This afternoon on the telephone Captain William Sasser (864-333-2000) reported to me that the striped bass fishing on Clarks Hill was wide open, but it wasn’t until I looked at the William Sasser Guide Service Facebook page that I saw for myself just how good it has been. In addition to catching excellent numbers of fish they have been catching monsters – proving once again that summer striper fishing on South Carolina’s lakes can be tough to beat. Particularly when you go with an expert!
While the fishing has been excellent, catching the striper (as well as staying comfortable) has involved beating the heat. Before daylight William’s boat has been catching fish over humps in about 30 feet of water on the lower end of the lake. They have been down-lining live herring and fishing right on the bottom.
While the fish they have been catching have averaged 5-8 pounds, the bigger fish have been caught mid-morning fishing right on the bottom in 60 feet of water. Again, the sides of humps/ underwater hills have been good as well as points that extend into very deep water. When the sun gets high during mid-day it has essentially been dead-time for striper fishing, but by evening and then night fish can be caught on the same pattern of down-lining on the bottom around underwater humps and points.
There has been no significant schooling activity reported, and it is pretty much a down-lining period on the lake. However, anglers fishing cut bait off the rocks at the dam have been catching some 3-5 pound hybrids. These same fish will also take live bait.
Overall, Clarks Hill is at 329.01. With striper fishing so good there is less focus on other fish, but the report for other species is still decent.
Crappie: Fair to good. Captain William Sasser reports that he has not been spending much time targeting crappie, but the fish are still stacked up along the river channel in the same pattern that they have been in. Fish minnows 10 feet down over brush in 15-25 feet of water.
Black bass: Fair. Buckeye Lures in Augusta reports that as expected bass fishing is starting to slow down in the extreme heat, and fish are spending a lot of time deep. First thing in the morning some fish will move up shallow following long, deep points, but anglers need to be there before the sun comes up to fish this pattern. During this period topwater lures such as Sebille Magic Swimmers and flukes will catch fish. As it gets hot fish will are pulling out into 15-25 feet of water, and they will be found around structure such as humps or points, particularly where there are rocks or brush piles. Most of the activity will be on the main lake and Goby Sleds as well as Spot Removers will both catch fish.
DHEC Fish Advisory: Only one meal per week of largemouth bass.
A monster striper caught on Guide William Sasser’s boat