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Lake Russell Fishing Report

About Lake Russell

The newest, middle and smallest of the three Savannah River chain lakes managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lake Russell is located in the Piedmont region of South Carolina and Georgia between Lake Hartwell to the northwest and Clarks Hill/ Lake Thurmond to the southeast.  The Russell Dam is located 30 miles downstream from Hartwell Dam and 37 miles upstream from J. Strom Thurmond Dam, and the lake is situated in Anderson and Abbeville counties in South Carolina and Hart and Elberton counties in Georgia.  Construction began in 1974, and the lake was impounded beginning in October of 1983 and reached its full pool elevation of 475 feet in December of 1984.  Lake Russell contains 26,650 acres of water and 540 miles of shoreline, and surrounding the lake there is a 300-foot publicly owned setback which prohibits private docks or clearing trees.  Development on adjacent private land is generally not visible on the lake.  While jet skis are allowed on Lake Russell, personal watercraft can’t be stored on private docks and have to be trailered there, which seriously limits the numbers.  The relative absence of recreational boaters make this deep, clear lake filled with standing timber a fisherman’s paradise!

Anglers target a variety of species on Lake Russell, including largemouth and prolific spotted bass, trophy striped bass and hybrid bass, healthy populations of crappie, channel catfish and white and yellow perch, and an abundance of bream – particularly small ones.  The forage base on Lake Russell is very healthy, and there are prolific numbers of threadfin shad, gizzard shad and blueback herring.  In fact, herring are so common in Lake Russell that commercial bait fishermen drive hundreds of miles to fish this lake.

June 30

Lake Russell water levels are just under full at 474.93 (full pool is 475.00), and morning surface water temperatures have risen into the low to mid-80s. The lake is relatively clear. 

The bass fishing has gotten good on Lake Russell, but Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports

June 16

Lake Russell water levels are at 474.21 (full pool is 475.00), and before the cold snap water temperatures were 79-80 in the morning and 83-84 in the afternoon. Water temperatures have dropped several degrees but should quickly rebound. The lake is relatively clear. 

It’s a little unclear whether it is the very, very tail end of the herring spawn or whether bass are just still hanging around in the same places, but Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports

Looking for More?

Read more fishing reports from Lake Russell and other popular places at the AHQ Report!