Lake Hartwell Fishing Report
Lake Hartwell is at 653.
Black Bass: Good to very good. Guide Brad Fowler (864-934-5813) reports that fish in all three stages of the spawn can still be caught onLakeHartwell, but it seems like most of the fish on the beds right now are smaller. Perhaps more big fish will move onto the beds on the next full moon. The strongest pattern has been topwater fishing, both around the banks and off points. Based on the water temperature the blueback herring should be up shallow and spawning, and some certainly are, but the bulk of the herring do not seem to be on the points yet. Bass are off the points, however, as if they expect huge numbers of herring to be there – or know that they are coming. The typical May pattern of fishing a fluke, Spook, or Scrounger head off the points is catching fish, and this pattern is about to be wide open. Overall it is a strange time for bass fishing onLakeHartwell, as you can pretty much fish the way you want to right now. 2-4 pounders can be caught on the bed, on topwater lures fished shallow or deeper, around docks or simply pounding the bank with soft plastics.
Striped and Hybrid Bass: Good. Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) reports that striper continue to be scattered out across the lake, from the dam up the creeks. Fish continue to relate to points, particularly as the blueback herring start to spawn off them, and anchor fishing cut or live bait off the points early has been a strong pattern. Pulling free lines across shallow points has also been very successful, and Captain Bill’s boat has caught strong numbers of fish as well as a 35 pounder this way. There has also been some good down line fishing 20-25 feet deep over approximately 30 feet of water.
Crappie: Good. Captain Bill Plumley reports that the crappie bite has changed in the past week or two, and fish are no longer all over the banks. The bulk of the crappie seem to have completed spawning and pulled out to brush in 6-10 feet of water, where they can be caught on both jigs and minnows. Fish should move out deeper soon with water temperatures continuing to rise. Finally, the bridge bite should be coming on strong, particularly at night.
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Bill Plumley reports that blue catfish continue to be scattered out in the creeks and feeding pretty well, but they have moved deeper into 15-30 feet of water. Anchoring and fan casting with cut herring, gizzard shad, or other fresh cut bait will still catch fish, but blue cats are in the process of pulling out of the creeks and won’t be around too much longer. At the same time that the blue cat bite weakens the channel catfish bite is getting stronger, with channels being caught on cut herring, night crawlers, and beginning to be caught on dip baits. 5-10 feet of water is the best depth for channels right now.
DHEC Fish Advisories: Due to PCB advisories visit http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/water/fish/Advisories/hartwell.htm before consuming anyLakeHartwell fish.