Lake Hartwell Fishing Report
Lake Hartwell is at 659.5.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Slow to fair. Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) reports that striper fishing has improved significantly on the lakes. The average size of fish has been 3-6 pounds, and one angler reported releasing 76 fish from one school. Fish are scattered and they have been found out in the middle on the main lake and up the major rivers and creeks including the Seneca, Tugaloo and 6 and 20 Creek. Most fish are being caught trolling umbrella rigs and free lines right now, and there is less action on down lines. For umbrella rig fishing most anglers are pulling the rigs on about 80-120 feet of line – many of the fish seem to be suspended in about 25-30 feet of water. Free lines have been most productive pulled around the banks. Some isolated schooling activity has been reported, and birds including loons are starting to show back up and point the way to the fish.
Crappie: Fair to good. Captain Bill Plumley reports that crappie fishing continues to improve. Fish are being caught right over the top of brush in 25 feet of water with minnows and jigs about 15-20 feet down. There also continues to be some action around bridges at night.
Catfish: Fair. Captain Bill Plumley reports that the catfish have not yet gotten into a very strong winter pattern, but the best location to look for fish has been in the backs of creeks with some good flow or around main lake points in 15-40 feet of water. Both blues and channels have been in these areas. For blue catfish cut herring, gizzard shad and white perch (when available) have been the best baits, and for channels herring and nightcrawlers have been good. Dip baits have slowed down as the water cools.
Black bass: Slow. Guide Brad Fowler (864-934-5813) reports that bass fishing on Lake Hartwell has been pretty tough, with fish suspended from shallow to deep (as deep as 25 or so feet) water. There are also a lot of schooling fish, but they are keying on very, very small bait and have been difficult to catch. The best baits have been Alabama rigs, Scrounger head/ flukes, and drop shots, but nothing has been hot.
DHEC Fish Advisories: Due to PCB advisories visit http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/fish/Advisories/hartwell.htm before consuming any Lake Hartwell fish.