Lake Hartwell Fishing Report January 2006

GON Staff | January 1, 2006

Hartwell: Level: 1.6 feet below full pool. Temp: 48-52 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Stripers/Hybrids: Off and on. Fishing guide Buster Green says you can catch eight or 10 stripers or hybrids on live bluebacks, but you have to work for them. “The bait has moved back in the creeks, and the stripers and hybrids have moved in, too. We are catching them on freelines, and by fishing straight down, but we are catching about as many on jigging spoons.” Buster said he uses a 3/4- or 1-oz. Hopkins, CC or any Mann-O-Lure-type imitation. The fish have been holding in the 35- to 45-foot range, and Buster has been finding them on clean-bottom flats adjacent to the river channel. “You just have to watch your graph and look for bait and arches,” said Buster. He fishes a spoon just off the bottom. “When the spoon hits the bottom, I wind it up about one turn with my rod tip on the water. Then when I raise the rod, I can lower it to the water and the spoon should stay off the bottom. If there is any slack in the line, I know its a fish. The guys who fish all the way to the bottom lose a lot of lures. They will bump a stump and think it’s a fish and drive the hooks home.”

Bass: The jigging-spoon bite has just begun for largemouths. Try the same spoons, but look for brush and drops on mainlake points and humps in the same depth.

Crappie: Crappie-fishing reports have been good, said Buster. Find brushpiles in 20 feet of water, and fish jigs just over the brush. Buster recommends a Catalpa jig, made in Rock Hill, S.C. He prefers the red-head, silver body with a white, yellow or chartreuse tail. Normally he fishes either a 1/16- or 1/32-oz. jig, but when the water drops into the mid 40s, and the water is calm, he will switch to a tiny 64-oz. jig. He fishes the jig under a float and just lets the jig sit above the brush. “If you work the jig, or even if there is much of a ripple on the water, they won’t take it,” he said. “You have to be on your toes to see them take it. The float will just barely bob when they ease up and suck it in.”

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