Lake Hartwell Fishing Report June 2011

GON Staff | May 26, 2011

Hartwell: Level: Full pool. Temp: 76 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Tournament pro Josh Fowler reports, “The run-and-gun topwater bite that Lake Hartwell is famous for has fired up, and I expect this bite to get better as we move into June. On May 21, my wife and I won a benefit tournament up here with 19 pounds by running the points where the blueback herring were spawning. The bass are schooling on the herring, and you need to have a milk run of points to fish during the first two hours of the day. The herring can be here today and gone tomorrow, so it’s very important to keep moving until you hit the right point. If you don’t get your fish early, the rest of the day can be a grind. Early in the day I’m staying with baits that mimic the herring like a weightless Zoom Super Fluke, a Lucky Craft Sammy or Gunfish and a Buckeye Lures Wake Up wake bait. Typically by mid morning the herring have moved offshore, and the schooling bite is over, but the bass don’t leave the points. When the herring move out, the bass seem to settle down on any cover that is close by and just hang out. It’s going to be slow, but you can catch some good fish by casting a Buckeye Lures Mop Jig rigged with a Zoom Super Chunk or a Spot Remover jig head rigged with a Zoom Trick Worm. You still want to keep moving around hitting points but with a much slower approach. As we get into June and the water temperature continues to warm, the bass will start to set up on some of the deeper humps, points and ledges on the main part of the lake. The same topwater baits will continue to work, but you will be fishing them over deeper water.”

Good, but guide Preston Harden said it’s been a little bit tricky. “We’ve been around fish, they’re just hard to catch some days because they’ve been in shallow water, and they’ve been so spread out. It’s still good though. Even on the tough day we’re catching 10 to 12 fish, just not the 30- to 40-fish days we expect on this lake. The fish are fixing to come down out of the creeks and out of the shallow water. The hot weather will bring them out to more open water, and they’ll be lot easier to find.” Concentrate on main-lake points and humps in 25 to 35 of water. “You can catch them on freelines early, but mostly it’s fishing downlines with blueback herring. Also look for a topwater bite. This year we’re almost to June, and there hasn’t been a topwater bite yet. Any day now, expect them to be knocking water into the air and eating topwater plugs,” Preston said.

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