Lake Hartwell Fishing Report March 2013
Hartwell: Level: 7.2 feet below full pool. Temp: 50-53 degrees. Clarity: Main lake is clear; creeks are stained and rivers are muddy.
Bass: FLW tournament pro Kerry Partain reports, “The bass fishing is good on some days and fair on others, depending on the crazy weather we are having right now. There has been a lot of fluctuation on both water temps and water levels. The lake has really come up the last few weeks, and the fishing is changing by the day. The most consistent pattern seems to be main-lake points and the major secondary points leading into creeks and ditches. The Carolina rig is the best choice for numbers right now using a Zoom Baby Brush Hog or lizard. You can catch some bigger fish on a jig, but it is slow going. On the warmer days, the water temp is rising into the mid 50s in the stained water of the creeks, and you can catch them on a crankbait. With all the rain lately the fish have been suspended, and you can catch a few on the drop shot or jerkbait, so watch your graph close while fishing the points. As the weather begins to warm going into March, I expect the bigger fish to really pull up shallow on the cover around the banks with the water flooding all the grass and bushes that have grown with the lake being down. The spinnerbait or Zoom Trick Worm should work, as should the shallower-running crankbaits, especially when we get three days of sunshine and warmer nights. Late in March, the big females should be making their way to the pockets to spawn, and the fishing should be excellent with all that new cover.”
Linesides: Good. Guide Preston Harden reports, “The fish are moving shallow as we transition from winter to spring. The stripers and hybrids are in the main creeks and up the main rivers. As we go into March, the fish are staging in 25 to 30 feet of water, soon to move up on the banks. March is my favorite month of the year as I am going around the banks throwing small flukes just like I was bass fishing. As the water temperature rises through the 50s, the fish will relate to the banks mostly in the afternoons. This is not a morning bite. Don’t be in a hurry to get on the water early, but plan on fishing till dark. Any small bait that mimics a small shad will work. Do not throw a big bait. Stay with a small fluke or a bucktail jig and fluke, and work it real slowly. Concentrate on the main creeks of the Tugaloo and Seneca rivers. This pattern will work through April, but by April 1 the morning bite will be better. They do not eat live bait good in March, but they will in April. Any boat with a trolling motor that can fish the banks like fishing for bass will catch these fish.”
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