Lake Hartwell Fishing Report August 15 2019

Lake Hartwell Fishing Report August 15 2019

Lake Hartwell Fishing Report August 15 2019

If you find yourself looking forward to reading a fishing report written about your home lake or any other lake that you spend time fishing you will find that there can be many differences in what is happening on one body of water compared to another body of water. I live on Lake Hartwell and it is the main lake that I fish but that does not mean that I won’t slip off and fish another lake if I’m invited or especially if I hear that the fishing is better or in my case there’s a really good chance of catching a big fish. Lake Hartwell can get tough sometimes when the water temperatures get hot and on many occasions this is the only excuse that someone might need to visit another lake that is producing better fishing conditions.

I said all of that to say this, don’t stop fishing Lake Hartwell if it gets tough, if you are familiar with the essential tools for fishing Lake Hartwell in the hotter months you will have no problem catching fish. Currently the fishing conditions are changing almost daily and you have to spend the time on the water to stay with the fish and you may have to change a few things to catch fish when the water temperatures are rising and the lake levels are dropping but if you hang in there you will continue to catch the fish that you spend your time fishing for. If you need a break from Lake Hartwell I can assure you that you won’t have to drive very far to find another lake close by that is producing good fish, but I choose to fish Lake Hartwell and it is the lake that I fish every week so I feel that I’m up for the challenge even when the conditions change. The greatest thing about fishing in August is that it can be hot in more ways than one, so let’s go fishing! The Lake Hartwell bite has remained good with the water conditions remaining favorable for fishing.

The current Lake Hartwell water levels continue to drop with only brief showers over the past week. The levels at the time of this report are 658.51 which are 1.49 feet below the 660 full pool levels. The current water temperature have started to rise again and are in the mid- eighties before sunrise and will be in the high eighties by noon. With hotter days in the upcoming forecast I would expect that the water temperatures will raise again back into the ninety degree levels. The Army Corp of Engineers will continue with their normal summertime generating schedules now that the summer demands are in full swing. The Striper and Hybrid bite continues to be the best through the week when the dam is generating power.

STRIPED BASS & HYBRIDS

Striper and Hybrid fishing on Lake Hartwell has continued to be good with most of the fish continuing to be caught from the middle of the lake all the way to the dam as the Stripers and Hybrids continue to move into the deeper waters. The live bait bite is still really good if you are in the right spot with live bait under the boat right before sunrise.

The fish tend to be found feeding in fifty feet of water right before the sun gets above the trees and then they move into deeper water right off the river channels. For some reason this past week I’ve found that the fish are not bunched up like they normally are this time of the year. I will give you a nugget of advice, if you mark a few fish suspended fish them and there will be other fish that will join in on the bite. My best live bait bite continues to be from 5:30am until 7:30am. I’m still catching most of my fish suspending bait over the fish and live bait continues to die almost immediately if fished off the bottom. As soon as the live bait bite is over with I will start trolling my Captain Mack Umbrella Rigs and this will help me finish out my day before the fish move into the deeper waters. While trolling if you mark a large school of fish suspended deep in the
river channel be sure to Power Reel these fish, they will bite almost every time.

This coming week I will dust off my lead core rod and reels and start pulling leadcore for the big fish bite. If you know anything about fishing lead core you already know that it usually produces bigger fish when they get in the Savannah River very close to the dam. We know that last year’s fish kill claimed many of the bigger fish and this has had a huge impact on the size of the fish that are currently being caught on Lake Hartwell, but there are still some big fish to catch if you put the baits down deep in the river channels where they are hanging out. If you don’t mind staying up late at night the night fishing will be continue to be good for the rest of this month. Even though I personally don’t night fish any longer I’m hearing that the late afternoon as well as night fishing is producing fish at the dam so if you are set up for night fishing and don’t mind staying up it can be worth the effort to catch a good box of fish. Now is the best time of the year to climb into a boat that teaches all the different method’s that you can use to locate fish and catch Stripers and Hybrids while learning all the seasonal patterns that Stripers and Hybrids follow as well as the best ways to catch these fish during these different seasonal patterns.

Over the last few weeks we have had the opportunity to fish several Instructional Trips and those who have been in the boat have been able to go back out on their own and duplicate what they have learned about how to fish for Stripers and Hybrids. For me personally the greatest reward out of an Instructional Trip is when you get a text with a few pictures of the results of what someone has learned as they catch fish in their own boat. Now there are only a couple of professional Striper fishermen that will share everything that you need to know to catch Stripers and Hybrids but if you get a chance to get into a teaching boat take that trip. This could be the best trip that you will ever take and it will increase your odds of catching fish tremendously on any Striper or Hybrid lake.

If you are interested in booking an Instructional Trip or guide trip give Captain Mack a call at 770-235-8135.

Go to baits for this week.

• Live Blueback Herring fished on down rods and free lines. The bait shops are all suppling quality bait. Be sure to add ice and O2 to your tank to keep this bait healthy during your trip.
• Okuma Live Bait Rods with the Okuma Cold Water CW203D reels. What a great match, this rod and reel combo is the perfect Striper and Hybrid combo and it is unmatched in its ability to handle a good fish while giving you all you need to enjoy the fight. This rod and reel combo is the perfect tool and I would give this rod and reel an A++ for Striper Live Bait Fishing.
• Keep Alive Oxygen System. This system will make a huge difference in your bait during the summer months. I personally believe that it will help keep your bait in perfect condition during a hot day and increase your odds of catching fish.
• Captain Mack Umbrella Rigs. I will not go to the lake without them!
• Captain Mack Mini Mack’s – they will catch good fish if trolled or pulled behind your Perfect Planer Boards.
• Perfect Planer Boards. The early morning free line bite behind Planer Boards will return later in the fall so now is a good time to get your Planer Boards ready for the upcoming fall fishing patterns.
• Chipmunk Jigs for Power Reeling or while pulling leadcore line. It’s time to stock up as Power Reeling and lead core pulling has now taken off. I suggest the 2oz with or without stinger hooks rigged on a Captain Mack Mustard Stick Rod. You will not find another rod that will work better for Power Reeling, pulling Captain Mack Umbrella Rigs or while pulling lead core line.
• Parker Spoons also used to Power Reel. This bite will only get better as the bigger fish move into deeper water.

Go to baits for this week:

• Live Blueback Herring fished on down rods and free lines. The bait shops are all suppling nice big quality bait. Be sure to add ice and O2 to your tank to keep this bait healthy during your trip.
• This has been my first week to pair up the Okuma Live Bait Rods with the Okuma Cold Water CW203D reels. What a great match, this rod and reel combo is the perfect Striper and Hybrid combo and it is unmatched in its ability to handle a good fish while giving you all you need to enjoy the fight. This rod and reel combo is the perfect tool and I would give this rod and reel an A++ for Striper Live Bait Fishing.
• Keep Alive Oxygen System. This system will make a huge difference in your bait during the summer months. I personally believe that it will help keep your bait in perfect condition during a hot day and increase your odds of catching fish.
• SteelShad are still working great for schooling or breaking fish. This bait will catch all bass species when cast to points or fished in deep or shallow waters.
• Captain Mack Umbrella Rigs. I will not go to the lake without them!
• Captain Mack Mini Mack’s – they will catch good fish if trolled or pulled behind your Perfect Planer Boards.
• Perfect Planer Boards. The early morning free line bite behind Planer Boards will return later in the fall so now is a good time to get your Planer Boards ready for the upcoming fall fishing patterns.
• Chipmunk Jigs for Power Reeling or while pulling leadcore line. It’s time to stock up as Power Reeling and leadcore pulling has now taken off. I suggest the 2oz with or without stinger hooks rigged on a Captain Mack Mustard Stick Rod. You will not find another rod that will work better for Power Reeling, pulling Captain Mack Umbrella Rigs or while pulling leadcore line.
• Parker/Hawg Spoons also used to Power Reel. This bite will only get better as the bigger fish move into deeper water.

BASS

The Lake Hartwell Largemouth Bass as well as Spotted Bass bite is fair. There sure is no shortage of bass boats fishing on the weekends and most are still focused on shallow points and around underwater islands, shoals, ditches and old road beds. I’ve talked with several Bass fishermen that are struggling some during these last few days and even a few that got skunked. The Bass fishing can be tough during the hotter months and the bite usually depends more on being in the right location very early when the fish are shallow. We are still catching a lot of quality Spotted Bass and Largemouth Bass on humps or in ditches near the main river channels in forty plus feet of water but after the sun gets up the Bass move deeper or into cover. Don’t overlook the back of coves and places where there are a lot of deep water docks. I’m seeing a lot of bass in the trees on my Humminbird down imaging and these fish will charge a live bait if I drop one so I would have to believe that they would attack the right artificial bait if fished correctly.

We are still seeing a lot of one to two pound fish chasing bait along the shallow water banks early in the mornings. The early morning bite is best before the sun gets up over the trees. Largemouth and Spotted Bass are still being caught on Weedless Wonders rigged with several different plastics, SteelShads, Mini Mack’s as well as your various Crankbaits, Spinner baits, Topwater baits, Jerkbaits and swimbaits. My personal bait of choice is the Weedless Wonder rigged and fished off the bottom near docks or in the backs of coves. The evening bite is still fair and the fish are pulling up on the points and around dock lights after sunset. With the water temperatures beginning to warm back up the bass fishing will get even tougher so the early morning bite may be your best bet for catching the five fish you need!

Go to baits for this week.

• SteelShad in all sizes and colors are working great. The mini SteelShad is working the best on points in the mornings when the bait is shallow. The Heavy Series is working over schools of bait in the main lake. Be prepared to throw this bait at schooling fish for a guaranteed hook up.
• Captain Mack Mini Mack’s with or without blades, both work great. This bait is catching some hogs while being fished off of deeper points or around bridges and docks.
• Ned Rigs and hard and soft Jerk Baits of your preference. We are catching some good fish on swimbaits as well.
• Captain Mack Weedless Wonder Shakey Head in Green Pumpkin. Use the plastic of your choice. This is the BEST Bass bait that I know of for Lake Hartwell and I recommend that you not go to the lake without rods rigged with the Weedless Wonder Shakey Head!

CRAPPIE

I will be back later in the year with an updated Lake Hartwell Crappie Report when it cools off and I start back Crappie fishing or when I hear something that needs to be shared. I have made my reservations to attend the 2019 Crappie Expo at Lake Hamilton, October 4-6 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The Expo and Crappie Tournaments are going to be a BIG deal! With the 100,000 – square foot Expo Center already being filled with every Crappie related vender and companies motived and ready to support this first ever inaugural event. I will provide a report of what happens at this event when I return.

Go to Baits.

• Blue Ice Jigs seem to be the go to color on Lake Hartwell right now. You may want to move up to bigger jig heads as the fish move deeper. When every other color fails on Lake Hartwell we find that chartreuse still will catch fish. Bobby Garland is my choice but many other brands also work great.
• Small Minnows under floats. This may not be your cup of tea but it still works and the bigger Crappie will take live bait when they won’t take anything else.
• Chartreuse and white jigs are working well when blue ice or blue grass colors fail.
• Custom Jigs are working if you can find the right ones. It’s still a good idea to see what is selling the best at your local bait shops. If the bait shop is out of certain bait you may want to see when they are scheduled to get their next shipment so that you can give it a try.
• Humminbird Solix or Helix graph. These graphs have superior side imaging and down imaging and are worth every cent if you are looking to locate 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 at – 770-235-813

Lake Hartwell Fishing Report August 15 2019

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