AHQ INSIDER Clarks Hill (GA/SC) Spring 2019 Fishing Report – Updated January 2 Reviewed by Momizat on . -- The newest Clarks Hill fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-clarks-hill-gasc-spring-2019-fishing-report/ January 2 -- The newest Clarks Hill fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-clarks-hill-gasc-spring-2019-fishing-report/ January 2 Rating: 0
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AHQ INSIDER Clarks Hill (GA/SC) Spring 2019 Fishing Report – Updated January 2

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

January 2

Clarks Hill water levels are at 325.85 (full pool is 330.00) and, while much of the lake is stained to muddy, around the dam is fairly clear.  Water temperatures are in the lower 50s.

It’s been a weird few weeks on Clarks Hill, and tournament angler Josh Rockefeller of Augusta reports that with inflow and up-and-down water levels fish seem to have mostly moved out of the ditches where they were holding.  He is finding some fish in ditches that have rock piles, but the stained backs do not seem to be holding as many fish as two weeks or a month ago.  What he has caught around ditches with rock has come on a ½ ounce Sled with a Super Speed Craw in green pumpkin color.

The better bite that Josh has recently found has been in deeper, clear areas closer to the main lake or at the mouth of creeks.  They have found fish chasing bait in areas that have loons in the main lake or at the mouths of creeks.  Fish are suspended about a foot off the bottom, often oriented to points, and they have been taking a Buckeye Lures jigging blade or a Su-Spin blade.

The bite for big catfish has dropped off to fair to slow, and Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that locating the big blues from one day to the next remains tricky.  Baitfish can be found from a few feet down to 60 feet of water, which means that there are fish from the mouth of the creeks all the way to the back as well as around main lake humps and points.

Under the circumstances the best approach is still to cover more water than usual, and anchoring on highly travelled areas for 30-45 minutes and then moving on if there are no bites is the best pattern.

December 20

Clarks Hill water levels are at 326.96 (full pool is 330.00) and most of the lake is muddy.  The lower lake is cleaner but still far from clear.

The bass bite remains similar on Clarks Hill, but Augusta University fishing team angler Josh Rockefeller reports that while fish are in the ditches they aren’t in the very backs anymore.  They have moved out to about halfway back, perhaps because of all the cold, muddy water.  Bait is still crucial and so anglers should look for loon activity before settling into an area.  Fish do not want a fluke right now and the ¾ ounce Buckeye Lures jigging blade has been working best.

On the striper and hybrid front, William Sasser Guide Service (864-333-2000) reports that fish also seem to be about halfway back in the creeks about 15-25 feet deep along the edges.  The lower half of the lake is pretty devoid of fishing activity right now, but the upper part of the lake in the Georgia Little River, Germany Creek, Amity area, and Rousseau Creek have been good.  Their boats are still fishing mainly down-lines but free-lines and planer boards are working, too.

Bird activity will already help you locate the fish, but they should get thicker and thicker as it gets colder.

Big catfish can still be caught, but Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the stained to muddy water has got the baitfish so scattered that locating the big blues from one day to the next has gotten tricky.  Baitfish can be found from a few feet down to 60 feet of water, which means that there are fish from the mouth of the creeks all the way to the back as well as around main lake humps and points.

Under the circumstances the best approach is to cover more water than usual, and anchoring on highly travelled areas for 30-45 minutes and then moving on if there are no bites is the best pattern.

A big Clarks Hill blue caught this week with Captain Chris Simpson

A big Clarks Hill blue caught this week with Captain Chris Simpson

William Sasser Guide Services reports that conditions have been so windy they have not done much crappie fishing, although reports have been of some good catches trolling on the upper end.

November 28

Clarks Hill water levels are at 326.65 (full pool is 330.00) and water temperatures have fallen into the 50s, ranging from the lower 50s to the upper 50s depending on area of the lake.  The upper part of the lake ranges from stained to muddy, with the top of the lake like chocolate milk.

Bass are starting to do what they are supposed to do in the winter on Clarks Hill, and  Augusta University fishing team angler Josh Rockefeller reports that the fish have started to move into the ditches in the backs. He is targeting 3-5 feet of water, but instead of wanting to be in straight areas fish are in swings and bends. Bait is still crucial and so anglers should look for loon activity before settling into an area.

Josh has actually seen some surface activity, which has tipped him off to where to start fishing, but the fish don’t seem to want a fluke.  However, casting a ¾ ounce Buckeye Lures jigging blade has been working really well.

Josh Rockefeller shows off a nice jigging blade fish

Josh Rockefeller shows off a nice jigging blade fish

On the striper and hybrid front, William Sasser Guide Service (864-333-2000) reports that fish continue to move up the lake and out in the river/ creek arms. A lot of fish are in the Georgia Little River.  They have now gotten into the very backs, and Captain Brad Sasser reports that fish can be caught on down-lines fished relatively shallow in 15-25 feet of water.  Some anglers are also fishing free-lines and planer boards.

A few fish can occasionally be seen swirling on the surface, but the better way to locate fish is to by following the birds.  Gulls and loons have finally started to show up and offer some clues for finding fish.

Crappie fishing is wide open, and William Sasser Guide Service reports that up the lake and in the South Carolina Little River they are having great success fishing 6-10 feet down over brush piles in about 15 feet of water.  Fish are in the backs of creeks and they are very aggressive – for crappie.

While anglers can catch them tight-lining or trolling, Captain Brad is having the best results double anchoring over brush and fishing 6-8 rods straight down with minnows.

As temperatures have dropped Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the catfish bite has cooled off to a more moderate fair to good, although the pattern has not changed much.

Anchoring on main lake points and humps that top out in the 35-50 foot range has been working well, although with baitfish starting to ball up in the mouth of creeks some bigger blues are starting to move into those areas.  Cut herring will catch blues and channels in the 1-10 pound range while bigger baits like gizzard shad, white perch and bream are better for targeting bigger fish.

Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) reports that at the top of the lake they are still catching strong numbers of white and yellow perch, with a lot of smaller striper and hybrids as well as some largemouth mixed in.  They are catching fish on both minnows fished on a drop shot and jigging spoons in about 25 feet of water.  Some fish are suspended as shallow as 8-10 feet where they can be caught on a crankbait.

November 14

Clarks Hill water levels are at 327.38 (full pool is 330.00), and water temperatures have fallen into the lower 60s.

It would be hard to lead off by talking about any species besides catfish on Clarks Hill right now, and Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the bite for big fish is as good as he has ever seen it anywhere.  One recent morning he caught three fish over 40 pounds, something he has never done before on Santee, Monticello or any other lake!

The pattern hasn’t really changed, and anchoring on main lake points and humps that top out around 30-50 feet has been the ticket.  Cut herring will catch blues and channels in the 1-10 pound range while bigger baits like gizzard shad, white perch and bream are better for targeting bigger fish. The bite has taken off because the lake has finally finished turning over.

Number 1

Number 1

 

And 2

And 2

 

And the third fish over 40 pounds caught in one morning on Captain Chris' boat

And the third fish over 40 pounds caught in one morning on Captain Chris’ boat

Bass fishing on Clarks Hill isn’t as good as that, but it has been steady – even though Augusta University fishing team angler Josh Rockefeller reports that the pattern has changed since it got cold.  Before the cold snap he was catching fish shallow flipping any piece of cover (docks, trees, even points) with a jig.  After the cold he is still concentrating on less than three feet of water, but cranking square bills or fishing jerkbaits has been the ticket. He is basically going around rocky points with stained water and casting.

In the fall bait usually runs up the creeks on Clarks Hill, and Josh has found that he absolutely has to be in areas with bait to get bit.  He can either mark the bait on the graph or see it flickering on the surface, but in areas without bait he has learned not to spend much time casting.

While he has marked some fish deeper he has not found a deep pattern.

It has not been ideal weather for guiding anglers to catch striper and hybrids, but when they can get out between the wind and rain William Sasser Guide Service (864-333-2000) reports that fish have moved up the lake and out into the branches of the Georgia Little River and South Carolina Little River. The fish are pretty aggressive, and fishing down-lines 20-25 feet deep just off the bottom near primary and secondary points has been the best pattern.  A little later in the season fish will be in the very backs of the creeks but the points are their stop on the way in.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a crappie report on the Hill, but William Sasser Guide Service reports that on the upper end of the lake and in the South Carolina Little River fishing around brush piles 8 feet deep in 15 feet of water has been working.  Anglers are having success both trolling and fishing tight lines.

In one other fishey worth checking out, Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) reports that at the top of the lake they are catching phenomenal numbers of white and yellow perch.  In three hours he caught 182 fish one day this week!  The best pattern is fishing small minnows on a drop shot, or small jigs, in 9-12 feet of water.

October 19

Clarks Hill water levels are at 326.63 (full pool is 330.00), and water temperatures are in the mid- to upper-70s.

Bass fishing on Clarks Hill isn’t easy, but Augusta University fishing team angler Josh Rockefeller reports that there are a few different ways you can catch fish.  Early in the morning there is a pretty hot fluke bite for numbers of fish, but once the sun gets up it’s over.  On cloudy days it can last until mid-morning.

You can also grind out some fish throwing a chrome Gunfish 115 or 135 for fish that occasionally come up over humps in 5-6 feet of water.  Sun and a bit of wind help, but it’s not a numbers pattern like throwing the fluke in the right conditions.  You can get some good ones, though.  The best area for both of these patterns has been the main lake towards the dam.

Some fish can also be caught on a drop shot, but 9/10 will be small.  There is the rare good one mixed in, however.

A few smaller fish are being caught cranking shallow water, but this should get better quickly with these cooler nights.

On the striper and hybrid front, William Sasser Guide Service (864-333-2000) reports that they are starting to see surface activity again.  Before the storm it was starting, but now it is returning and there is a lot of bait running near the surface.

When fish are not on the surface they are catching them on down-lines fished 12-25 deep for fish suspended along the edge of the channel or a creek in 40-50 feet of water.  Fish are starting to push away from the lower pool into the arms of the lake, and the middle part of the lake on up to the Georgia Little River and near Cherokee has been productive.

The fall catfish bite is starting to come on, but Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that once the fall turnover finishes up the bite for blues and flatheads should get much better.  Anchoring on main lake points and humps that top out around 30-50 feet has been working pretty well, but should get hot soon.  Cut herring is catching coolers full of blues and channels in the 1-10 pound range while bigger baits like gizzard shad, white perch and bream are better for targeting bigger fish.

Another big Clarks Hill blue cat caught with Captain Chris Simpson

Another big Clarks Hill blue cat caught with Captain Chris Simpson

September 21

Clarks Hill water levels are at 326.55 (full pool is 330.00), and water temperatures remain in the mid-80s.  Water clarity has mostly returned to normal.

Back on the water after the storm, William Sasser Guide Service (864-333-2000) reports that the pattern for striped and hybrid bass has changed very little.  In the morning they are still catching fish in 30-38 feet of water on down-lines fished around humps in the mid- to lower lake.  Some people are pulling umbrella rigs.  There are very occasional fish breaking, but water temperatures will need to cool a bit before schooling activity takes off in earnest.

Just another day on the water with William Sasser Guide Service

Just another day on the water with William Sasser Guide Service

On the bass front, Augusta University fishing team angler Josh Rockefeller reports that the patterns remain about the same since temperatures have not really dropped.  Going back in the creeks and throwing a white and black popping frog in the shallow, dirty water is a good way to catch some quality fish.  There is also a suspended bite and

fishing off humps and points in 10-20 feet of water you can catch a lot of two pounders, and get even more blow-ups, throwing a clear Spook or Pop-R.  The fish seem to be concentrating on smaller bait so they want something more finesse-oriented.

There’s also still not a lot of change with the catfish, and Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the night bite for flatheads, blues and channels is still pretty good.  Anchoring on both main lake points and secondary points is working well, especially points with rocks and boulders present.  The night depth can range from a few feet to as deep as 50 feet.  Live bream are the best way to target flatheads, and cut herring will catch the other species.  It’s a broken record, but daytime fishing will get better once temperatures cool.

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