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AHQ INSIDER Lake Hartwell (GA/SC) Fall 2017 Fishing Report – Updated August 31

  • by Jay

The newest Lake Hartwell fishing report, updated September 15, can be found at:

August 31

Lake Hartwell water levels are down almost eight feet to 652.06 (full pool is 660.00), and water temperatures have fallen into the lower to mid-80s.  With dry conditions clarity is very good.

Late in the summer striped and hybrid bass fishing has gotten pretty tough on Lake Hartwell, and Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) reports that bait fishing isn’t especially productive right now.  The water is also so hot that bait is really stressed and only lives for about 5 minutes on a line now.

Fish are generally in about 35-45 feet of water along the river channel, although some are undoubtedly deeper in the timber.  The best action is in the lower lake, and the most effective technique has been trolling lead core line with about 12-14 colors out.  For some reason the afternoon has been better than the morning.

Guide Chip Hamilton (864-304-9011) also reports that not a lot of nice fish are being caught right now, but he looks for that to change in the next couple of weeks as water temperature drop into the 78-80 degree range and they start to move around more.

A nice 20-pound fish caught recently on Guide Chip Hamilton's boat
A nice 20-pound fish caught earlier in the month on Guide Chip Hamilton’s boat

While striper fishing hasn’t started to pick up yet this season, Guide Brad Fowler reports that as water temperatures have started to cool the bass fishing has already improved.  There isn’t much change in the pattern, and fishing deep for offshore fish with a drop shot is still the best way to catch them, but the fish are more active and they are biting better.

There has also started to be some sporadic schooling activity.  A lot of the schooling is taking place off points, but fish will also pop up in random, odd-ball places.

Captain Bill reports that there is not much change in the catfish bite which remains good, with channels eating about anything in 25-30 feet (cut herring, nightcrawlers, dip baits, etc.).  Blues are out in the deep timber but you have a shot of catching them in 25-30 feet of water at night.  Flatheads can be caught at night on live perch or bream around brush.

No news on crappie.