Lake Hartwell Fishing Report – July 2008

GON Staff | June 24, 2008

Hartwell: Level: Down 9.7 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 80s. Clarity: The main lake and the rivers are clear, the backs of the creeks are good fishing color.

Bass: Good despite the heat wave, said Hartwell fishing guide Josh Fowler. “The Bassmaster Weekend Series fished Lake Hartwell on June 14, and it took 15 pounds to win the event,” said Josh. “The afternoon/night pot tournaments have been taking 14 to 16 pounds to win and 11 pounds to get in the money. On my recent trips I have been casting a Buckeye DH2 buzzbait for the first hour of the day, and when the sun gets up, I head for the main lake. The buzzbait fish are quality fish but they are scattered. Look for these fish to be around shallow wood cover in the pockets off the main lake. When the sun gets above the trees, the fish will start to set up on the offshore structure, and you can call these fish up with the typical topwater baits like flukes, Sammys and Creek Chubs. With the surface temp already in the mid 80s the fish react better to the bait if it’s moving fast. When the bite gets going, you can’t move the bait fast enough for the fish. While you’re fishing the offshore stuff, be sure to watch your electronics and have a drop shot or a Spot Remover jig head ready to drop on any fish you see on the graph. A green-pumpkin finesse worm will work well for these techniques. Another bait I have been doing well with is the new Aaron Martens Lures’ Scrounger Head. The jig head has a plastic lip. You can rig this bait with a Fluke Jr. or a V&M Lil’ Marsh Minnow and cast it on the humps and points. It creates a swimming action that looks just like a blueback herring. The 1/4-oz. head seems to work the best, and it casts well on baitcasting equipment. When the fish will not come up on the topwater baits, you can burn this Scrounger just under the surface, and the fish will come up and get it.”

Linesides: Good at night, according to guide Buster Green. “I switched over to nighttime about three weeks ago,” said Buster. “You won’t catch me out there in the daytime. It’s too hot. The fishing has been good, but not a lot of size to them. We have been catching 30 or 40 fish in five hours fishing live bluebacks 35 to 40 feet deep over points and humps. The fish are a mix of hybrids and stripers, and they have been running from 2 to 5 pounds. You just have to get out there with your graph and find them. There has been some schooling on top early and late, but I’m not on the lake until after dark. There have been seven or eight boats running sodium lights at night over the river channel from the dam up the lake a couple of miles, but I haven’t heard whether they are catching them or not.”

Crappie: Not many people fishing for them. The daytime fishing using minnows in brushpiles has reportedly been slow. The best shot during July and through the hot summer months is to fish minnows at night under lights around bridge pilings or over brushpiles.

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