Lake Hartwell Fishing Report March 27 2019 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive
Written by Rick Owen – Lake Hartwell Professional Fishing Guide
Our Lake Hartwell Fishing Report March 27 2019
What a fun week this past week has been! With the Palmetto Sportsman’s Classic in Columbia South Carolina this past weekend I had the great opportunity to help a bunch of kids catch one or more of the one thousand catfish that we had stocked at the fishing pond during the event. To me there’s just nothing more exciting than to watch a kid catch in many cases their first fish ever. If I only had one wish left in life it would be to have the opportunity to see more little folks catch their first fish. The Palmetto Sportsman’s Classic could have not happened at a better time with high winds on Friday which would have kept me off the lake anyway and I’m sure we all hope this will be the last of the colder evenings and early mornings that we have seen over this past week.
This week’s report will be limited due to the fact that I have been busy with the Classic and in the process of selling my boat to get into another center console. As a short note if you have a group of kids who are interested in learning the basics of how to rig and catch fish let me know and I will set up a fishing clinic for them at no cost. This always works well for school or church groups and the kids will get a great introduction into how to set up their gear and catch some fish. The clinic is given by a Certified Fishing Instructor and all the fishing equipment for these clinics will be furnished so all the kids need to do is show up.
The fishing for this week has continued to get better. I personally have not spent much time on the water this past week due to other obligations which included purchasing another boat and working the Palmetto Classic but I have received some very good reports from my fishing partners. The limited amount of rain has settled the water down a lot but the high winds over several days kept many off of the water that normally would have been fishing.
These next few weeks are forecast to be good weather weeks and I can assure you that the fishing will be in the GREAT category if the weather continues to maintain a spring pattern which will help the water temperatures warm up quickly… The current water levels are 660.85, which is .85 feet above the 660 full pool levels. The current water temperatures remain in the mid to higher fifties and should warm up much quicker as warmer days are in the upcoming forecast.
If you are interested in booking a fun filled day fishing a trip on Lake Hartwell give Captain Mack a call and he will get you all set up for this springs fishing trips. 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 very good and will become even better very soon. Stripers and Hybrids are still scattered all over the lake and are not very hard to find right now. We are still seeing some bird activity and where there are birds working schools of bait you can usually find the Stripers and Hybrids nearby. The live bait bite is much better now and if you like to catch fish on down rods and free lines you won’t have any problems.
The bait shops are supplying good quality bait now and it looks like the issues we had earlier in the year 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 again. For those of us who have been worried about the die off of the bigger Stripers I have good news to report. I met SCDNR on the water this past week and they had shocked up some big Stripers in the back of a couple of creeks.
I also had the opportunity to meet with SCDNR at the Palmetto Classic this past weekend and they have assured me that they are on top of the Lake Hartwell Striper situation. We did suffer a loss of many of our bigger fish and the Stripers are still showing signs of stress, but we still have many large fish in the lake and now that the fishery is under the microscope it will continue to be monitored closely until the Striper population rebounds.
I personally will be pulling my planer boards in the creeks over the next couple of months working hard to catch one of these big fish while they are in their pre-spawn and post spawn seasons. I always practice catch and release on big Stripers in an effort to give these fish the chance to grow into trophy size freight trains.
Bass fishing is still improving and the bass will continue to move up as the weather warms back up. Largemouth and Spotted Bass are still being caught on Weedless Wonder‘s, SteelShad and Mini Mack’s as well as various Crank baits, Rattletraps and Jerk baits and of course your favorite plastics. While looking for bedded fish I will be casting the Capt. Mack’s Mini Mack and I will have my other rods baited up for whatever presentation is needed.
The Bass bite is now into the first of their three spring patterns and 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 so many plastics and colors that work good on Hartwell but drop shots and green pumpkin colors seem to be a go to bait for me personally. As Lake Hartwell continues to warm up I’m sure your favorite Plastics, Spro Rock Crawler, Mini Macks and Fish Head V Locks paired with your favorite swim bait in shallower waters will get the job done.
Congratulations again to Ott DeFoe on his 2019 Bass Master Classic win in Knoxville Tennessee. Ott DeFoe is a Humminbird and Minn Kota man and I’m sure that his One –Boat Network was a huge help in winning the Bassmaster Classic. If you have not had a chance to check out the new Gen 2 Solix and the Networking systems offered by Humminbird and Minn Kota you might just want to give them a look. I guarantee you that this system will easily help you locate and stay on fish. Get ready Lake Hartwell, the Geico Bassmaster Elite Series starts April 4th and will run through April 7th 2019. The go to slogan for Lake Hartwell is, Big Bass. Big Stage. Big Dreams so support your favorite Pro and get ready for a Lake Hartwell Showdown.
The Crappie bite remains excellent and you may find yourself waiting in line to buy your minnows. The big Crappie spawn has begun and the big females are being caught! The spawn will last for several weeks as not all the Crappie spawn at one time. The shorelines are lined up with folks fishing from the banks as well as those of us who fish from our boats. The smaller Crappie are still hanging out in the brush piles but if you want to catch some quality fish look for them under boat docks and in or around shallow crappie beds. I know that there are some barn door’s being caught right now.
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