Lake Hartwell Fishing Report May 2011

GON Staff | April 27, 2011

Hartwell: Level: Full pool. Temp: Low 70s. Clarity: Stained.

Bass: Good. Josh Fowler reports, “April has been excellent. The biggest spawning wave of the year moved up, and sight fishing has been the key. It’s taking 20-lb. bags to win the local tournaments up here, and in the bigger tournaments we are seeing multiple 20-lb. bags brought to the scales. You can find spawning fish in just about any pocket you go in on the lower end of the lake. Some of these fish are just cruising, and some are locked on beds. A variety of baits will work on these bedding fish, but I like some type of crawfish imitation rigged on 5/16-oz. Spot Remover jig head. The two baits that usually work best for me include a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw or a Wackem Crazy Baits Little Tater Bug. Most of the cruising fish are easily spooked, and it helps to make long casts with light baits to trigger a bite. I typically use a 1/8-oz. Net Boy Baits Screwball jig head rigged with a Zoom Trick Worm, but I’m also doing well with a drop shot rigged with a Wackem Crazy Baits Big Sissy Worm. I am blind casting the drop-shot rig and the shaky head near the backs of the pockets where I expect the bass to be. If it’s cloudy or we have some chop on the water, I also like casting a Zoom Swimming Fluke rigged on a Buckeye Lures 1/4-oz. JWill Swimbait Head. As we move into May, I expect the spawning process to gradually wind down; however, many of the postspawn bass will stay shallow because of the abundance of shallow cover we have in the pockets. The biggest thing to watch for in May is for the bluebacks to move shallow to spawn. The herring will pull up on shoals, long shallow points and blow-throughs during low light hours of the day, and you can expect the postspawn bass to be ready to take advantage of this oppertunity. You will need a Zoom Super Fluke, a Lucky Craft Sammy and a Lucky Craft Smasher 105 rigged and ready when this bite fires up. I will start to run these types of places in early May, and when you hit the right location, the action will happen fast. It helps to have a milk run of high-percentage areas so you can quickly move around to take advantage of the low light. Typically, when the sun gets up, the herring move offshore and the schooling bite shuts down.”

Linesides: Very good. Guide Preston Harden said he’s catching lots of hybrids on artificials. “I’m throwing a white-ice Zoom Super Fluke Jr. on a Scrounger jig head. Look for swirls along the bank. Everything is up shallow. There are fish scattered from the dam all the way up the river above Clemson. They’re scattered, but there are so many hybrids this year you can’t get away from them. The downline bite hasn’t been as good, but freelines are producing. We’re about a week away from the topwater bite. Throw a ghost-colored Sammy.”

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