The endless rain has made fishing difficult, but in the last week or two Clarks Hill guides have managed to squeeze in some trips during dry spells. Guide William Sasser (864-333-2000) reports that striped bass have made their seasonal move into the backs of creeks, and his boat is catching them on free-lines and planer boards – especially early in the morning. Fish are about 10 feet deep over 15-20 feet of water, and the best activity has been in the mid- to upper-lake around the 378 bridge, Soap Creek and in the Broad River. This is a typical move for this season, and the fish should be there for a while. There has been very little down-lining activity for larger fish, and William has not seen any schooling action. Overall William rates the bite as a 6 out of 10 and says that they haven’t seen any very big fish recently.
Some hybrid bass in the 3-pound range have been picked up in the middle of coves, and they are suspended about 15 feet deep in approximately 50 feet of water. However, the hottest bite is probably for catfish suspended underneath the hybrids about 40 feet down over 50 feet of water, and yesterday William’s boat caught 20 and left the fish biting. The catch was a mix of blues, channels and small flatheads, and the fish are clearly feeding on herring.
Overall, Clarks Hill is very close to full pool at 329.7.
Perch: Very good. Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) reports that in 2 ½ hours of fishing on the upper end of the lake his boat caught 73 white perch mixed in with some small striper. The fish were in about 26 feet of water on a flat in a creek, and both jigging spoons and minnows on a drop-shot rig were productive. It was clear to Wendell that bait had moved into the creeks.
Crappie: Good. Captain William Sasser reports that crappie can be found in the backs of coves 15-20 feet down over tree tops in about 30 feet of water. Look for brush at the ideal depth located in creek beds – the Georgia Little River area has been productive.
On the upper end of Clarks Hill Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) reports that his boat has gotten into some really nice crappie recently that ran up to about 16 inches. He found the fish in the back of the same creek where the perch were located, and they were holding about 5 feet deep around brush located in the middle of a 16-foot deep creek channel.
Black bass: Fair to good. Buckeye Lures in Augusta reports that the topwater bite continues to be strong early in the morning, and it will last all day if there is wind. The best places to fish are points and “barrel humps” – humps that are shallow enough that they are marked with navigation buoys to alert boaters to danger. Early and when the wind is blowing JWill swimbait heads rigged with a Swimmin’ Fluke or regular fluke, Sammys and Su-Spin blades rigged with flukes will all catch fish. When the wind is not blowing anglers can concentrate on the same spots and throw a jig or Spot Remover. Anglers looking for a big bite may want to throw a buzzbait around the grass, but this is not going to generate a large number of bites.
DHEC Fish Advisory: Only one meal per week of largemouth bass.