Lake Hartwell Fishing Report November 2012

GON Staff | October 31, 2012

Hartwell: Level: 13.5 feet below full pool. Temp: Low 70s. Clarity: Mostly clear.

Bass: Guide Brad Fowler reports, “A lot of fish will be following the baitfish to the creeks. With low water conditions, a lot of bait and fish will stay around the mouths of the creeks. With cover being scarce due to low water, docks will be good holding cover for bass. Old, deeper crappie brushpiles will now provide shallow cover in the creeks for bass. Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, Scroungers and jigs will be the best baits as the fish migrate to the creeks.” Tournament angler Kerry Partain reports, “Fishing is good. There are still a good many schooling fish at the mouths of major creeks, but they are very finicky. This past weekend we had to throw a lot of different baits to find one they would hit, and the smaller the better. The majority of the fish are schooling on threadfin shad, and the action can be fierce if you are on the right spot at the right time, so move around until you can find some active fish. There are still some areas of the lake turning over, and the water is more stained and brownish looking. The majority of the lake seems to have already turned over, so the next few weeks should really improve. With the cooler weather, the fish should move farther back in the creeks this month and start hitting crankbaits near the bank. You can catch a lot of spots in the 1- to 2-lb. range on a drop shot rigged with a Zoom Meathead or finesse worm. Just look for the bait and fish on your electronics as the schooling activity dies down.”

Guide Preston Harden reports, “Fishing has been good with schooling fish on the surface since early September. Topwater plugs, such as the Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost-minnow color, have put many fish in the net. Bait has not caught many fish since the fish are moving fast, chasing schools of herring. Lots of fish have moved up the lake and are spreading out into the creeks and rivers. The colder weather has the lake turning over. November can be tough, as the lake is completing turnover. Water can be a dark-brown color with foam on top. As the water turns, it has a low oxygen level. The creeks complete turnover first, and that is where the fish show up in November. The fish also change from feeding on herring to eating threadfin shad. Big topwater plugs give way to small flukes or other small artificials. Look for greener water as the turnover does not happen across the lake at the same time.”

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