Lake Hartwell Fishing Report
Lake Hartwell is at 659.
Catfish: Very good. Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) reports that channel catfish are biting very well on dip bait, although cut herring and night crawlers will also catch fish. Fish are spread out all over the lake and they can be found in 10-20 feet of water right now. It doesn’t matter if anglers are fishing points, pockets, etc. – just stay in the right depth range. Blue catfish are mostly out in deeper water where they will spend the summer in the timber – and are very difficult to catch. However, some flathead catfish are being picked up at night, and fish can be caught at night around stick-ups and brush fairly shallow in 5-10 feet of water. Brush on top of humps is particularly strong. Live bream and perch are the best baits.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Fair to good. Captain Bill Plumley reports that striped bass are in an unusual patter for this late in the summer, and instead of being grouped up in deep water in the lower lake they are a lot more scattered out than usual. Fish can still be found up the Seneca and Tugaloo Rivers, with the greatest numbers of fishing seeming to be mid-lake and in the rivers. Fishing down lines in 30-40 feet of water has been the most productive pattern, with fish being found both off points and in the channels. In the lower lake lots of small striper can be caught on down-lines fished about 20 feet deep in 40-50 feet of water.
Black bass: Fair. Guide Brad Fowler (864-934-5813) reports that the pattern remains pretty similar, with fish mixed between shallow and deep water. A significant number of fish are up shallow, either because they are keying on bream beds or just cruising around the old growth from when the lake levels were down. Buzzbaits, frogs and soft plastics will all work. A significant number of fish are also out in deep water around points and humps, particularly those with timber and brush. Drop shot rigs, shakey head worms, Carolina rigs and Texas rigs will all catch these fish, but fishing topwater lures such Spooks, Sammies, swimbaits and flukes can also call them up. Topwater action has been spotty to this point.
Crappie: Slow. Captain Bill Plumley reports that crappie fishing remains pretty tough, but fish can be caught around bridges and deep brush at night in about 20-25 feet of water. Minnows are producing best but slabtail jigs will also catch fish. Captain Bill did catch some crappie on herring in 40 feet of water last week!
DHEC Fish Advisories: Due to PCB advisories visit http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/fish/Advisories/hartwell.htm before consuming any Lake Hartwell fish.