Lake Hartwell Fishing Report – June 2008

GON Staff | May 27, 2008

Hartwell: Level: 8.2 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 70 degrees. Clarity: The main lake and the rivers are clear, the backs of the creeks are good fishing color.

Bass: The run-and-gun topwater bite is in full swing, and it’s taking 17 to 20 pounds to win a weekend tournament, said Hartwell fishing guide Josh Fowler. “On May 18 it took 19 pounds to win the HD Marine Couples tournament, and I expect these types of weights to continue to show up for the next few weeks. Your best bet is to fish main-lake points, humps and shoal markers with topwater techniques. It’s all about timing with this deal, and you may fish several places without a bite, however, when you get on the right place you can catch several quality fish in a hurry. Stay with baits that match the blueback herring like a V&M Pork Shad, or a Lucky Craft Sammy. Another bait that has been working is the new Buckeye Lures’ Wake Up. It’s designed to wake across the surface of the water a lot like a Cotton Cordell Red Fin. These baits that wake across the surface are well known on Lake Hartwell for catching quality fish. The whole key to all these lures is the wind, and if the wind doesn’t blow, the fish will see the bait and usually turn away. In this case is the only time I may slow down to fish a worm or a jig.”

Linesides: Good, said Hartwell linesides guide Steve Crenshaw. “The fish have just started schooling the last week or so of May. We are catching fish pulling freelines over schooling fish.” According to Steve, the fish are scattered and you are as likely to find them schooling in a pocket over 10 feet of water as you are to find them over 100 feet of water. The fish are keying on bait. Steve said he is catching a mix of hybrids and stripers mostly ranging from 2 to 8 pounds. Last week his heaviest striper weighed 25 pounds, and he had several in the teens. The morning bite is slightly better than the afternoon bite, he said. Overall, the fish are behind schedule, and it will likely be late June before the fish set up on the deep-water summertime pattern.

Crappie: Steve said the fish have pulled off the banks and have moved to deep-water structure — brushpiles in 18 to 20 feet of water. If you can find brush at that depth, you’ll find fish. Minnows work better than jigs.

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