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Lake Hartwell Fishing Report January 2020

GON Staff | December 31, 2019

Hartwell: Level: 4.6 feet low. Temp: 53-58 degrees. Clarity: Stained from the recent rains up the rivers.

Bass: Guide Matthew Justice reports, “Fishing has been great. Bass are in a full winter pattern. Fish are holding in ditches all over the lake, and large numbers of 1- to 2-lb. fish can be caught in these ditches in 20 to 40 feet of water using a jigging spoon, drop shot and a Damiki rig. The best bet for quality largemouth has been fishing docks and submerged brush in less than 10 feet of water. These fish are biting black/blue jigs, shaky heads and crankbaits. Expect the fishing to hold steady, if not get better, as we move into the new year. This is my favorite time of year to be on the lake guiding.”

Linesides: Guide Preston Harden reports, “As of mid-December, fishing is good. Most fish have moved up the lake and into the major creeks and up the rivers. Most fish are preferring small threadfin shad to large herring. I used to say that hybrids and stripers slowed down in January, but after the last two mild winters, the fish have kept  feeding all winter. If the water goes below 48 degrees, most game fish do not eat much.”

Crappie: Guide Preston Harden reports, “If the water gets cold, the best option is crappie. They will feed no matter how cold the water gets. I like to work a 1/32-oz. jig and a soft plastic very slowly under shade. Bridges and docks 15 to 30 feet deep will hold schools of crappie in January. It helps to have some brush. Side scan shows the schools clearly.”

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