Lake Hartwell Fishing Report March 2011

GON Staff | February 23, 2011

Hartwell: Level: 2.6 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 40s to low 50s. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Good. “It’s taking around 20 pounds to win the tournaments up here, and I expect these types of weights to continue as we get into March,” said Josh Fowler. “The prespawn shallow cranking and jerkbait bite has fired up as the weather has warmed, and on Feb. 19 Greg Kellum and I won the Media Bass Tournament with just over 19 pounds by using this approach. The bass are feeding on bait in just about all the major creek arms. If you are not seeing bait or fish chasing bait, then you need to move. This bite is especially good under low-light conditions, so it is very important to be in the right places early in the day. As the day wears on, you will have to target the shade of boat docks or move up the lake and fish the stained water. The shallow-diving crankbaits like a Lucky Craft D-7 Slim Shad or a Lucky Craft Flat Mini CB are good choices in the off-colored water that you will find in the backs of the major creek arms. As you move down the lake, I like to change over to the jerkbaits like a Lucky Craft Pointer 78XD or a Staysee 90. Once the sun gets up, you can focus on boat docks with a Buckeye Lures Flat Top Finesse Jig rigged with a Zoom Creepy Crawler or a Net Boy Baits Screwball Jig Head rigged with a Zoom Trick Worm. Try to skip these baits under the docks in the shady areas, and watch your line on the initial fall. If a bass is there, it will usually bite on the first cast you make under the dock. As we move into early March, you can expect all of these techniques to continue to produce.”

Linesides: Fair. Preston Harden reports, “With the water temperature below 46 degrees since early January, the fishing has been tough, but that is changing fast. The backs of the creeks are stained from recent rains. This stained water will warm faster and hopefully pull the bait and fish into the creeks. The next month will see fish move shallow on warming afternoons. Don’t be in a hurry in the morning, as the best fishing is later in the day. Throw small flukes, bucktail with fluke trailers, small crankbaits and other small shad imitations. The wind-blown sides of the creeks are the best to fish. If you fish down the lake, look for wind-blown points with stained water. This is a great time to catch fish on small artificials in shallow water.”

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