Lake Hartwell Fishing Report May 2 2019

Lake Hartwell Fishing Report May 2 2019

Lake Hartwell Fishing Report May 2 2019 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive

Written by Rick Owen – Lake Hartwell Professional Fishing Guide

Our Lake Hartwell Fishing Report for May 02, 2019 All Things Spring Fishing May 2019! Most fishermen’s favorite time to be on Lake Hartwell is during the month of May and that means war will soon be declared by many fishermen on several species of fish while fishing Lake Hartwell. The month of May always provides those of us who fish Lake Hartwell the best of the best conditions for fishing with most of the Bass spawned out and feeding aggressively as they move back out of the many creeks and rivers or off their beds and head to deeper waters as the water temperatures continue to rise. The Bass fishing will be at its best during this month and many species that spawn only when the water temperatures reaches into the seventies will find this month the most suitable time to spawn as the lake conditions become prime for all species. It does not matter if you like to fish bream beds or for slab crappie or maybe you find yourselves chasing after the biggest Striper or Largemouth on the lake, May is the month to get it done! The fishing during this first week of May will be great!

Now that the bad weather is behind us and with the current forecast calling for the temperatures to reach into the high eighties this week the water temperatures will climb as the water levels continue to drop and Lake Hartwell will begin to clear up. The fishing will continue to be very predictable and it will not be very hard to catch fish no matter the species you are targeting. The early morning bite is still your best bet to catch a good box of fish. If you get on the water before sunrise you will increase your chances of catching fish in my opinion by 100% and you can get off the water before it gets too hot to fish. If you enjoy fishing in the evening after dark the nighttime bite is really good in May.

The current Lake Hartwell water levels remain above full pool but are dropping fast with less rain which has the levels at 660.51, which is.51 feet above the 660 full pool levels. The current water temperatures are now in the low seventies during the evenings and will be in the high seventies after the sun comes up by mid-day. If you are interested in booking a fun day of fishing for Stripers or our hard fighting Hybrids on Lake Hartwell give Captain Mack a call. The fishing will be great and now is the best time to fish Lake Hartwell.


Striper and Hybrid fishing on Lake Hartwell is great right now with the fish being caught all over the lake. Now that the water temperatures have reached into the high sixties the fish are moving back down the lake and can be caught at the mouth of most all major creeks and rivers in many areas of the lake. Stripers and Hybrids are biting early morning before daylight as well as overnight for those who don’t mind spending a few hours after dark sitting on anchor to catch fish. I personally know of a verified Striper weighing thirty pounds being caught during a nighttime trip this past week. Stripers and Hybrids are still scattered all over the lake with May being the last month to normally catch fish that are still way up the rivers during their false spawn.

There are a lot of fish up the Tugaloo and Keowee rivers right now and you should be able to find these fish for at least a few more weeks. The live bait bite is great and if you like to catch fish on down rods and freel ines you won’t be disappointed. Pulling big baits behind your Perfect Planer Boards is a good way to boat some really good fish. The point fishing is getting better each and every day so if you don’t have a problem beaching your boat on a red or sandy point you will want to give it a try. Live bait or cut bait both are working great before daylight on shallow points. The fish are usually found on major points right off of a river or creek channel or around islands. My favorite way to fish this method is to fish live or cut bait Carolina rigged off the bottom with bait thrown out around the back of the boat once you get beached.

If you don’t catch fish right away you may want to move to another point ASAP because this bite is usually over with right after daylight. Free lines with or without planer boards are catching a lot of fish after the sun starts to come up and they will usually bite up until lunch time. I’ve found that many times that the larger fish come off the free lines especially if you use lighter tackle. We are catching fish off of down rods, freel ines, U-Rigs and casting top water baits as well as swim baits.


Bass fishing continues to be great! Largemouth and Spotted Bass are still being caught on Weedless Wonder? Roboworm Combo, SteelShads, Mini Mack’s and various Crankbaits, Spinner baits, Topwater baits, Jerk baits and of course your favorite plastics. Fishing Flukes off of points seems to be the go to bait to catch the good fish right now. When it comes to Lake Hartwell Bass fishing it seems to me that whatever you have the most confidence in will be your go to bait now that the Bass are finishing up the spawn.

Many of the larger Bass have moved back to their favorite docks and the Spotted Bass are starting to show up schooling on shallow points at day break early in the mornings. Congratulations to all those who fished the PBC High School Tournament this past Saturday out of Green Pond Landing.


The Crappie bite is reaching its peak with the night time bite picking up under bridges. I fished this past Wednesday night from 7pm until 3am and we caught eighty nice Crappie using very small minnows. Dock shooting after the sun comes up is still working as well as fishing blow downs and shallow brush piles. Don’t forget for those of us who are die-hard Crappie fishermen you may want to check out the first ever inaugural Crappie Expo, October 4-6 in Hot Springs Arkansas.

This event promises to be the biggest and best ever in the history of Crappie fishing – sort of a Bassmaster Classic and Classic Expo for the panfish world. The Mr. Crappie Classic Invitational will feature the top 100 two-angler Crappie teams in America, and they’ll vie for $100,000 on Lake Hamilton. This event will be free to the public and I’m making my plans to attend now. Stay tune for more information on this big event.

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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