AHQ INSIDER Clarks Hill (GA/SC) Fall 2019 Fishing Report – Updated September 20 Reviewed by Momizat on . -- The newest Clarks Hill fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-clarks-hill-gasc-fall-2019-fishing-report/ September 20 -- The newest Clarks Hill fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-clarks-hill-gasc-fall-2019-fishing-report/ September 20 Rating: 0
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AHQ INSIDER Clarks Hill (GA/SC) Fall 2019 Fishing Report – Updated September 20

The newest Clarks Hill fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-clarks-hill-gasc-fall-2019-fishing-report/

September 20

Clarks Hill water levels are around 326.1 (full pool is 330.00) and morning surface water temperatures have dropped into the lower 80s.  Visibility is still good.

Bass fishing is picking up on Clarks Hill, and tournament angler Josh Rockefeller of Augusta reports that he is already seeing some minor schooling activity although it will get more widespread once the lake cools a bit more.

There are good numbers of fish around main lake humps in 13-22 feet of water that will take a topwater or fluke, and if they will only chase the bait then they will usually take a drop shot.  There are also fish being caught on a drop shot around bridges.

However, it seems like a lot of the better fish are shallow, and some of the biggest are being caught on buzzbaits fished in the back of creeks.

Josh Rockefeller with a nice one caught this week

Josh Rockefeller with a nice one caught this week

The striper and hybrids are on the move on Clarks Hill, and William Sasser Guide Service (706-589-5468) reports that fish are working their way up the lake and back into the creeks. Some of them are still in the Modoc area near the dam, but greater numbers have made it to the middle of the lake.

Fish are generally off of creek channel points and secondary points, and while there are some fish on the bottom in 40 feet there are more fish on the bottom in 30-35 feet.  There are also some groups starting to suspend in 10-15 feet and there is beginning to be more schooling.

Some anglers are trolling umbrella rig and others are pulling planer boards, and weighted free lines will also catch fish.  However, Captain Brad Sasser is still fishing down-lines 90% of the time.

Captain Brad reports that crappie fishing is getting better and better, particularly in the middle and upper lake.  They are catching the most fish around natural submerged timber or planted brush close to the bottom in 15 feet of water.  Some anglers are trolling while others are dropping shiners down to them.

On the catfish front, Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that good numbers of 1-10 pound blue and channel catfish can still be caught in a summer pattern.  Slow tapering points and ridges in the 5-15 foot range at night, and 15-35 foot range during the day, are still fishing best. Anchoring on these areas and fan-casting cut herring, shrimp and dip baits is the best way to put some fish in the boat right now.

When water temperatures get into the mid-70s the bite for big fish will improve.

Night-time fishing for flathead catfish is still pretty good, and rocky points have been by far the best.  Anchoring in the 5-10 foot range and fan-casting live bream all around the rock piles from as shallow as 5 feet out to about 25 feet has been the best approach. Give each spot plenty of time, up to 2 hours or more, because the fish will feed in cycles.  You can also pick up the occasional big blue catfish (and gar) this way.

September 13

Clarks Hill water levels are at 326.72 (full pool is 330.00) and surface water temperatures run the gamut from the lower 80s to high 80s depending on the time of day.  The lake is very clear due to no rain and little generation.

Even though the bass don’t typically start schooling offshore on Clarks Hill until a little later in the season, tournament angler Tyler Matthews of Evans, GA reports that schooling activity is already underway this September.  He has found the fish schooling off sandy, rocky points in about 10-15 feet of water, but they aren’t staying up for very long.  You are lucky to get one or two out of a school before they go down again.

The fish are on very small baits, so small topwater lures or down-sized flukes are the best option.

After the sun goes down fish can be caught with a jig on the same points where the bass were schooling during the day.

There are also still deeper fish that can be caught on deep humps, brush or deep rock piles with jigs or drop shots.

For a kicker fish a buzzbait or Whopper Plopper is probably your best option, even though bites are few and far between.  Since shallow fish are likely to be targeting bream or frogs and not shad at this time of year, a green skirt with a gold blade is better than a white buzzbait.

Since the last report action for striper and hybrids has picked up on Clarks Hill, and William Sasser Guide Service (706-589-5468) reports that fish are grouping up better and less scattered than a week to ten days ago.  In general fish are in the middle of the channel on the bottom off the sides of humps in 35-40 feet of water.  The bite kicks off at dawn, and there is not much going on before that.

Fish were basically on the ends of the lake, but now they are starting to bite better around Cherokee in the Georgia Little River and Shriver Creek.

William Sasser Guide Service with another rod bent on Clarks Hill

William Sasser Guide Service with another rod bent on Clarks Hill

Captain Brad Sasser reports that crappie fishing has also improved, and they are catching fish around natural submerged timber or planted brush close to the bottom in 15-20 feet of water.  Some anglers are trolling while others are dropping shiners down to them.  Most of the action is in the middle to upper lake, in areas like the South Carolina Little River, Soap Creek, Hall Creek, the Georgia Little River and Raysville.

On the catfish front, Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that 1-10 pound blue and channel catfish are still biting pretty well.  Slow tapering points and ridges in the 5-15 foot range at night, and 15-35 foot range during the day, seem to be fishing best right now.  Anchoring on these areas and fan-casting cut herring, shrimp and dip baits is the best way to put some fish in the boat right now.

Night-time fishing for flathead catfish is still pretty good, and rocky points have been by far the best.  Anchoring in the 5-10 foot range and fan-casting live bream all around the rock piles from as shallow as 5 feet out to about 25 feet has been the best approach. Give each spot plenty of time, up to 2 hours or more, because the fish will feed in cycles.  You can also pick up the occasional big blue catfish (and gar) this way.

September 4

Clarks Hill water levels are at 327.61 (full pool is 330.00) and surface water temperatures in the morning are around 83-86 degrees.  The lake is relatively clear.

Tournament bass fishing weights are a little off for Clarks Hill, and tournament angler Tyler Matthews of Evans, GA reports that overall fishing is pretty tough.  There is not a much good daytime fishing going on right now, and early morning and then the evening into the night are the best times to catch fish.

Fish are mainly being caught on deep humps, brush or deep rock piles.  Jigs and drop shots are good options.

If you are looking to catch big fish a buzzbait is hard to beat, early in the morning or even in the heat of the day.  However, bites are few and far between.  Since shallow fish are likely to be targeting bream or frogs and not shad at this time of year, a green skirt with a gold blade is better than a white buzzbait.

Overall fishing should get better later in the month when surface activity improves.

It’s a strange, transitions period for striped bass and hybrids on Clarks Hill, and William Sasser Guide Service (706-589-5468) reports that one day the fishing can be really good and then the next day it is likely to be much tougher.  Fish are really broken up with little consistent pattern, and one day you could find them suspended shallow over deep water while the next day they could be on the bottom in 38 feet like they were today.

The common denominator is that fish are running the edges of the main channel on both the lower and upper ends of the lake.  There are some really nice hybrids being caught below the Russell Dam right now.

Overall they are still catching some good-sized fish, but the pattern just keeps changing.

On the catfish front, Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that 1-10 pound blue and channel catfish are still biting pretty well.  Slow tapering points and ridges in the 5-15 foot range at night, and 15-35 foot range during the day, seem to be fishing best right now.  Anchoring on these areas and fan-casting cut herring, shrimp and dip baits is the best way to put some fish in the boat right now.

Night-time fishing for flathead catfish is still pretty good, and rocky points have been by far the best. Anchoring in the 5-10 foot range and fan-casting live bream all around the rock piles from as shallow as 5 feet out to about 25 feet has been the best approach.  Give each spot plenty of time, up to 2 hours or more, because the fish will feed in cycles.  You can also pick up the occasional big blue catfish (and gar) this way.

Captain Brad Sasser reports that there are still not many anglers targeting crappie, but they are still holding around brush 20-25 feet down in 25-35 feet.

A successful trip with Captain Chris Simpson

A successful trip with Captain Chris Simpson

August 22

Clarks Hill water levels are at 327.99 (full pool is 330.00) and surface water temperatures in the morning are in the upper 80s.  Despite some rain the ground has absorbed most of it this week and so the lake remains pretty clear, although there is a little floating debris.

While there are still some shallow fish that can be caught on a buzzbait, tournament angler Josh Rockefeller of Augusta reports that from what he has seen most of the fish are deeper.  There is already some schooling activity starting around humps, and when fish are not on the surface they can be caught on deeper drop shots.  Because fish are feeding on smaller baitfish flukes, smaller topwaters, or clear baits that have a smaller profile are good options.

Tournament angler Tyler Matthews of Evans, GA reports that he is also seeing some schooling in open water, but overall pretty much everything seems to be deep.  In addition to humps he has also found deeper fish around brush and fish attractors in about 30 feet.

The striped bass and hybrid fishing has finally slowed down on Clarks Hill, but  even though William Sasser Guide Service (706-589-5468) reports that we are in the dog days of summer they have still had some good fish. It’s just not as easy as a month or two ago, and instead of limiting out on one group of fish catching 3 or 4 out of one school is as much as you can expect.

The early morning bite has been hit-or-miss fishing on the side of humps 30-35 feet deep in the channel, and one day you can do really well while the next day the fish are gone.  The most consistent bite is 20-40 feet down over 80-100 feet of water along the edge of the channel for suspended fish on the lower or upper end, where they are doing most of their fishing.  You could catch fish pulling umbrella rigs but down-lines have been working.

A good trip with William Sasser Guide Service

A good trip with William Sasser Guide Service

In the mid-lake Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) confirms his boat is still finding a pretty good down-line bite.  Early in the morning fish can be found pretty shallow in the 15-20 foot range, and then as the sun gets up they move out to the 25-35 foot range.  Humps and points that top out at that depth have been working the best, but there are also plenty of suspended fish in the same zone.

On the catfish front, Captain Chris reports that 1-10 pound blue and channel catfish are still biting pretty well.  Slow tapering points and ridges in the 5-15 foot range at night, and 15-35 foot range during the day, seem to be fishing best right now.  Anchoring on these areas and fan-casting cut herring, shrimp and dip baits is the best way to put some fish in the boat right now.

Night-time fishing for flathead catfish has been pretty good recently, and rocky points have been by far the best.  Anchoring in the 5-10 foot range and fan-casting live bream all around the rock piles from as shallow as 5 feet out to about 25 feet has been the best approach. Give each spot plenty of time, up to 2 hours or more, because the fish will feed in cycles.  You can also pick up the occasional big blue catfish (and gar) this way.

Captain Brad Sasser reports that there are still not many anglers targeting crappie, but they are still holding around brush 20-25 feet down in 25-35 feet.

August 1

Clarks Hill water levels are at 329.05 (full pool is 330.00) and surface water temperatures in the morning have rebounded to 85 or 86 after dropping from 89 to 83.  The water is still very clear for Clarks Hill.

The striped bass and hybrid fishing continues to be really good, and William Sasser Guide Service (706-589-5468) reports that first thing they are catching fish off humps in the main channel that are about 35 feet deep.  After the sun gets up fish can be caught on the bottom in 45-60 feet of water off the sides of ledges and along the main channel.  When the sun is higher fish can be a bit more lethargic, but some really good ones have been caught.  A 36 pounder was caught by another boat earlier this week!

For the last few days the evening bite has actually been better than the morning bite, and in the evening fish are still in the daytime depth range.

In the mid-lake Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) confirms his boat is still finding a good bite, and down-lines are the best bet.  Early in the morning fish can be found pretty shallow in the 15-20 foot range, and then as the sun gets up they move out to the 25-35 foot range.  Humps and points that top out at that depth have been working the best, but there are also plenty of suspended fish in the same zone.

A good trip this week with Captain Chris Simpson

A good trip this week with Captain Chris Simpson

It’s still taking at least 17 pounds to win most bass tournaments, andtournament angler Tyler Matthews of Evans, GA reports that the same basic patterns are still catching fish.  Especially with high water levels early and late fishing a buzzbait or frog around bushes and grass is one pattern that is working, but there are also a lot of people fishing deep brush in 20 feet or more.  Deep humps with some rock on top are also producing, with drop shots, jigs, and Carolina rigs all working around the deep stuff.  There are also some fish being caught on deep boat docks and marinas in 20-25 feet.

While the middle of the day is generally considered the toughest time to catch bass in the summer, tournament anglerJosh Rockefeller of Augusta reports that he gets some of his best buzzbait bites in the middle of the day fishing around shallow cover.  A frog will also work, and even in the heat of summer he still finds fish in less than five feet.

Josh also points out that bridge pilings hold lots of small fish that can be caught on drop shots.

On the catfish front, Captain Chris reports that 1-10 pound blue and channel catfish are still biting pretty well.  Slow tapering points and ridges in the 5-15 foot range at night, and 15-35 foot range during the day, seem to be fishing best right now.  Anchoring on these areas and fan-casting cut herring, shrimp and dip baits is the best way to put some fish in the boat right now.

With the heat Captain Brad Sasser has not been targeting crappie, and from minnow sales it doesn’t appear that anyone is!  However, fish are probably holding around brush 20-25 feet down in 25-35 feet.

July 22

Clarks Hill water levels are at 329.49 (full pool is 330.00) and water temperatures range from about 87-90. The water is very clear.

The striped bass and hybrid fishing continues to be really good, and William Sasser Guide Service (706-589-5468) reports that their boats are catching fish at daybreak on points along the main channel 30-35 feet down.  Then as the sun gets up they are finding fish suspended in the 40-60 foot range along the edge of the channel, or on the bottom in 40-50 feet.

Typically they would pretty much be fishing the lower end in late July, but right now Captain Brad Sasser reports that you can pretty much pick a part of the lake you want to fish.  There are some very nice fish being caught on the upper end, the lower end, and in-between, so it is appears that the population is very healthy.

In the mid-lake Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) confirms that the bite is pretty good, with down-lines are the best bet.  Early in the morning fish can be found pretty shallow in the 15-20 foot range, and then as the sun gets up they move out to the 25-35 foot range.  Humps and points that top out at that depth have been working the best, but there are also plenty of suspended fish in the same zone.

Killing it with Captain Chris Simpson

Killing it with Captain Chris Simpson

Even in mid to late July there have still been some good bags caught in recent bass tournaments, andtournament angler Tyler Matthews of Evans, GA reports that the last one he fished took almost 20 pounds to win.  With the water levels very high fishing a buzzbait around bushes and grass is one pattern that is working, but there are also a lot of people fishing deep brush in 20 feet or more.  Deep humps with some rock on top are also producing, with drop shots, jigs, and Carolina rigs all working around the deep stuff.  There are also some fish being caught on deep boat docks and marinas in 20-25 feet.

While the middle of the day is generally considered the toughest time to catch bass in the summer, tournament angler Josh Rockefeller of Augusta reports that he gets some of his best buzzbait bites in the middle of the day fishing around shallow cover.  A frog will also work, and even in the heat of summer he still finds fish in less than five feet.

Josh also points out that bridge pilings hold lots of small fish that can be caught on drop shots.

On the catfish front, Captain Chris reports that 1-10 pound blue and channel catfish are still biting pretty well.  Slow tapering points and ridges in the 5-15 foot range at night, and 15-35 foot range during the day, seem to be fishing best right now.  Anchoring on these areas and fan-casting cut herring, shrimp and dip baits is the best way to put some fish in the boat right now.

With the heat Captain Brad Sasser has not been targeting crappie, but he says that fish will be 20-25 feet down over brush in 25-35 feet.

June 26

Clarks Hill water levels are above full pool at 330.31 (full pool is 330.00) and water temperatures remain in the low to mid-80s and rising. Due to afternoon showers there is a little stain to the water.

There continues to be a deep pattern for bass fishing on Clarks Hill right now, but tournament angler Josh Rockefeller of Augusta reports that bite appears to be slowing down.  You can still catch some fish dragging a big worm or football jig, or going finesse with a drop shot rig, while moving baits are not catching much around offshore humps.

The best pattern is fishing a shallow buzzbait – especially with the lake really full.  At times he is fishing a traditional skirt and trailer and at times he is fishing a Horny Toad on it, and Josh is alternating between double and single-bladed buzzbaits.  White has been working well in shallow, dirty water.  If you can find some grass that is ideal.

While you will certainly get the most bites early on a buzzbait, most of the biggest fish seem to be coming between 10 and 12 Noon.

The striped bass and hybrid fishing continues to be really good, and William Sasser Guide Service (706-589-5468) reports that fish remain in 25-35 feet of water off channel points, with 90% of the fish on the bottom but some suspended over deeper water at the same depth. Everything is coming on down-lines.

Usually by this time the vast majority of the fish are in the lower lake, but this year the mid-lake has been fishing really well for June.

Striper piled up in Clarks Hill - photo courtesy of William Sasser Guide Service

Striper piled up in Clarks Hill – photo courtesy of William Sasser Guide Service

In the mid-lake Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the planer board bite is done and it’s all a down-line bite.

Captain Brad Sasser reports that crappie remain a little shallower than usual, and he has found fish 12-15 feet down in brush over 15-20 feet of water.  While there are probably fish along the channel edges and that will eat jigs, he has been doing all of his fishing in the creeks with small minnows.

Catfishc an still be caught anchoring on red clay points and fan-casting baits at a variety of depths, with Chris reporting that 1-10 pound blues and channels remain relatively shallow.  Anchoring on humps in the 20-35 foot range is the better pattern for bigger, but fewer, blues.  Fishing early and late is the best bet.

June 21

Clarks Hill water levels are above full pool at 330.07 (full pool is 330.00) and water temperatures are in the low to mid-80s and rising.  For the most part the water is fairly clear.

There are a couple of productive patterns for bass fishing on Clarks Hill right now, but tournament angler Josh Rockefeller of Augusta says that nothing seems to be working as well as fishing a shallow buzzbait – especially with the lake really full.  At times he is fishing a traditional skirt and trailer and at times he is fishing a Horny Toad on it, and Josh is alternating between double and single-bladed buzzbaits.  White has been working well in shallow, dirty water.  If you can find some grass that is ideal.

While you will certainly get the most bites early on a buzzbait, most of the biggest fish seem to be coming between 10 and 12 Noon.

At the beginning of June there was a brief window where the offshore bite was really strong and you could catch the fish on moving baits, but now that has slowed down and they have shut off taking deep diving crankbaits at the community holes.  Dragging a big worm or football jig, or going finesse with a drop shot rig, is the better option now for fishing offshore humps.  This is mostly a numbers deal and the better fish seem to be shallow.

This fish couldn't resist Josh's white buzzbait

This fish couldn’t resist Josh’s white buzzbait

The striped bass and hybrid fishing has been really good, and William Sasser Guide Service (706-589-5468) reports that fish were starting to go deep but then the cool snap a couple of weeks ago shallowed them back up.  For now fish can be found in 25-35 feet of water off channel points, with 90% of the fish on the bottom but some suspended over deeper water at the same depth.  Everything is coming on down-lines.

Usually by this time the vast majority of the fish are in the lower lake, but this year the mid-lake has been fishing really well for June.

In the mid-lake Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that there are still a few fish being caught on planer boards, but down-lining is much more consistent.

Captain Brad Sasser reports that crappie have been a little shallower than expected, and he has found fish 12-15 feet down in brush over 15-20 feet of water.  While there are probably fish along the channel edges and that will eat jigs, he has been doing all of his fishing in the creeks with small minnows.

Catfish can still be caught anchoring on red clay points and fan-casting baits at a variety of depths, with Chris reporting that 1-10 pound blues and channels remain relatively shallow.  Anchoring on humps in the 20-35 foot range is the better pattern for bigger, but fewer, blues.  Fishing early and late is the best bet.

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