Clarks Hill water levels are at 325.51 (full pool is 330.00), and water temperatures are in the upper 80s. Clarity is better than normal, except on the weekends when a flotilla of boats and jet skis are stirring everything up.
Bass fishing in a lot of area lakes has slowed down with the late summer heat, but not on Clarks Hill. In Wednesday night tournaments that take place between 6:30 and 10:30 each week it has been taking 17-20 pounds to win.
Buckeye Lures in Augusta reports that more than one pattern has been catching fish, but some of the top anglers have been catching fish around brush piles in 20-30 feet of water. The best brush is in the main lake, or the front part of creeks near the main lake. The backs are not holding a lot of fish right now. 5/8 ounce brown Mop Jigs have been working around brush, particularly with a trailer that gives the bait a little action. Magnum Sleds rigged with a Speed Craw will also catch fish.
The lake is covered with grass right now, but fishing around the hydrilla can be tough. Most every pocket has grass, and some of the shallower humps are also hard to fish with a jig or the like. Hydrilla doesn’t grow in the 20-foot range and so that is one reason the brush piles in that area have been producing fish. One would expect a lot of fish to be caught around the grass but it can be tough to fish.
There is also an early morning buzzbait bite around laydowns and the like, but as soon as the sun comes up that bite is done.
If bass fishing has been pretty good for the season, striper and hybrid bass fishing has been close to phenomenal. Captain William Sasser (864-333-2000) reports that each day his boat has been wearing out the striper and hybrids, and in addition to excellent numbers they are catching fish up to 30 pounds. A quick perusal of the William Sasser Guide Service Facebook page confirms his account!
William’s boat is fishing 50 feet deep on the bottom off main lake points from before daylight to about 8 am. William says that it seems that pretty much every such point in the bottom five miles of the lake is holding fish, and down-lining live herring is the way to catch them. Hybrids and striper are mixed together, with the hybrids a touch deeper and the striper a bit shallower.
There is a good temperature break setting up about 20 feet down, and William says he is starting to see some schooling activity in the same areas where he is fishing. There are some fish deeper than 50 feet, and because of the developing thermocline he suspects that somewhere in the lake there are shallower fish.
With such a hot striper bite William’s boat has not spent much time pursuing crappie, but he says that crappie can be caught about 20 feet down over 40-50 feet of water near the river channel over old timber.
Clarks Hill water levels are at 328.85 and water temperatures are in the mid- to upper-80s.
Buckeye Lures in Augusta reports that fishing has been pretty good, and in local pick-up Wednesday night tournaments it has taken 20 plus pounds to win each week. Most of the better fish have moved out to humps in the 10-25 foot range, with the better humps unmarked on charts (as opposed to community holes that everyone knows about) and having rocks. The best humps are on the main lake, with some up the Georgia Little River and some on the Carolina side. Fish are not particularly active, and most of the fish seem to be trying to eat a big meal then lay on the humps and digest it for a few days. Mop Jigs as well as bigger Spot Removers are both working.
Late in the afternoon and early in the morning it is possible to pick up a good fish on a buzzbait around the banks. While the lake is covered in hydrilla, Buckeye says fishing it has not been a dominant pattern right now.
No schooling activity has been reported.
Captain William Sasser (864-333-2000) reports that his boat is wearing out the striper – which can easily be confirmed by a quick look at the “William Sasser Guide Service” Facebook page. He says that in the lower half of the lake they are catching good numbers of big fish early in the morning off main lake points. Fish are in 40-50 feet of water and they are catching them on down-lines (live herring) fished on the bottom. In the backs of most every cove there are tons of 2-pound hybrids that can be caught on down-lines in about 30 feet of water. Fishing every day William is not seeing any schooling.
William reports that crappie are still on brush in about 20 feet of water where they can be caught on minnows fished about 10 feet down. Fish are closer to the main water – not in the backs – and both the Georgia and South Carolina Little Rivers have fish.
William hasn’t been targeting shellcracker but he has been smelling them and on the next full moon he expects them to be up spawning again.