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Lake Hartwell Fishing News and Report (Updated August 13)

  • by Jay

Typical of late summer Guide Brad Fowler (864-934-5813) reports that the bass bite has slowed down somewhat on Lake Hartwell, but there are still fish to be caught.  In fact, anglers looking to catch numbers of fish should have no trouble catching a ton of bass drop shotting around deep structure, particularly when there is the additional presence of cover such as a brush pile.  The majority of these fish will be smaller spotted bass although some bigger fish can be mixed in.

While numbers of fish can be found out deeper, Brad has found that there are still a pretty good number of fish up shallow.  Although water levels have dropped a couple of feet in the past few weeks relatively high water levels are still keeping a decent number of fish up.

Brad’s favored technique for summer bass fishing on Lake Hartwell is fishing topwater lures offshore, but that bite has been not been as good as expected – perhaps because of higher than normal water levels.  Still, it is possible to call up some fish with lures like Sammie, Spooks, Sebilles and flukes.

Guide Brad Fowler's son with a nice Lake Hartwell bass caught in the heat
Guide Brad Fowler’s son with a nice Lake Hartwell bass caught in the heat

Overall, Lake Hartwell is at 657.22 and in addition to smaller bass there is a pretty fair bite for some other species.

Striped and hybrid bass:  Good.  Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) reports that his boat is catching solid numbers of fish from the mid-lake to the dam around shoals and along the river channel.  The best action is coming down-lining live herring 35-50 feet deep, and this could be over 100 or more feet of water.  They are also catching good numbers of fish trolling lead core line along the edge of the river channel.  Plugs including “Grandma” plugs, bucktails and soft plastics are all working this way and the trolling bite has been good both day and night – with daytime a bit stronger.  While Bill has seen some sporadic schooling action with a mix of spotted bass as well as a few striper and hybrids, these fish are not staying up for very long.  However, it’s getting to be that time on Lake Hartwell and next month schooling activity should be wide open.

Catfish: Good.  Captain Bill Plumley reports that the channel catfish bite continues to be pretty strong fishing in 10-25 feet of water across the lake.  Anglers can either drift or anchor, and dip bait, night crawlers and cut herring are all working.  At night flathead catfish can be caught on live perch and bream, but the bigger blues are out in the deep timber and very difficult to target.  A few small blues continue to show up while fishing for channels.

Crappie: Slow to fair.  Captain Bill Plumley reports that he is not doing any intentional crappie fishing in the heat of August, but he has caught a few as incidental catches while fishing herring on the bottom recently.  They have come around brush on the bottom in 25-30 feet of water.

DHEC Fish Advisories: Due to PCB advisories visit before consuming any Lake Hartwell fish.