For anglers who define spring not based on a calendar but as the time when crappie spawn, there can be doubt that spring has arrived on Clarks Hill! Captain William Sasser (864-333-2000) reports that almost all of the fish have moved up shallow, and in the backs of coves crappie are spawning and eating very well.
There are two primary patterns for catching them, with the first being to long-line troll (pull) jigs in the creeks and coves in approximately 4-8 feet of water. This can be the preferred method for guides and others who have anglers on their boats with a wide range of skills. The other main way to catch fish is by casting jigs and minnows under corks around shallow, shoreline cover.
Overall, Clarks Hill is at 328.96 and water temperatures are varying wildly according to William. At lunch yesterday he read temperatures around 63 degrees, but ironically later in the afternoon he saw temperatures in the low 50s (based upon the generation schedule). Time of day, sunlight levels and power generation can all affect the temperature and upper 50s is a good average estimate.
Striped and hybrid bass: Good. Captain William Sasser reports that fish are scattered out over shallow and deep water, but the common denominator is that with warming water temperatures most of the fish are at the top of the water column. On the lower part of the lake, out in front of the dam, and on the South Carolina side of the dam fish can be found on points early in the morning. Pulling free-lines and planer boards very high in the water column, usually about 6-8 feet deep, has been the best pattern and some of the fish are in open water as deep as 50-80 feet. Schools are very broken up and fish are moving around. With fish so shallow down-lining has been a little tricky, but particularly hybrids have been caught down-lining herring 12-14 feet deep.