Lake Hartwell Fishing Report
Lake Hartwell is at 656.5.
Catfish: Good. Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) reports that channel catfish are still biting well, particularly on dip bait, although cut herring and nightcrawlers will also catch fish. Fish are spread out all over the lake in the 5-35 foot range. Flathead fishing remains strong and Captain Bill continues to pick up flatheads while striper fishing with herring. Flatheads can be caught early and late, but the best action often comes 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 white 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.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Fair to good. Captain Bill Plumley reports that striper fishing was very good until about a week ago, but since then it has slowed somewhat. The best fishing is out in the mouths of creeks along the old river run, and fish are generally suspended 35-50 feet deep where they will take down-lined herring. The fish kill last year seems to have killed a lot of the bigger fish, and the smaller striper seem not to want to get as deep as the schools sometimes do in the late summer. Very little schooling activity has been seen.
Black bass: Fair. Guide Brad Fowler (864-934-5813) reports that fishing is a few weeks away from getting good, but for now some bass can still be caught and there is already marginal improvement. As temperatures are starting to drop the bite is beginning to get a bit better and more schooling activity has been seen. For now Brady’s major pattern has been fishing up the Tugaloo River with flukes, Spooks, swimbaits and other topwater lures – fish are inconsistent about what they want to eat and so anglers need to be prepared to give them different options. While it may be easy to mark deeper fish on a graph they have been difficult to catch on rigs like a drop shot, and the shallow fish have also been a little unpredictable. On some days fish can be seen up shallow cruising but with water levels dropping they have been inconsistently present and eating.
Crappie: Slow to fair. Captain Bill Plumley reports that crappie are being caught at night around bridges 17-25 feet deep in 25-30 feet of water. Fish are also being found in 17-30 feet of water suspended over timber, although the timber may be as deep as 75 feet or more. Daytime fish are being caught on jigs but especially minnows, with night fish almost exclusively caught on minnows.
DHEC Fish Advisories: Due to PCB advisories visit http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/fish/Advisories/hartwell.htm before consuming any Lake Hartwell fish.