Lake Hartwell Fishing Report
Lake Hartwell is at 657.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Very good. Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) reports that striper bass fishing has gotten hot, with most fish from the mid-lake area down to the dam. Pretty much everything that is being caught is coming 30-60 feet deep on down-lines. Sometimes the fish are oriented in the main channel suspended over very deep water, and sometimes they are holding off long points that swing in close to the channel. There has been a little schooling activity near the dam but not enough to count on as a reliable pattern.
Catfish: Good. Captain Bill Plumley reports that channel catfish are biting very well, particularly on dip bait, although cut herring and nightcrawlers will also catch fish. Fish are spread out all over the lake and their depth range has gotten a little deeper with fish in the 10-30 foot range. Always catchable in warm water, flathead fishing has gotten really good in the last couple of weeks and one morning Captain Bill picked up three flatheads out of the same spot while striper fishing with live herring. While flatheads can obviously be caught early and late, the best action may be at night fishing around stick-ups and brush fairly shallow in 5-10 feet of water. Brush on top of humps is particularly strong and live bream and perch are the best baits. Blue catfish are generally out in deeper water where they will spend the summer in the timber – and are very difficult to catch.
White perch: Good. Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) reports that on the lower end of the Lake Hartwell he has been catching strong numbers of perch, mainly in 30-40 feet of water. They are mixed in with small striper and will take minnows and small herring.
Black bass: Fair. Guide Brad Fowler (864-934-5813) reports that fishing had slowed substantially a couple of weeks ago, but since then trips have gotten a little more productive again. Brad is unsure if this is a result of an overall improved bite or because he has been fishing much further up the Seneca and Tugaloo Rivers where action may have never gotten very slow. Regardless, a few weeks ago fish were more mixed between deep and shallow water, but as the water levels dropped a lot of the fish seemed to leave the shallows. However, with all the recent rains that trend could reverse. Overall, fish can be found 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. Topwater action has also gotten more consistent, and these fish can be called up with lures such as Spooks, Sammies, swimbaits and flukes. The fish that are in the shallows have also been willing to take topwater lures such as buzzbaits and frogs.
Crappie: Slow. Captain Bill Plumley reports that crappie fishing remains pretty tough, but fish can be caught around bridges at night. During the day some crappie have also been caught over brush 17-25 feet deep in about 30 feet of water. Minnows are producing best but slabtail jigs will also catch fish.
DHEC Fish Advisories: Due to PCB advisories visit http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/fish/Advisories/hartwell.htm before consuming any Lake Hartwell fish.