Lake Hartwell Fishing Report January 2017

GON Staff | December 22, 2016

Hartwell: Level: 10 feet low. Temp: Low to mid 50s. Clarity: Clear with a slight stain in the rivers and creeks.

Bass: Tournament angler Kerry Partain reports, “On cloudy and overcast days, the bass are roaming in the ditches or larger pockets, and you can catch them feeding on shad. This is when I like to use a jigging spoon to catch fish quick while they are aggressive. As the water cools this month, the bass should begin staging in winter patterns on the drops between 20 and 30 feet deep, and you can catch them on Carolina rigs, drop shots or jigs. The birds are starting to show up more on the lake, so keep an eye out for this, and fish around those areas until you find the bait and the bass on your electronics.”

Linesides: Guide Preston Harden reports, “Striper and hybrid fishing has been good in late December with most fish being caught on herring close to the bottom in 30 to 60 feet of water. Some fish are starting to move shallow with the water cooling. Fish are migrating up the lake and into the creeks as the water continues to cool. Stripers and hybrids usually slow down when the water temperature goes into the mid 40s. This January, it might not get that cold.”

Crappie: Preston reports, “When the water does get cold, crappie are an option. They move into the major creeks in preparation for their spawn. Look for them 15 to 30 feet deep and tight to shade. They are usually under a bridge or under a dock. Work a tiny jig or a live minnow very slow. Fishing should be good, especially on nice days. Be very careful this month with the water down 10 feet. Wear a life jacket. Hypothermia sets in very quickly.”

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