Lake Hartwell Fishing Report September 2012

GON Staff | August 29, 2012

Hartwell: Level: 10.9 feet below full pool. Temp: Low 80s degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Fair. The bass seems to be in the summer doldrums, but the bite should definitely improve my mid to late September. Right now, try drop-shotting deep brush in 24 to 32 feet of water for spotted bass. Use 8-lb. test line and a 1/4-oz. drop-shot weight and your favorite finesse or custom hand-poured drop-shot worm. Try clear color combinations like the translucent purple. A topwater bite should get cranked up good sometime this month. Throw a weightless fluke, Sammy or Gunfish. Look for breaking fish on reef markers and main-lake humps and points.

Linesides: Very good. Guide Preston Harden reports, “Fishing is as hot as the weather. The fish are schooled up in large schools in the lower lake. The afternoons seem to be better than the mornings. This is probably because of the generation schedule. The water release at the dam usually starts at 1 p.m. during the week with no generation on the weekends. Weekday afternoons are prime. Look for schooling fish, ospreys or small black terns to get on top of the schools. Most schools are in deep water. Be patient, and have a good graph. Live herring will work, but you need to reel up and down through the fish marked on the graph. Trolling big jigs on lead-core line is working for people that like to troll. My best success has been to cast 1-oz. jigs threaded with 5-inch swimbaits. I like to let them free-fall for 20 to 40 seconds and feel the line for a hit on the fall. If I don’t get hit or miss a hit, I reel the jig and swimbait back up at a fast pace. Don’t be afraid to reel fast, as this will trigger a hard strike. This pattern will last through September. By mid-September, the topwater bite will get better. The surface temperature will start to fall, and the fish will stay in the surface longer.”

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