Preston Harden reports, “As of late January, most gamefish are still active. If the water drops a few degrees, the hybrids, stripers and bass will shut down. If it stays above the mid-40s, they can still be active. When the water is cold, they like small baits fished very slowly. By late February or early March they will all become active. They will be more active in the afternoon as the water warms. Once the water starts warming, they will be on the banks in the afternoon as long as you don’t get another a cold snap.”

Crappie: Guide Preston Harden reports, “February is crappie time on Lake Hartwell. Crappie will feed no matter how cold it gets. Crappie move into the major creeks during the late winter in preparation to spawn. I look for them in February in 15 to 30 feet deep water. They will move farther back in the creeks as the water warms in early spring. I like to find them in the shade of docks and bridges. They can also be around deep brushpiles. Good electronics will show the concentrations of fish. They school up like stripers, and when you find them, you can work on them. If they shut down, leave them, come back later and catch more. I like to fish a Tiny Fluke on a 1/32-oz. jig head and 4-lb. test line. Sometimes I will rig two jigs like a drop-shot rig. I work it very slowly. Crappie minnows on a slip float adjusted to the depth of suspended fish is deadly. Crappie might be the best-eating fish in the lake. I think they taste better in the colder water. Be safe this time of year. Always wear a life jacket and have a plan to get back into the boat. Hypothermia sets in quickly.”

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