Lake Hartwell Fishing Report January 2013
Hartwell: Level: 15.1 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 50s. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Tournament angler Kerry Partain reports, “They are biting right now. We thought we were doing good in a tournament with 15 pounds, but it took 20 to win,” said Kerry. “They are stacking up in the ditches and little creeks halfway back in 20-30 feet of water.” Jig a 1/2-oz. spoon, or work a 3/8-oz. shaky-head worm with a watermelon-candy Trick Worm. Blade Runners are working in these areas, too. Kerry will fish down the lake from Marion Branch to the dam. Look for big cuts with ditches on both sides of the lake.
Linesides: Guide Preston Harden reports, “Stripers are moving up the lake and into the major creeks, following the baitfish. It is easy locating fish, with the first step finding seagulls and loons. If gulls are in the area, stripers are probably close. They are more active on overcast days. If it is bright sun, look for them deeper. Try fishing 30-40 feet deep near the bottom in the creek channels. Sunny days are best for working a jigging spoon on the bottom. A herring fished near the bottom also works. If fish are feeding on the surface, throw small flukes and/or pull freelined herring. If the water temperature falls below 47 degrees, they become inactive and are hard to catch. Some people have success trolling umbrella rigs when the water gets real cold. Last year the water never got below 50 degrees, and stripers and hybrids stayed active all winter. With the low water levels, watch out for navigation hazards. They are not all marked, even between the red and green buoys. Wear a life jacket because hypothermia will set in very quickly. Have a plan to get back into the boat with wet clothes on.”
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