Lake Hartwell Fishing Report – February 2020

GON Staff | January 30, 2020

Hartwell: Level: Full pool. Temp: 50-55 degrees. Clarity: Clear on the main portion of the lake with stained water in the creeks.

Bass: Tournament angler and guide Matt Justice reports, “Fishing has stabilized in a winter pattern. Skipping jigs and shaky-head worms under docks in 5 to 20 feet of water around brush is a good bet. An underspin and an A-rig are the best things going in the mornings for a big bite. Fish can be caught around drains and points in 20 to 45 feet of water on a brown football jig, jigging spoon and a drop shot. Finding bait is key to finding fish right now whether shallow or deep. A shallow cranking bite is still available in the right areas using a Shad Rap or Rat-L-Trap in crawdad patterns. Look for cranking to pick up in February.”

Linesides: Guide Preston Harden reports, “This may be the third year in a row that the water stays above 50 degrees. That is warm enough to keep most game fish active. They prefer to eat small baits in cold water. I try to imitate a threadfin shad instead of a blueback. If the water cools below 48 degrees, most game fish will not eat. Their metabolism slows as the water gets colder.”

Crappie: Guide Preston Harden reports, “Crappie will feed all winter. Use tiny jigs and flukes or a small crappie minnow. Look for crappie under docks and bridges, as they love shade. This is especially true on a sunny day. Fish very slowly, and expect a subtle strike. They will be 15 to 30 feet deep. They are moving into the major creeks and will move farther back in the creeks under shallower docks as we move toward spring.”

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