AHQ INSIDER Clarks Hill (GA/SC) Spring Fishing Report – Updated August 12
Clarks Hill water levels are up to 323.41 (full pool is 330.00).
In bass fishing news, Buckeye Lures in Augusta reports that there has been a pretty decent bass bite for the heat of summer. First thing in the morning anglers have been able to pick up some decent fish throwing a buzzbait around the banks, and there has also been some schooling activity for the first few hours of the day. If there is some wind that bite may last longer, but usually it is over by about 9 or 10. The bass are generally hanging around relatively shallow water that is close to deep, long points that come out from the bank.
After the sun gets up anglers can still bit on humps in 12-24 feet of water. Throwing a Carolina rig with a heavy weight and a green pumpkin Zoom U-Tale worm is a good bet.
As we get closer to fall the fish will feed more; that bite is probably about a month off.
Clarks Hill water levels are at 323.26 (full pool is 330.00), and surface temperatures are around 87 degrees. Clarity is very good.
It’s gotten late in the summer, and the better striper and hybrids are pretty all much all grouped together in deep water on the lower lake of Clarks Hill. Captain William Sasser (864-333-2000) reports that most of the action is within two or three miles of the dam, and first thing in the morning he is getting bit on the bottom in 60 feet of water. As the sun gets up fish stay at about the 60-foot depth range but they will move deeper and suspend in 100 or so feet of water. Clearly the oxygen system installed in the lake is working. In addition to down-lining 60 feet deep for big fish, you can catch tons of smaller striper about 30 feet deep off points. However, most of these fish are in the 1-2 pound range.
On the catfish front, Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the bite has been 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.
All indications are that the crappie bite remains just as good as at last report, but a lot more attention is being paid to the striper by fishermen.
Largemouth bass report to follow. For now check out this monster 10-pounder caught recently by Lake Russell Guide Jerry Kotal in 18-20 feet around striper.
Clarks Hill water levels are at 324.49 (full pool is 330.00), and surface temperatures are in the mid to upper 80s. Clarity remains good.
Many people think of spring when they think of crappie, but Captain William Sasser (864-333-2000) reports that the bite has been exceptional in the heat of this summer on Clarks Hill. On a trip last Friday his boat caught 83 good fish! They have been fishing over brush in the backs of coves in the mid-lake area including the Georgia Little River, and 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.
The hybrid bass fishing on Clarks Hill has been very good this week, and they have been catching some very nice fish in the 5-8 pound range fishing before daylight on the bottom in 40 feet of water. Main lake points in the lower lake have been the key. Some nice striped bass have sometimes been mixed in with the hybrids, but the striper have overall been a little scarce.
Smaller hybrids can be caught in the back of coves in 30 feet on the lower lake, which is full of 2-3 pound fish. Hybrids can also be caught in front of the dam at night tied up to the cable in 25-40 feet of water. Schooling action has been very rare, but perhaps one out of seven days you will see fish on top.
On the bass front Buckeye Lures in Augusta reports that weights are a little down from a couple of weeks ago, with about 12 pounds winning 3-fish night tournaments. The pattern however is unchanged except that there has been some schooling activity over deeper humps. At other times you need to slow way down to catch fish.
Clarks Hill water levels are at 324.00 (full pool is 330.00), and surface temperatures are around 87 degrees. Clarity is very good.
It’s a great time for striped bass fishing on Clarks Hill, and Captain William Sasser (864-333-2000) reports that early morning before daylight they are catching lots of fish with down-lines in 50 feet of water. They are fishing right on the bottom on main lake points at the lower end of the lake. Mid-morning and mid-day the fish are suspending in 30-50 feet of water in 60-80+ feet, with the better fish deeper. In the 30 foot-range it’s all 1-2 pounders with the better fish under them.
In the evening and at night anglers are catching fish near the dam tied up to the cable fishing 20-40 feet down. There is very little schooling activity right now on the lake.
On the crappie front, William’s boat is catching fish along the edge of mid-lake creek channels like Shriver Creek and Dorn Creek where they intersect with main flow of the river. Fish are over brush about 20 feet down in 25-30 feet of water. Minnows have been working best.
Bass fishing on Clarks Hill continues to be tough, even though Buckeye Lures in Augusta reports that 3-fish limit night tournaments are frequently being won with 14-15 pounds. It appears that the majority of the fish are being caught after dark.
Early and late some fish can be caught around bank grass, wood and even shallow docks with a buzzbait. This remains a good way to catch a big fish, but not numbers. Some fish have also been caught off of bream beds.
The better numbers of bass are out on the humps, and they can be caught on a ¾ ounce Sled with a Zoom Speed Craw. Go with natural colored baits at this time of year since fish aren’t feeding too heavily, like Green Pumpkin or Clarks Hill Craw (which has an orange tint). Fish can also be caught around deeper brush in 15-30 feet of water on deep diving crankbaits and jigs.
Clarks Hill water levels are at 323.61 (full pool is 330.00), and morning surface temperatures are around 83 degrees. Water conditions are very clear.
Unsurprisingly, Buckeye Lures in Augusta reports that as the summer heat sets in on Clarks Hill the bass fishing is starting to get tough. Further complicating things is that Clarks Hill water levels have come up several feet in the last month, which is making for some tricky conditions. Fish can’t decide where to be and so they are scattered.
While the heat is pushing fish deeper, early in the day you can find some fish up shallow. Around the bank grass you can throw a buzzbait or frog and target better fish. Darker colored frogs such as black or brown that imitate bream are working well. Because of the rising water levels there are some fish that are staying shallow all day, but they can be frustrating because even though you can see them cruising around they will only eat in very low light periods.
Particularly after about 9:30 or 10:00 anglers need to be targeting the deep humps and points in 10-15 feet of water. Dragging ½ ounce Football Mop Jigs or regular Mop Jigs is one way to catch fish, but if you want a bait with a lower profile a Spot Remover Magnum is a good option.
On the striped bass front, Captain William Sasser (864-333-2000) reports that very early in the morning they are finding the best bite fishing off main lake points in 40-45 feet of feet water on the bottom with live herring. The lower lake has been the best area, and while they aren’t catching any monsters they are getting a nice number of 10-15 pound fish. Midday fish are in the same areas, but they are just not as aggressive.
Smaller fish are hanging shallower, and 20-25 feet deep suspended over about 50 feet of water there are tons of 2-pound fish. They can be caught on shallower down-lines.
There are big hybrids out in front of the dam and some are being caught by boats tied up to the cable.
Crappie fishing has been very strong, and this early summer William’s boat is finding some very nice fish stacked up on brush in the Georgia Little River. Fishing minnows about 15 feet down over 25 feet of water has been the best pattern. They have been moving a lot and finding five or so good fish around most brush piles.