Lake Hartwell Fishing Report – March 2020
Hartwell: Level: 2.3 feet above full pool. Temp: 51 degrees. Clarity: Stained.
Bass: Guide Matthew Justice reports, “Fishing has been red hot despite fluctuating water levels. Fishing in ditches and points in 30 to 60 feet has been producing plenty of numbers of fish, as well as some 3- to 4-lb. spotted bass. Work a shaky head, football jig and an underspin on the bottom in these areas. Expect this bite to fizzle as we get further into March. The shallow bite is really starting to pick up while fishing stained water with red crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs and ChatterBaits. Look for flooded cover and baitfish to ensure you’re in the correct area. Recent charters have produced some trophy bass, including a 7-pounder.”
Congrats to tournament angler and regular GON contributor Kerry Partain for winning the BFL Savannah River event on Hartwell on Feb. 22. Kerry reports, “The bass fishing was pretty good on Hartwell for me this weekend in the BFL. I have been catching a bunch of 2- to 3-lb. fish with an occasional 4-pounder mixed in throughout the day. I started the morning off throwing a Blade Runner with a Zoom Super Fluke in ditches where the loons were working bait. The birds have been real key to finding the big schools of bait, and the bass are usually close by. After about 10 a.m., the ditch bite played out, so I started fishing points and humps near spawning pockets with a Carolina-rigged Zoom Baby Brush Hog and a shaky head with a Zoom Magnum Swamp Crawler.”
Linesides: Guide Preston Harden reports, “March is one of my favorite months of the year. The water will start to warm, and the fish will move shallow to the warmer water. I like to start later and fish later. The warm days will warm the water, and the best action will be late afternoon until dark. I look for fish on wind-blown banks in the major creeks. I like to throw small jigs with a small fluke to imitate a threadfin shad. I am fishing like a bass fisherman, but I expect to catch not only largemouth and spotted bass but also striped bass and hybrids. Big striped bass are also caught by pulling big baits such as trout and gizzard shad on freelines and planer boards in the backs of creeks. Crappie will also move shallower and move farther back in the creeks in preparation to spawn. In summary, March is the best month to fish artificials in shallow water.”
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