Lake Hartwell Fishing Report January 2014

GON Staff | December 30, 2013

Hartwell: Level: .1 feet above full pool. Temp: Mid 50s. Clarity: Clear, slight stain in the creeks.

Bass: Tournament angler Kerry Partain reports, “The fishing has been a little slow on Hartwell for this time of year, but that could change as the water has cooled and the bait is beginning to stack up in the creeks, ditches and major pockets off the main lake. Once you locate the bait and fish, you can catch them on a couple different baits. We start out fishing with a jigging spoon early, and then alternate that with the Zoom Finesse Worm on a drop shot and a Carolina rig until the fish tell us what they want that day. There has not been any definite pattern, so you will have to move around until you can find some active fish. As the fish move more into the ditches in January, the spoon should begin to work better, especially as the water temperature drops below 50.”

Guide Preston Harden reports, “Fish have been very active with surface feeding all over the lake. Just look for the seagulls. They are feeding on small threadfin shad less than 1-inch long. Small artificials work best. Alabama rigs with small jigs have been working. I have been putting a tiny Zoom fluke on a 1/8-oz. Scrounger jig head and working it very slow. I use light braid with a fluorocarbon leader on a spinning rod. Small Clouser Minnow flies and full sinking fly lines have been working for fly fishermen. A medium shiner works better than a blueback herring now. If no surface activity, try a jigging spoon bounced off the bottom in 20 to 40 feet deep. Think small and slow when the water gets cold. Remember to wear a PFD. Hypothermia can set in within a minute. The surface activity should last until the water temperature gets below 48 degrees. Then it is time to chase crappie under deep docks in major creeks.”

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