Lake Hartwell Fishing Report – July 2015

GON Staff | June 25, 2015

Hartwell: Level: 0.2 feet above full pool. Temp: Mid 80s. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Tournament angler Kerry Partain reports, “The bass fishing is still good right now, and you can catch them on a variety of lures and patterns. We have been catching some bass early in the mornings on topwater and flukes around main-lake humps, islands and points right off the drops into deeper water. Once the sun gets up high, we have been fishing a drop shot and Carolina rigs around the same areas that have been holding fish. If there is some wind, you can catch them on a crankbait a little shallower on the main-lake and secondary points where the wind is blowing in. As we move into July, the bass should really begin to suspend in the deeper water as the thermocline stabilizes, and I expect to see more schooling activity in the late evenings as they ambush baitfish.” Guide Preston Harden reports, “The largemouth and spots have moved off the banks to deeper cover. The best pattern is to throw topwater plugs over the brushpiles off points and on humps. If you get no blowups on topwater plugs or flukes, try to get on top of the brushpiles and look for bass in the brush with your graph. Drop a shaky head worm or a drop shot straight down in the brush.”

Guide Preston Harden reports, “As the weather gets hotter, the striper and hybrids fishing gets better. Hartwell is full of stripers and hybrids, and they love to eat blueback herring dropped down to them this time of year. People do not realize how many fish we catch every day. We average 20 to 50 fish per morning, usually within a few hours. Lots of these will be 3 to 6 pounds with some big stripers over 10 pounds coming to the boat every day. The stripers and hybrids are migrating out of the creeks and down the rivers as the thermocline pushes most fish toward the lower lake. The fish have been in 30 to 50 feet of water, and they have been hanging in the trees lately. They will soon move out over open water as the month progresses. This will set up for trolling and power reeling in the river channels and the deeper water.”

Guide Donnie Simpson reports, “Catfishing will continue to be good in July. We have been catching more than 40 fish per trip, with a few trophy catfish mixed in. Fish 15 to 20 feet deep near the main channels with any stink bait or cut bait before dark, and then move to less than 10 feet of water after dark. Bowfishing will slow down with the temps getting close to 100 degrees, but we are still offering clients 100 to 300 shots per trip. Most of what we are seeing is this year’s carp, gar and catfish hatch, and that offers a true challenge trying to hit a 8- to 12-inch fish in 3 feet of water.”

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