Lake Hartwell is up to 657.99 with water temperatures in the mid-50s some days, and as the lake begins to thaw out the fishing is picking up, too. Feeding activity is still not great but it is headed that way.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Fair. Captain Bill Plumley reports that as water temperatures are rising striper fishing is also picking up. There are not large numbers of fish being caught yet, but some good ones are biting. The best fishing is coming in the backs of creeks pulling free-lined live herring in 3-18 feet of water; the warm weather has some moved some feeding fish up. Fish are very scattered so anglers need to cover a lot of water. Captain Bill is not aware of any significant down-line pattern right now.
Catfish: Fair. Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) reports that blue catfish action is starting to pick up, and fish are just beginning to move into the creeks. Fish cut bait on the bottom in 2-18 feet of water.
Black bass: Fair. Guide Brad Fowler (864-934-5813) reports that the huge sacks which typically won local winter bass fishing tournaments this year are probably coming to an end, with a 24-pound bag that won the Clemson open bass fishing tournament last weekend possibly one of the last mid-20 pound bags for some time. At the same time it should become easier for everyone to get bit as the end of the feast-or-famine fishing may be a good sign for most people. Overall fish are starting to get into pre-spawn mode, and buck bass and smaller fish are starting to show up in the pockets as bass generally move shallower. However, a large number of fish still remain out deep, and there also continues to be a good schooling bite very early in the morning as fish roll on the surface chasing bait in the creek runs. Scrounger heads, jerkbaits and blade runners are all good options.
Crappie: Fair. Captain Bill Plumley reports that crappie fishing is finally starting to pick up on Lake Hartwell. While water temperatures have not yet warmed up enough for fish to make a significant move towards the shallows, that is very close to happening. For now Bill has had the best luck fishing around brush in 30-35 feet of water with minnows, but any day now fish will be moving to the banks if air temperatures stay warm.
Check out SCFishingTackle.com’s WEEKLY DEAL: Buckeye Lures Double-Bladed Buzzbait Sampler Pack for $23.99
(20% off TW’s price).DHEC Fish Advisories: Due to PCB advisories visithttp://www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/fish/Advisories/hartwell.htm before consuming any Lake Hartwell fish.