Lake Hartwell Fishing Report April 11 2019 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive
Written by Rick Owen – Lake Hartwell Professional Fishing Guide
Our Lake Hartwell Fishing Report April 11 2019
Okay, let’s try to sum up the fishing on Lake Hartwell right now in a word, how about “Fantastic”! The water temperature is now up above that magic number of sixty degrees and the females are all full of eggs which is adding the weight that we all are looking for no matter the species that you target. You just could not ask for the weather to be much better with just a few typical rain and thunder showers which are normal for April with no cold rides up or down the lake now that the air temperatures are in the high fifties just before daylight each morning. There is nothing like being on the water early and watching a Lake Hartwell sun rise. With the many tournament schedules being fished each weekend you might just want to get on the water as early as possible to avoid the long lines at the boat ramps.
It looks really cool to see all the boats launching and floating around with the red, green and white lights shining while everyone waits for their blast off as long as you are not at the end of a mile long line wanting to launch your boat to go fishing. Keep in mind during the upcoming spring break that if you are interested in a fishing clinic for the kids I offer at no cost these types of fishing clinics to get kids interested in the sport of fishing. This clinic is great for younger kids in church or school groups or clubs and gives kids a great introduction to the sport of fishing. The fishing for this week will be great if you follow the spawn. Depending on the species you are targeting it will be easy to locate your fish of choice f you follow the normal patterns for spring fishing.
I have my new boat in the water now and it has been really nice to be back on the water just in time to catch fish when they are the most predictable. It’s still my main key right now to be on the water as early as possible weather permitting. This week we will see some temperatures reaching into the low eighties by mid-day so it will be nice to get that early start and have the boat back on the trailer and cleaned before the day heats up. The bite has been strong on major points and around shoals and islands where the water is shallow.
The Lake Hartwell water levels continue to drop due to the lower amounts of rainfall which has the levels at 660.19, which is .19 feet above the 660 full pool levels. The current water temperatures have reached the low sixties which are prime water temperatures for fishing Lake Hartwell. If you are interested in booking a fun filled day of fishing for Stripers or our hard fighting Hybrids on Lake Hartwell give Captain Mack a call. The fishing will be great and it’s a good time to learn how to fish Lake Hartwell.
STRIPED BASS & HYBRIDS
Striper and Hybrid fishing on Lake Hartwell is great right now with the fish continuing to move up the lake and into shallower waters to follow through with their false spawn. Now that the water temperatures have reached into the sixties the fish will soon dump their eggs and the Striper and Hybrid bite will be fast and furious over the next several weeks. When this happens you had better be ready to bait hooks and dip fish because the fishing will be on and if you luck up and find yourself in the right spot at the right time you will empty a bait tank quickly! Stripers and Hybrids are still scattered all over the lake but many schools are moving up the rivers for their false spawn. The live bait bite is great right now and if you like to catch fish on down rods and freelines you won’t be disappointed.
The bait shops are supplying really nice quality bait and they now have any size bait that you are looking for. Freelines with or without planer boards are catching a lot of fish. I’ve found that may times the larger fish come off the free lines even though we are not currently seeing many big Stripers on Lake Hartwell. We are catching fish off of down rods, free lines, U-Rigs and casting top water baits as well as swim baits like a SteelShad.
The Stripers are still experiencing some parasite problems but it does not seem that it has slowed their appetite any. The largest Striper that I have personally heard about over this past week weighed around ten pounds but according to SCDNR they have shocked up several big Stripers so hang in there and maybe a big fish will show when you are fishing up the river where the biggest fish should be right now.
If you watched any of the Bassmaster Elite Series this past week you will already know by now that the bass fishing is reaching its peak. Largemouth and Spotted Bass are still being caught on Weedless Wonder‘s, SteelShads ,Mini Mack’s various Crankb aits, Spinner baits, Topwater baits, Jerkbaits and of course your favorite plastics, so did I cover it all? It seems to me that every pro caught fish while fishing every type of bait under the sun over this past week and the bass were caught all over the lake. I was up the Seneca River Saturday when it looked like the Daytona 500 coming up the lake at safe light! When it comes to Lake Hartwell Bass fishing it seems to me that whatever you have the most confidence in should be your go to bait during the Bass spawn.
I personally watched the pro’s fish several different patterns during this tournament and they all caught a lot of fish. Now that the Lake Hartwell Geico Bassmaster Elite Series is behind us and we know what the bass are doing right now, and even though all the bass have not completely committed to their beds I can tell you that they are moving up fast so hang in there and you are sure to catch a big bag soon. Twenty nine year old Brandon Cobb from Greenwood South Carolina landed his first Bassmaster Elite series win with a 72Lb 14oz. total after leading the series each day of the four day tournament this past weekend. Congratulations to all those who fished hard and treated Lake Hartwell to a grand professional event for all their fans.
The Crappie bite remains excellent and will continue to peak this month. The big Crappie spawn has begun and the Crappie are being caught with some good limits being brought back to the dock. The spawn will last for several weeks as not all the Crappie spawn at one time. The shorelines remain lined up with folks fishing from the banks as well as those of us who fish from our boats.
I’m getting some good reports of some good Crappie being caught at night under bridges fishing minnows under lights. The crappie can still be found under boat docks and in or around blow downs or in brush. If you use your side imaging on your graph you can
locate the fish much quicker as you move from one spot or dock to another. This can be the difference between a good day and a great day of Crappie fishing on any lake.
Wishing you all tight lines and good fishing! Rick Owen – Lake Hartwell Professional Fishing Guide (Ret.) Certified SCDNR Fishing Instructor
To book your next Lake Hartwell fishing adventure please call Captain Mack Farr