Lake Hartwell Fishing Report – May 2007

GON Staff | April 23, 2007

Hartwell: Level: 1.7 feet below full pool. Temp: 65 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

The fabled “Spooks & Flukes” bite is just getting under way at Hartwell, said Mark Waller. On April 14, Mark and his son Cain won a tournament with 22 pounds of bass. On April 21, it took 18 pounds to win. “The herring are moving up, and there is a little schooling going on on the humps,” said Mark. He said he had been catching fish both on jerkbaits and on a Carolina rig. “They only school for a couple of hours, so you have to figure out something else to do,” he said. “A green-pumpkin Carolina rig seems to get a lot more bites.” For the topwater to work, however, you have to have some wind. “If the wind isn’t there, the topwater bite isn’t going to work,” said Mark. “The fish get too good a look at your bait. They will run up behind it, but they won’t take it if they get a good look.”

Stripers/Hybrids: Excellent, according to Hartwell fishing guide Steve Crenshaw. It has been really good,” he said. “I have been catching limits on a lot more days than not. We had limits this morning by 7 a.m. (April 20). Steve said he is fishing live bait from a beached boat before daylight. The fish are in 3 to 5 feet of water, he said. Steve uses live bluebacks on a size 1 or size 1/0 hook, depending on the size of the bait. He uses a 1 1/2-oz. weight to hold the bait down. He said look for red-clay points, and the fish should be there before daylight. The fish are mostly hybrids in the 3-to 6-lb. range. The bank bite should hold up into early May, then the fish will begin to move out into the coves and start schooling. When they do, freelining and downlines will catch fish. “I like to fish under the boat,” said Steve, “but when the fish are in less than 25 feet of water, a freeline is the way to go. It changes from day to day, you just have to see how deep they are holding.” There has been some schooling activity late in the day, and when the fish come up, Steve recommends a Lil Fishy or bucktail jigs to catch them. If you want to fish with live bait, freelines are effective in schooling fish — just watch for gulls working the bait to find the hybrids and stripers.

Good. “I was out one evening last week and caught fish from brush 8 to 15 feet deep. The fish are out on brush in the pockets on the main lake. The spawn is over here, and the fish are moving out of the creeks. Steve says he generally uses jigs but often has minnows out, too, and often the jigs catch more fish than the minnows.

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