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Lake Hartwell Fishing Report January 2019

GON Staff | December 23, 2018

Hartwell: Level: 0.3 feet above full. Temp: Low 50s. Clarity: Stained in the rivers, and clear on the main lake.

Bass: Tournament angler Kerry Partain reports, “The bass fishing is good, and they are biting a variety of lures. You can catch them shallow on a jerkbait and a Blade Runner, especially in the creeks and pockets. We have also been catching a lot of fish on jigging spoons in ditches or deep humps off the main lake between 30 and 40 feet. The baitfish are bunched up, so the key is to keep moving around until you find active bass feeding on them.”

Linesides: Guide Preston Harden reports, “Hybrids and stripers have been schooling all over the lake for months. Small flukes on jig heads, small spoons and other threadfin shad imitations have been working well. The best bite has been early and late or on overcast days. On bright, sunny days, a jigging spoon worked off the bottom in the creek channels catches a mixture of bass, hybrids and stripers. This bite will slow down if the water temperature drops into the mid 40s. Try to pick days before the front when it is calm and clouds are rolling in. The toughest days are the days after the front when the wind blows and the sun is bright.”

Crappie: Guide Preston Harden reports, “As we move into January, the crappie migrate into the major creeks in preparation to spawn. Crappie love shade. I find them under big docks and bridges. I will try to get my little jig in the darkest corner under the docks. With side scan, I can tell if there are crappie under the dock and if there is brush under the dock. Without side scan, you can still see a lot under the dock with a regular sonar. The crappie first go to docks 15 to 25 feet deep close to the creek channels. As we move toward spring, crappie migrate farther into the creek under shallower docks. I use a 1/32-oz. jig head with a tiny fluke on 4-lb. test line. I fish it vertically and reel very slowly. I twitch the rod ever so gently as I barely reel.”

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