The newest Lake Hartwell fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-lake-hartwell-gasc-winter-2017-18-fishing-report/
Lake Hartwell water levels are at 651.40 (full pool is 660.00), and water temperatures are 44-46 on the main lake and in the high 30s/ low 40s at the back of creeks. There is some stained water in the backs.
Overall bass fishing is pretty tough on Lake Hartwell, but in a tournament this weekend several anglers did manage 16-18 pounds bags – although weights dropped off sharply below that. One of those bags belonged to Guide Brad Fowler, who found fish out deep in 30-40 feet of water in channels and timber. He caught the deeper fish on a drop shot, but a jigging spoon will also work.
Brad also went fishing and found fish up a creek at the back of a major creek arm after the sun came out, where he filled out his limit. The water was only in the mid-40s, but he caught the fish in 1-3 feet of water on a small Shad Rap thrown on a spinning rod. He was fishing around some rocks and sticks, but generally there was no major cover. They just wanted to be shallow in the rising, stained water.
On the striped bass front, Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) and Guide Chip Hamilton (864-304-9011) report that the fishing has gotten extremely tough in the very cold conditions. This morning Captain Bill had something happen which has not happened to him before, when his boat froze to his trailer so hard that it lifted the trailer out of the water. He had to back several times to get it to unstick.
Today Captain Bill did not see a boat on the water, partly because of the snow yesterday and partly because the fishing has been so rotten. In a recent striped bass tournament only 30 out of 120 boats weighed a fish, and many of these were just 4 to 6 pounders.
Chip says that it’s not unusual for the bite to turn off when temperatures get into the mid-40s, and that until surface temperatures get back into the 50s he doesn’t expect a lot of improvement. Four inches of snow yesterday was movement in the wrong direction. For now a few, bigger fish can be caught later in the day when temperatures hit their peak. The best way to catch them is to slowly pull free-lines or planer boards in the backs of creeks.
Captain Bill reports that catfish and crappie fishing is also very slow.
Lake Hartwell water levels are at 651.70 (full pool is 660.00), and water temperatures are around 54 degrees. Clarity is normal.
It’s still a little tough to catch striped and hybrid bass on Lake Hartwell, but Guide Chip Hamilton (864-304-9011) reports that there has been some improvement in the bite. Fish are definitely up the rivers, and the most successful pattern has been fishing down-lines in 35-38 feet of water. However, he has also caught some fish pulling free-lines through areas that birds are working.
The best catch, however, has been spotted bass. Out of 31 fish they caught on a recent trip the majority were spotted bass. There are still a lot of spots offshore and they are hungry.
No change on catfishor crappie.
Lake Hartwell water levels are at 651.60 (full pool is 660.00), and water temperatures are in the mid-50s. Clarity is still pretty good even after last weekend’s snow.
Last week the striped bass on Lake Hartwell were really eating, but this week Guide Chip Hamilton (864-304-9011) reports that it seems more like they are interested in napping. The cold front has slowed down the fishing and they are just not eating that well. Fish are definitely up the creeks, and the pattern is still about the same with fish being pursued with free-lines as well as down-lines.
Birds will certainly point the way to schools of bait, and the bait is stacked up in the creeks by the millions. However, even when you find loads of bait right now it doesn’t always mean there are feeding fish around. And just because birds are diving also doesn’t necessarily mean fish are feeding.
Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) also reports a slow striper bite.
On the largemouth bass front, Guide Brad Fowler reports that dropping temperatures are having a different effect. Even though temperatures are still several degrees above where they should be at this time of year, the snow helped drop the temperature a bit and has grouped up the fish a little tighter. The bite has slightly improved.
The best pattern is still fishing offshore in the main lake in18-20 feet on out to 40 feet with shakey heads, drop shots, and spoons. Fish are close to natural timber and the creek channel.
Captain Bill reports that the channel catfish bite has slowed down with the cold, but blues can still be found in 8-30 feet of water in the creeks. The best numbers are still in 25-30 feet, and drifting in the creeks or around main lake humps is the best way to target them.
Bill reports that crappieremain in a similar pattern, mostly on deep brush in 18-20 feet of water in the creeks. Some fish are also being caught under bridges at night if you don’t mind the cold.
Lake Hartwell water levels are at 652.15 (full pool is 660.00), and water temperatures range from the upper 50s in the morning to the low 60s in the afternoon. The lake has almost completed the annual fall turnover and is pretty clear.
With afternoon water temperatures still getting into the 60s Guide Brad Fowler reports that Lake Hartwell bass have not gotten into a true late fall/ winter pattern yet. There are still some fish shallow, and he is still seeing some fishing chasing bait on the surface. Again, a small swimbait or other subsurface lure is a better option than a topwater as fish are rolling on bait more than blowing anything up.
Overall, the best bet for getting bites is still to fish offshore in the main lake. Working shakey heads and drop shots in 18-20 feet on out to 40 feet is the best way to catch a bunch of spotted bass, and the better tournament fish seem to be out there too. Early there has been a good spoon bite. The key is fishing close to natural timber and the creek channel. While there are fish in both the creeks and main lake more and more fish seem to be staying on the main lake.
On the striped bass front, Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) reports that fishing has definitely improved. Fish can be found all over the lake and they are spread out in the Seneca, Tugaloo and larger creeks. Because fish are scattered free-lining and covering water has been the best bet, although down-lining has also been productive at times. Fish could be in 5-10 feet or out to 40 feet; with a good number of gulls and loons moving in they can help anglers locate the fish. If you locate deeper fish and drop down-lines to them position the bait a couple of feet above the fish – present herring at 37-38 feet for striper at 40 feet, as they would rather go up than down to chase bait. Very little striper schooling activity has been seen, although some spotted bass have been on top.
Guide Chip Hamilton (864-304-9011) also reports that he is finding fish spread out in the creeks and rivers, with lots of fish well up the rivers and some still about mid-way. On warm days there are also good reports in the backs of creeks when the water heats up. He is also catching fish on a mix of free-lines and down-lines, and on days when fish get in the channel he has found some fish 20-25 feet down in 35-60 feet of water. Chip has not seen schooling in three weeks but he is also seeing plenty of gulls.
Catfishcontinue to feed pretty well, and Captain Bill reports that both channels and blues can be found in 8-30 feet of water in the creeks. However, the greatest concentration of blues can be found in 25-30 feet, and drifting in the creeks or main lake humps is the best way to target them.
Bill reports that crappieremain in a similar pattern, mostly on deep brush in 18-20 feet of water, mostly in the creeks. Some fish are also being caught under bridges at night if you don’t mind the cold.