Lake Hartwell Fishing Report – January 2008

GON Staff | January 3, 2008

Hartwell: Level: 13.25 feet below full pool. Temp: 54 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Bass fishing has been fair the past few weeks said bass-fishing guide Josh Fowler. “It took 14 pounds to win the pot tournament on Dec. 8, but it only took 7 pounds to get second and third. Everybody seems to be catching a few fish, however the better fish have been hard to find. With the water temp still in the mid 50s you can still catch fish a variety of ways. If you prefer to fish shallow, start looking in the back of the major creek arms. Find the creek with the most bait, and start fishing with small crankbaits like a No. 5 Shad Rap or a 1/4-oz. Rat-L-Trap. The small threadfin shad that have migrated to the backs of the creeks will start to die off as the water temp continues to drop. The largemouths and stripers will be there looking for an easy meal. The other option is the vertical approach with spoons and a drop shot. The last few trips the fish have been in 35 feet of water on the edge of the timber. You have to constantly watch your electronics for any activity. As you are fishing a point, start backing off until you see the trees on your graph and start fishing. Sometimes the fish will be just inside the treeline, and other times you will see them holding right on the edge of the timber. A Flex-it spoon seems to be the best choice for spooning, and a 4 1/2-inch Roboworm works well for the drop shot. As we move into January the better fish should start to show up. If we get a mild cloudy day in January, don’t be surprised to see some schooling activity. I will always have a jerkbait and a Buckeye Ditch Blade rigged with a Zoom Super Fluke Junior ready to cast to any fish feeding on the surface.

Great. “The negative publicity about the lake level is keeping some people away, but the fishing is great,” said Hartwell fishing guide Wayne White. “I had a party out yesterday (Dec. 20) from 8 a.m. until 11:30, and we caught 26 hybrids and stripers in the 3- to 6-lb. range,” he said. “If we had caught what we were seeing on the graph, we would have been done in 45 minutes.” Wayne said the fish are bunched up thick on humps in the vicinity of Portman Shoals Marina. “We would catch four or five, then you’d have to drum them up tapping on the floor of the boat, and we would catch four or five more.”

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