Lake Hartwell Fishing Report March 2015

GON Staff | February 25, 2015

Hartwell: Level: 3.2 feet below full pool. Temp: 46-48 degrees. Clarity: Some stain.

Bass: The pros fishing the Bassmaster Classic found most of their bites in surprisingly shallow water. With frigid temperatures, thoughts for many had turned to deeper patterns like drop-shot rigs and finesse worms, but swimbaits and jigs around docks produced many of the keeper bass last weekend. The winner, Casey Ashley, said he caught his bass on a home-made under-spin while fishing a drop on the edge of standing timber. The bass had been in the timber but moved up on the drop. Look for the shallow bite to be super strong after any three-day warming trend.

Linesides: Guide Preston Harden reports, “March is when I striper fish like I bass fish. While catching stripers, I am also catching hybrids, largemouth and Kentucky spots. The fish follow the baitfish as the bait seeks the warmest water. The fish and bait move to the shallowest water. A small fluke or other shad-imitating artificial will catch an array of fish. I fish afternoons in March because the water warms and the fishing gets better later in the day. Wind-blown pockets and points hold more fish than the leeward banks. Live-bait fishing is tough in March unless you use medium shiners on light line. Fishing with blueback herring turns on in April, but March is tops for artificials.”

Crappie: Good. “Crappie fishing peaks in March as they move shallow in preparation to spawn,” Preston said. “Work small crappie jigs around docks and bridges trying to keep the jig in the dark. Look for crappie to migrate farther back into the major creeks as March progresses.”

Catfish: Guide Donnie Simpson reports, “Catfishing will be excellent this month, and the fish will show up shallow. We will catch blues and flatheads in 2 to 3 feet of water all the way out to 30 feet. Anchor on points or flats close to deep water. Use cut bait like shad, herring, perch, mullet or carp for the blues, and live shad, herring, perch or bream for the flatheads. Just about any bait will work for channels—stink bait, livers, cut bait and night crawlers. Bowfishing will really heat up this month. Expect to see some of the biggest fish and some of the biggest numbers of fish for the entire year this month! March is my favorite time to take clients on guided bowfishing trips on Hartwell, Russell and Clark Hill. The water temps are still cold, but the days are getting longer. The fish will be spawning soon no matter what the weather does.”

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