AHQ INSIDER Clarks Hill (GA/SC) Fall Fishing Report – Updated September 1
The newest Clarks Hill fishing report, updated September 15, can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-clarks-hill-gasc-fall-2017-fishing-report/
Clarks Hill water levels are at 322.66 (full pool is 330.00) and water temperatures have dropped into the lower 80s.
As temperatures drop bass fishing is starting to pick up on Clarks Hill, and Buckeye Lures in Augusta reports that first thing there is some pretty good schooling activity off deeper points and offshore humps. If there is wind then the schooling can last longer. They suggest making 5-6 casts with a fluke or topwater lure, and if there are no bites then switch over to a Carolina rig or jig before moving onto the next spot. Fish are grouped together and if you catch one you should be able to catch more.
Another pattern is fishing around shallower humps in about 12-18 feet of water, and as fish get more active with cooling temperatures they are eating deep diving crankbaits. Jigs will also still catch fish.
Fish can also be caught running the banks and throwing a buzzbait. Try to target banks that have as many laydowns as possible where bass are likely to be ambushing bream up shallow.
Striper and hybrids are grouped up together in the lower lake on Clarks Hill, and Captain William Sasser (864-333-2000) reports that his boats are catching lots of nice fish in the 5-12 pound range between Modoc and the dam. Each morning they are catching 30-40 fish. The best pattern is fishing 50-60 feet deep with down-lines in about 100 feet of water, but the key is chumming with small pieces of cut herring. Without the chum William says you can forget it.
There are also tons of small fish in the 2-pound range off basically all the points in the lower lake.
Fishing has slowed down tied up to the cable at the dam, and they have not seen schooling activity.
On the catfish front, Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the bite is still good with a mixed bag of blues, channels and flatheads along with some bonus hybrids and striper. Anchoring on points and humps and fan-casting cut herring is catching blues and channels, while live bream and white perch are catching flatheads. During the day target 20-40 feet and at night focus on 5-15 feet. Numbers of fish are being caught during the day but most of the bigger fish are coming at night. If you are focusing on numbers of fish moving every 30-45 minutes is the best way to target aggressive fish, but if you want to catch big ones mark them on your graph and sit on them for at least an hour and a half. Patience can pay off in a big way.
The crappie pattern remains unchanged, with excellent numbers coming fishing over brush in the backs of coves in the mid-lake area. Fishing about 20 feet down in 30 feet of water has been the best pattern. Fish can be caught on jigs but minnows have been working much better.