Lake Hartwell Fishing Report April 4 2019

Lake Hartwell Fishing Report April 4 2019

Lake Hartwell Fishing Report April 4 2019 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive

Written by Rick Owen – Lake Hartwell Professional Fishing Guide

Our Lake Hartwell Fishing Report April 4 2019

If you are familiar with fishing on Lake Hartwell in April you know that you can just about flip a coin or roll the dice to see which way you want to go! The first week of April you can find fish just about anywhere you want to fish from the backs of the creeks and rivers to the major points near the Hartwell dam. I’ve found in the last forty years of fishing this lake that even if the weather changes from one week to another the fish still know when it’s time to make their move. I’m one of those folks who will try to stay away from the crowds as the fish move up the rivers and creeks to spawn so I like to fish for fish that are a week or two behind the first schools of fish that make that first move. It’s not a lot of fun to have to take a number in some of the smaller creeks full of fish or be rod tip to rod tip with other anglers so sometimes it’s just best to go in a different direction to have your best chance of catching some quality fish. I’ve always been the fisherman who would help anyone by telling them where to fish on any given day and the first week or two of April makes that a real easy choice when it’s just as easy to go up the lake or run to the dam, just make it easy for you and go catch some fish.

The fishing for this week will be good and maybe even great depending on where you are fishing. I have not had an opportunity to spend much time on the water this week being between boats but my best sources tell me that the bite is good and the fish are still located all over the lake. I will be back on the water again before this coming weekend and after looking through my log books I still stand by my earlier mentioned statement that I would not be afraid to go up or down the lake to find fish. One main key right now is to be on the water as early as possible. The bite can start before daylight on any major point. The Lake Hartwell water levels are dropping due to the lower amounts of rainfall which has the levels at 660.80, which is .80 feet above the 660 full pool levels. The current water temperatures remain in the mid to higher fifties and will only warm up when we get some warmer nights. If you are interested in booking a fun filled day 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.


Striper and Hybrid fishing on Lake Hartwell is still very good and will become even better after the water warms up. I’m looking for that magic number when the surface temperature reaches sixty degrees and stays that way for a few days. When this happens you had better be ready to bait hooks and dip fish because the fishing will be on! Stripers and Hybrids are still scattered all over the lake but they are headed up the rivers for their false spawn so I will give you two guesses where most of the boats will be heading soon. The live bait bite is good now and if you like to catch fish on down rods and freelines you won’t have any problems.

The bait shops are supplying good quality bait and it looks like the issues we had earlier in the year with Blueback Herring are now behind us. Now that the bait shops are filled back up with quality bait you will be able to drop live bait on good schools of fish and get rods bent under the boat and it won’t take you long to empty a bait tank. Freelines with and without planer boards will also boat you some good fish.

I’ve found that may times the larger fish come off the freelines. When the bait tank is empty drop you’re U-rigs and Mini Mack’s back into the water pulling them across a few points and the mouth of the coves you caught your fish in and you just might hook up with some doubles which is more fun than you could ever imagine.


Bass fishing is still improving and the bass will continue to move up once the nights begin to warm up. Largemouth and Spotted Bass are still being caught on Weedless Wonder‘s, SteelShad and Mini Mack’s as well as various Crankbaits, Rattletraps and Jerkbaits and of course your favorite plastics. I know that the bass will be on bed just any day now, so get your go to bait for bedded fish on the ready. When it comes to fishing a bass bed there are many plastics and colors that work good on Hartwell. As Lake Hartwell continues to warm up I’m sure your favorite Plastics, Crankbaits, Jerkbaits, A-Rigs and Swimbaits in shallower waters will get the job done. Get ready Lake Hartwell, the Geico Bassmaster Elite Series starts tomorrow on April 4th and will run through April 7th 2019. The weather forecast for this weekend is calling for the high seventies so this will be a good time to see what the Pros are doing to catch a big box of fish.


The Crappie bite remains excellent and will peak this month. The big Crappie spawn has begun and the big 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 are lining up with folks fishing from the banks as well as those of us who fish from our boats. This is a great time to put a kid on the bank with a bobber and minnow to lock them into fishing for life. Don’t tell anybody but I’m still the big kid that loves to see a fishing float go under, it’s a thrill even after all these years! The crappie can still be found under boat docks and they will move back to the bridges after the spawn. 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. It won’t be too long and you will see boats fishing under bridges over night under lights to catch crappie.

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

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