Clarks Hill water levels are at 328.29 and water temperatures are 74 or 75 degrees.
Bass fishing on Clarks Hill is known for having the potential to get a little tough once the herring spawn is completed, and unfortunately this year is no exception. In a 130-boat tournament last weekend it only took about 17 pounds to win and as would be expected Buckeye Lures in Augusta reports that it’s been a struggle to get good bites. The herring spawn is completed and without a lot of grass on the lake there isn’t a great pattern right now. It’s an in-between period on the lake.
Early in the morning there can be a schooling bite when bass pull up to feed on blueback herring that have moved shallower overnight, and these fish will take flukes, Spooks, and other topwater lures. This bite is nowhere near as good as it was a few weeks ago though. Some fish can also be caught on buzzbaits first thing.
While there is still a residual shallow bite early, overall this is an in-between period where fish aren’t really set up on their deeper summer holes, either. Soon it will be possible to catch fish on deeper, rocky points or deep humps with rocks, but right now shallower humps have been more productive. Humps that may rise as shallow as within four or five feet of the surface have been productive at times, and it seems that a hard, rocky bottom on the structure helps. Fish are also starting to set up on the side of deeper points but don’t seem to be way out on the deepest part of the points yet.
Crappie: Very good to excellent. Captain William Sasser (864-333-2000) reports that even though the spawn has passed his boat has been finding a very strong crappie bite which he expects to keep up into June. They are catching fishing 10 feet down over brush in 15-20 feet of water in the backs of coves off the main lake. Minnows have been working best.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good to very good. Captain William Sasser reports that right at daylight they are catching striper on the bottom in 25-30 feet of water on main lake points in the lower part of the lake. Mid-morning the bigger striper are pulling out to about 50 feet of water in big coves where they will set up on the bottom. There is also some good schooling activity in front of the dam and going up the Carolina side in the morning, and at the top of the lake there are still some pretty good fish being caught on cut bait.
Catfish: Good to very good. Captain William Sasser reports that with the recent full moon anglers can find both channel and flathead catfish spawning in the rocks around the bridges. The best technique is to fish a piece of cut herring on a Carolina rig or a split shot rig, similar to how you would fish a plastic worm, by casting the rig up towards the bank and letting it fall in between the rocks as you work it back to the boat. Use your trolling motor to maneuver parallel to the rocks. Early morning is the best time, and a mixed bag of fish including very nice cats can be caught this way.
Shellcracker: Good to very good. Captain William Sasser reports that shellcracker continue to spawning heavily on Clarks Hill, and this last full moon was particularly good. They can be found around blowthroughs and points and they will eat nightcrawlers fished on the bottom in 3-5 feet of water.