Lake Hartwell Fishing Report
Lake Hartwell is at 660.5.
Crappie: Fair to good. Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) reports that water temperatures warmed recently and fish scattered out and moved toward the banks, but then temperatures dropped a bit, fish backed off and the bite cooled as well. However, with warm temperatures returning look for the fish to move shallower again. Overall, a good pattern is to look for fish around deeper docks or brush in the 10-12 foot range, and in the afternoon when water temperatures warm up look for fish to move up around the shallow grass still around from the last drought – or in the very backs. Both minnows and jigs will work. Some fish have spawned but not all of them, and since temperatures fluctuate and the fish move day to day be flexible and willing to adjust if one pattern is not working.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Fair to good. Captain Bill Plumley reports that fish are scattered all over the place. He has caught fish up the Keowee and the Tugaloo, and he has also caught fish out on the main lake. Free lines will catch fish and some fish are being caught on down lines, but Captain Bill’s boat has been having the best results pulling up on the bank around points and throwing out live bait on the bottom in 6-20 feet of water. Lots of spotted bass are also being caught that way. A few birds remain but most of them are gone, and Captain Bill has not seen schooling activity yet.
Catfish: Fair. Captain Bill Plumley reports that the blue catfish have still not really moved up in the creeks well, and for now the best bet is to look in 12-15 feet of water with cut bait on the bottom. Once water temperatures hit the mid-60s the fish will move shallower in the creeks. A few channels have been caught, and this bite will also get better as the temperatures warm.
Black bass: Fair. Guide Brad Fowler (864-934-5813) reports that there are a lot of similarities between what bass seem to be doing on Lake Keowee and Lake Hartwell. As on Keowee, with water temperatures in the upper 50s and low 60s a lot of bass are still out deep on Hartwell in 25-30 feet of water, including some very big spots. Drop shot rigs, shakey head worms and Carolina rigs can all catch these fish. There are also a lot of fish up on the banks spawning, but there do not seem to be a lot of visible fish up shallow cruising. They seem to be heading to the banks and pretty quickly beginning spawning activity, and then leaving afterwards. Shallow fish can be caught around the old grass on scrounger heads with flukes, softs plastics and spinnerbaits on windy days. Again, more fish seem to be pre-spawn than post-spawn this late spring.
DHEC Fish Advisories: Due to PCB advisories visit http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/fish/Advisories/hartwell.htm before consuming any Lake Hartwell fish.