Lake Hartwell Fishing Reports – May 2023

GON Staff | April 26, 2023

Hartwell: Level: 0.9 feet above 660. Temp: Mid 60s to low 70s. Clarity: Most of the lake clear with some stain in the creeks

Bass: Guide Matt Justice reports, “Fishing has been very good and will continue to be hot for the next month or so. The herring are spawning on points and humps, so the bass are feeding up after they finish spawning. A pearl-white fluke is hard to beat. If the bite slows, a shaky head can catch them in the same areas. With the lake levels up, the bass are also on the bank in the backs of creeks and can be caught on a frog around willows, docks and laydowns.”

Tournament angler Justin Kimmel reports, “The herring spawn has been hit or miss with some of the colder nights we’ve had recently, but you can still find it going on, and it should be pretty strong to kick off the month of May. Some rocky points and shoals have really been producing when speed-reeling a crankbait like a Berkley Frittside or a Luhr Jensen Speed Trap. Crash these baits into the shallow rocks the herring are spawning around. A fluke has been catching them around the clay points pretty good. The Clutch Darter glide bait has really been producing big bites more consistently for a few guys than anything else on some of the community holes where herring spawn on clay points, which tells me more and more bass are getting done with the spawn. They tend to follow it more when they’re spawning and munch it when they’re ready to feed back up. For numbers of bass, a 3/16- or 1/4-oz. shaky head with a 4-inch Berkley General in green pumpkin with a chartreuse tail will catch a lot of spotted bass around the steeper points in the Andersonville Island area. As fish move just off the points later in the month and the herring spawn dwindles, look for brushpiles in 10 to 20 feet. Topwaters like a Berkley Cane Walker 110 and 125 and a fluke or Jerk Shad worked over the piles will begin to catch them. I will target docks a lot at this time, too, fishing the Darter to get big bites. To get numbers on the docks, a shaky head with a green-pumpkin-green Trick Worm will do the trick. Pitch it up next to a dock, let it fall to the bottom and shake it as much as you possibly can in one place without bringing it any closer, and they’ll pick it up. Sometimes it can take 20 to 30 seconds for them to come get it.” Justin is featured in this month’s Map-of-The Month article, where he gives 10 GPS locations to set a productive May pattern for Lake Hartwell bass.

Lake Hartwell Page: Archived Articles, News & Fishing Reports

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