Lake Hartwell Fishing Report January 2012

GON Staff | December 29, 2011

Hartwell: Level: 9 feet below full pool. Temp: 55 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Good. Shayne McFarlin said there were still some fish shallow in the backs of any major-arm creeks, and he has been doing pretty well with a 6- to 12-foot-diving crankbait like a Norman Deep Little N or Bomber Flat A in firetiger colors. He said the fish have been around rocks and brush near the channels or ditches in the backs of the creeks. Follow up with either a shaky head or a jig, because some of the better fish have been less aggressive. Also, don’t forget to skip a jig or shaky head and pick apart the docks in these same areas. Shayne said this is where the better quality bite is going on, but folks are also catching some fish offshore. An A-rig fished in the creekmouths is also catching some fish. The offshore bite should become the predominant bite as water temps continue falling. Later in the month, it will be time to start deep cranking or spooning channel swings, deeper ditches, humps and channel ledges.

Linesides: Very good. Guide Preston Harden reports, “Fishing has been very good with schooling fish on the surface most mornings and afternoons. They were impossible to catch in November, as they would only eat tiny threadfin shad. The water has cooled, and the stripers and hybrids are now eating artificials and live bait. They are still doing better with the smallest flukes and 1/8-oz. jig heads. My favorite is a Scrounger jig head and a tiny white Zoom fluke. Jigging spoons in 30 to 40 feet of water bounced off the bottom work during midday and bright-sun conditions. Look for seagulls to lead you to the schools. They are up the lake in the rivers and majors creeks. Fishing will be good until the water gets below 48 degrees. Then they will not eat herring until later in the spring. They will eat umbrella rigs trolled or small jigs and flukes cast to active fish.”

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