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Clarks Hill (GA/SC) Fishing Report – Updated April 13

  • by Jay

Clarks Hill water levels are at 330.03 and water temperatures average in the low 60s.

In the last few years it has not been uncommon for the best fishing of the year on Clarks Hill to be almost starting to wind down by mid-April, but that isn’t a concern this year!  Buckeye Lures in Augusta says that while things got off to a red-hot start in March, since then water temperatures have fallen backwards and held steady with all the cool nights and daytime temperatures.

While a lot of fish have already spawned, there is still a good group of fish that have yet to spawn.  And perhaps more importantly for the bass fishing, the blueback herring spawn has yet to really get underway.  Water temperatures usually have to get into the 68-70 degree range on Clarks Hill for the herring spawn to really take off, and they are well short of that.  While a few herring spawned around the last full moon when water temperatures were higher, the bulk of the herring spawn is yet to come.

The best fishing is taking place around rocky points, and fish are holding out a little bit from the bank.  Water temperatures were going backwards and so the bait pulled out towards deeper water, and the fish backed up with it.  At times there has been schooling activity when an event (often boat traffic) will push the baitfish shallower and bass will start attacking them.

Both Spot Removers and The Sled have been very good for catching fish right now, and flukes and smaller topwater baits such as Sammies and Gunfish 95s have been working well at times.

Striped Bass: Good to very good.  Captain William Sasser (864-333-2000) reports that early in the morning on the South Carolina side of the lake fishing has been good from Fishing Village down to the dam.  First thing striper are feeding in 4-10 feet of water around main lake points chasing herring, and they can be caught pulling free lines and casting lures such as Red Fins.  As it gets to be mid-morning fish will pull out deeper off the same points and sit on the bottom in 25-28 feet of water where they will eat herring fished on down-lines just off the bottom.  The bite has been very strong until about lunchtime and they have caught some big fish up to 36 pounds and good numbers of striper as well as some catfish.

A monster fish caught on William Sasser's boat
A monster fish caught on William Sasser’s boat

And today's catch - courtesy of William Sasser Guide Service
And today’s catch – courtesy of William Sasser Guide Service

Crappie: Fair to good.  Captain William Sasser reports that most of the crappie are post-spawn, although there are still a decent number of pre-spawn fish which are hanging around the banks.  The post-spawn fish have not pulled way out towards the main river and instead they are hanging around the creek beds towards the backs of coves.  They are over the tops of trees in 15-20 feet, and fishing small shiners straight down has been the best way to catch them.

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