Category

Lake Hartwell Fishing Report

Lake Hartwell Fishing Report-October 21, 2020

By Captain Mack's Blog, Captain Mack's Fishing Reports, Fishing Tips, Lake Hartwell Fishing Report No Comments

I’m guessing that fall has made it now since we received our first frost this week. I love this time of the year and while others take off to the mountains I just hit the water and it’s amazing to see the beauty in the islands and the backs of the creeks as the leaves change colors. Last year I had the greatest experience as I watched two big bucks fight for a doe that they had pinned on the bank of the lake and it was about this time of the year that it’s very common to see deer and turkey as you pull Planer Boards quietly in the backs of Lake Hartwell creeks. It’s not going to be long now with forecast of much cooler weather predicted this whole week that the schooling fish will be at their peak. I personally have decided to hit the water this November under protest from a few that have done a great job in helping me recover from my surgery in June. In my best opinion fishing is good medicine and I’m ready to hit the water in time to get in on some of the schooling activity that has already began. So as I tell my fishing buddies my advice is let’s let, Humminbird Find The fish, Minn Kota Sneaks up on Them, Stealth Rod Holders Hold Them, Captain Mack Products Fool them into biting while Okuma Rods and Reels Puts Them in the Boat! So let’s go Fishing!  

This week’s picture is of a good friend of mine named Dale Gilbert who is one of the weathermen from New Channel 4 WYFF who loves to Striper fish. We already have trips planned for 2021These fish were caught during the spring spawn.

The Lake Hartwell bite still remains fair with the water conditions beginning to change quickly for fishing. The lake should turn over very soon and that will have a big effect in the fishing improving. The levels at the time of this report are 661.31 which are.1.31 feet above the 660 full pool levels. This same time last year the lake was nearly six feet below full pool and the fishing was much better. The current water temperature is holding in the low seventies and will continue dropping every few days during this month if the air temperatures continue to drop into the low forties each night.  

Stripers and Hybrids

Schooling activity has picked up on Lake Hartwell and this begins at day break and last until the sun begins to come up and then again in the evenings as the sun goes down behind the tree lines. Many of the fish that are being caught are smaller with the largest being about a pound. Small Buck tail jigs, Steelshads, and the smaller Sebiles are all good options to cast to the schoolers. On these smaller fish, I know they can be fun to catch , but they represent our future and letting them go and grow may be beneficial to our fishery in the coming years. . I’m hoping the rain will hold off long enough for the lake levels to drop a couple of feet which would make the winter fishing conditions perfect. My personally advice is to pull your Captain Mack Umbrella Rigs over humps and into the coves where you see fish breaking. As a rule of thumb the bigger fish usually are only a few feet deeper than the small fish and the umbrellas are the best way to catch the bigger fish. I also have had a lot of luck pulling my lighter Captain Mack Mini Mack rigs over long points where the water is much shallower or across under water road beds or ditches where the bigger fish are hanging out. Now everything that you need to know to catch Stripers and Hybrids is here  now while we begin our fall and winter Instructional Trips, so if you get a chance to get into a teaching boat, book and 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, Behind the Perfect Planer, and free lines. All three methods are producing and you you’ll do to be prepared to use them all. 
  • 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. It is a versatile setup that will cover almost any type of live bait fishing you will do on Hartwell or other area lakes. 
  • Oxygen System. This system will make a huge difference in your bait. I personally believe that it will help keep your bait in perfect condition especially if you decide to pull Gizzard Shad this winter and you have them in your tank with your herring.
  • SteelShad are still working great for schooling or breaking fish, and a must have for this time of year. 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 . These rigs offer incredible versatility. They are excellent to cast to surfacing fish or to points and humps and especially productive for Stealth trolling!

BASS

Lake Hartwell Largemouth Bass and Spotted Bass fishing has remained excellent with a lot of fish being caught off of Shakey Heads and Flukes as well as live bait while Striper fishing.  It seems that every year we catch more and more Spotted Bass than the year before and right now top water baits will get the job done as the Spotted Bass are schooling somewhere on Lake Hartwell everyday. Drop shots around the brush and humps are also very effective, your favorite Roboworm in the 6 or 4.5 inch model will get the bite, and on the really tough days try the smaller Roboworm Alive Shad.  Lake hartwell Fishing Marine carries a great selection of Robo’s so stop by and check them out!

  • 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. Big Spots are crushing the MIni’s , cast them to the tops of humps, over brush, long tapering points or around the bridges. 
  • Ned Rigs, hard and soft Jerk Baits, and Sebile magic Swimmers.  
  • Flukes of several different sizes and colors. 

CRAPPIE

  It’s time to get those Crappie rigs all set up! I’m getting some good reports of Crappie being caught dock shooting and fishing old and new brush piles. It won’t be many more days and I will have some first-hand information as I’m ready to go!

Go to Baits.

  • Blue Ice Jigs seem to be the go to color on Lake Hartwell right now. Dock Shooting has been very good, the Bobby Garland on a Jighead has been bring’em in! Heavier Jigheads may be a plus on the deeper docks or brush, and a minnow under a slip cork is a good choice over the brush piles. 
  • 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.
  • Custom Jigs are working if you can find the right ones. It’s always a good idea to see what to check with your local retail outlet to find out what is the best bait or color! Use the SI on your Humminbird Solix or Helix graph to locate the fish on the docks. Ride until you se then usually a fish fry in quickly in the works!
  • 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 – 770-235-8135

 

Lake Hartwell Fishing Report-October 14, 2020

By Captain Mack's Blog, Fishing Tips, Lake Hartwell Fishing Report No Comments

This past week was great for football but not so great for fishing but don’t stop reading here. Now if you didn’t mind getting wet you would not have had such a tough time this past week but as of this Monday the lake was back up over full pool with a level of 661.90. That’s a lot of water since last week’s report and it all came from the remnants of hurricane Delta. If you look back over this year’s reports and the low numbers of Striper and Hybrid catch’s you might tend to agree with me that one of the main problems with catching Stripers this year had everything to do with the lake being over full pool or higher than normal almost all year. This same date in 2019 Lake Hartwell was four plus feet below full pool and the fishing was good most of the year as the water levels remained much lower. Now for some positive news, I personally saw a really big school of fish working bait in the mouth of my cove this past Saturday morning from my dock. There was about an acre of fish and they were feeding aggressively! It was very overcast and raining and I don’t have to guess what species I was looking at. My grandkids were fishing off the dock in the rain when the fish came up and no one had anything heavy enough to throw to them. What a time not to have a boat in the water or a Mini Mack or a Captain Mack Chipmunk rigged! This was all I needed to see to know that the bite is fixing to be good again and the fish are moving into their winter locations and preparing to feed their winter patterns. It’s not going to be long now with forecast of much cooler weather predicted by this weekend with the possibility of our first frost by Saturday with weather in the low forties. Now is the time to locate and load the boat with your winter tools and apply the techniques and tactics that will put fish in the boat once again. So as I tell my fishing buddies my advice is let’s let, Humminbird Find Them, Minn Kota Sneaks up on Them, Stealth Rod Holders Hold Them, Captain Mack Products Fool them into biting while Okuma Rods and Reels Puts Them in the Boat! So let’s go Fishing!    

The Lake Hartwell bite has remained fair with the water conditions beginning to change quickly for fishing. The levels at the time of this report are 661.09 which are.1.09 feet above the 660 full pool levels so in the last two or three days the Corp  of Engineers have been dropping the lake levels at a steady pace. This same time last year the lake was two feet below full pool and the fishing was much better. The current water temperature is holding in the low seventies and will continue dropping every week during this month if the air temperatures drop into the fifties as predicted.  Our first frost is predicted for Lake Hartwell this Saturday with the air temperatures dropping into the very low forties.

Stripers and Hybrids

Still not much to report for Hybrids and Stripers this week with everyone stating that fishing has been a bummer with rods not bending but this is normal when you spend about half the time on the water as normal and the rest of the time in the woods now with deer season open in many areas. I feel that this will change soon as I’ve seen my first big school of fish feeding on top in the mouth of my cove the past Saturday morning.  With cooler weather on the way, It’s not going to be long now we will be hearing drag being pulled off our reels again. I’m hoping the rain will hold off long enough for the lake levels to drop a couple of feet which would make the winter fishing conditions perfect. Now everything that you need to know to catch Stripers and Hybrids is here while we begin our winter Instructional Trips, so if you get a chance to get into a teaching boat, book and 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 freelines. 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.
  • Captain Mack Chipmunk Jigs and Trailers in all colors available.
  • 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.
  • Oxygen System. This system will allow you to keep your bait healthier and increase the amount of  bait you can carry. 
  • SteelShad’s are one of the best baits to cast to surfacing fish. The Minis have been very effective lately and work well when the fish are keying in on smaller baits..
  • 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 or while trolled behind lead core line. 
  • 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.

BASS

Lake Hartwell Largemouth Bass fishing has remained good with a lot of fish being caught off of Shakey Heads and Flukes. Lake Hartwell has developed into a very good Spotted Bass Fishery it seems that every year we catch more and more Spotted Bass than the year before. Top water baits have been really productive lately, along with the following baits: 

  • 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 Mini is an excellent choice when the fish start locking in on small baits, 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, have been catching plenty of fish, Spots and Largemouths. Cast the Minis to the points, humps or to any schooling fish you see!
  • Ned Rigs and soft Jerk Baits of your preference. The Ned rigs are always a good choice and can be a lifesaver on the days the fish get really picky.
  • Flukes of several different sizes and colors. 
  • Captain Mack Weedless Wonder Shakey Head paired with your favorite Robo Worm. Cast this rig to docks, points, brush, and ditches, This is the most consistent 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

  It will not be long now and the Crappie bite will begin to peak. When this happens I will begin the reports again so we can help put you on some good fish. I will be building and sinking a bunch of new Crappie Condo’s this year so I’m getting ready. I’m already starting to hear some good reports! 

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 – 770-235-8135

 

Lake Hartwell Fishing Report-October 7, 2020

By Captain Mack's Blog, Fishing Tips, Lake Hartwell Fishing Report No Comments

 

Okay this week I’m going to keep it short and sweet, well what I’m reporting may not come off very sweet but it will be the gospel truth. What do you call four guide boats lined up at the dock after a day of fishing and some guides who on many occasions will hardly speak to each other circled around each other in a deep conversation? I call that  “confused”! Hartwell Striper Guides are a different group than most and on many occasions if they tell you to go up the lake you had better go a different direction. Right now we are in a calm that goes beyond understanding and we are all putting our heads together to try to figure this out. The solution is just waiting a couple more weeks and the Stripers and Hybrids will appear again and there should be a plenty of them. I’ve been in contact with several Biologists and they are finding a lot of fish and when they shock them up there are no doubt that they are Hybrids and Stripers. So why did the Stripers and Hybrids suddenly stop biting this year, well my best guess is it has something to do with the high water all summer, but that’s just a guess. In a few weeks the fish will have found their way back into the upper waters of the lake and it will be much harder for them to hide.  They should resume feeding aggressively getting ready for that  onset of colder water temps that winter will bring.  So check back with me and see if I’m right! It’s not going be uncommon to see fish schooling on big pods of bait as they make their way back up the lake at the same time during October. So as I tell my best fishing buddies my advice is let’s let, Humminbird Find Them, Minn Kota Sneaks up on Them, Stealth Rod Holders Hold Them, Captain Mack Products Fool into biting while Okuma Rods and Reels Puts Them in the Boat! So let’s go Fishing!

The Lake Hartwell bite has remained fair with the water conditions beginning to change quickly for fishing. The levels at the time of this report are 659.73 which are.0.27 feet below the 660 full pool levels with coastal rain from a hurricane moving in by this weekend which gives us the chance of one or two inches of rain fall depending on the direction and speed of the storm. This same time last year the lake was two feet below full pool. The current water temperature is 73.8 and will begin dropping every night during this month if the air temperatures drop into the fifties. 

Stripers and Hybrids

Not much to report for Hybrids and Stripers this week with everyone stating that fishing has been a bummer with rods not bending. Let me give you my best reason to go fishing during these times. The fish are going to bite very soon and many of them will be schooling, I can’t know that or catch these fish if I’m not on the water. Mom never had to call me more than one time for supper and the fish will not call me and tell me that today is the day they are going to bite, so being there will be an experience that you want forget. Now everything that you need to know to catch Stripers and Hybrids is here so if you get a chance to get into a teaching boat, book and 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 freelines. 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.
  • Okuma Cold Water CW203D or CW354D Reels paired with the Okuma7’6” live bait rod. Either reel makes this rod and reel pair 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
  • Oxygen System. This system will make a huge difference in keeping your fish healthy and active! Notice I said fish and not bait? O2 is a huge plus for keeping gamefish alive for a weigh in. So if you are a tournament angler, look at adding this to your boat. O2 will maintain your catch and insure your catch is weighed in alive and released back into the lake alive. 
  • 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! Pulling them over the humps and points in 25 to 35 feet of water is a great way to search for and catch the Stripers and Hybrids!
  • Captain Mack Mini Mack’s – cast ‘em to schoolers, or to the points and humps and you should find Striper, Hybrids and Spotted bass will respond to this versatile bait. They are also very effective when flat line or Stealth trolled!
  • 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.

BASS

The Lake Hartwell Largemouth Bass School Tournaments have started and these young fishermen will not take defeat very easily. They have what we all use to have, a lot of heart when they hit the water and getting skunked is not in their vocabulary. Shakey Heads and Flukes got the job done this past weekend and it was all smiles at the weigh in. There are some hard hitting and heavy Spotted Bass on Lake Hartwell and if you will work at it some you will never come home without having a rod bent. If these young folks can do it all we have to do is show the same determination that they have. 

  • 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.
  • Flukes of several different sizes and colors. ( Hot this past week)
  • Captain Mack Weedless Wonder Shakey Head rigged with a Green Shiner or Bold Bluegill Robo Worm.  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! ( Bold Bluegill was hot this week)

 I will be back later in the year with an updated Lake Hartwell Crappie Report when the water cools off into the sixties and I start back Crappie fishing. I will be building and sinking a bunch of new Crappie Condo’s this year so I’m getting ready. 

Go tWishing 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 – 770-235-8135

 

Lake Hartwell Fishing Report-September 30, 2020

By Captain Mack's Blog, Captain Mack's Fishing Reports, Fishing Tips, Lake Hartwell Fishing Report No Comments

It’s here the beginning of the fall bite and a great time to go fishing and have the lake to yourself as many Striper fishermen are in the woods now that deer season has opening up. I’m not able to deer hunt so you know where I will be spending my time. The month of October really is one of my favorite months to catch fish as they are much easier to find and catch as they start moving back up the lake away from the deeper waters of the dam and they feed aggressively as the water temperatures start to drop every week which tells them it’s time to fatten up for winter. With air temperatures forecast to drop into the forties over the next couple of weeks during the evening and only getting up into the high fifties to low sixties you need to be looking for the bait and fish to be on the move quickly as the water changes. This means the bite will be strong and it will not be uncommon to see fish schooling on big pods of bait as they make their way back up the lake at the same time. So as I tell my best fishing buddies my advice is let’s let, Humminbird Find Them, Minn Kota Sneaks up on Them, Stealth Rod Holders Hold Them, Captain Mack Products Fool into biting while Okuma Rods and Reels Puts Them in the Boat! So let’s go Fishing!    

The Lake Hartwell bite has remained fair with the water conditions beginning to change quickly for fishing. The levels at the time of this report are 660.02 which are.0.02 feet above the 660 full pool levels with very heavy rain from this past week. This same time last year the lake was two feet below full pool. The current water temperature is into the lower-seventies and will begin to drop quickly if we continue to get these cool evenings. As soon as the lake makes a complete turn over you will see a huge difference in the fishing.

STRIPED BASS & HYBRIDS

Striper and Hybrid fishing on Lake Hartwell is fixing to make a big change. For those who have had a tough summer locating and catching fish this will be changing any day now as large schools of Stripers and Hybrids headed back to the creeks and rivers in the upper lake where they will ride out the rest of fall and all the winter months. This is a great time to catch a lot of fish and there’s so many ways to catch them. Live bait, jigging spoons, Captain Mack Umbrellas will all put fish in the boat. The best thing to remember is the colder it gets to more fish you will catch on artificial baits because when the water gets really cold they will not chase live bait. Usually by January I’m pulling my umbrellas rigs every trip. Working a Captain Mack’s Mini Mack or vertically fishing a  Super Spoon always gets the job done.  October and November are great months to take an Instructional Trip. We teach everything that you need to know to catch Stripers and Hybrids so if you get a chance to get into a teaching boat, book and 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, behind planer boards, or on freelines. 
  • Okuma Cold Water CW203D reels and a 7’6” Okuma Live Bait Rod. 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.
  • Oxygen System. Not only for keeping bait alive but gamefish as well. If you are a tournament angler, using O2 on your catch will vitally guarantee no dead fish at weigh in!
  • SteelShad are still working great for schooling or breaking fish. You can cast it a mile and almost any type of gamefish will eat them!
  • Captain Mack Umbrella Rigs. A great tool for catching, and searching for fish! 
  • Captain Mack Mini Mack’s – Incredibly versatile bait! Cast them  to schoolers or troll them on a flat line, behind a Perfect Planer, or stealth troll them!
  • Perfect Planer Boards. A great tool for live bait fishing, or slow trolling the Mini’s!!
  • BASS

The Lake Hartwell Largemouth Bass as well as Spotted Bass bite continues to be good. The BassMaster Opens were fished this past week on Lake Hartwell September 23rd – 25th for the Eastern Open.  Patrick Walters from Summerville SC won the tournament with a three day total weigh in of 44.5 pounds with second and third place not far behind. To tell you these boats were on the move would be an understatement. Most anglers were chasing the bait that was being chased by the bass. Most anglers reported burning some fuel running and gunning looking for fish! The top water bite was hot with many fish being caught off of different colors and sizes of flukes. If you are interested in a top water bite and hooking up on some big Spotted Bass now is the time to hit the water.

  • 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. Cast the Mini to surfacing fish, humps and points, or around the bridge pillars
  • Flukes of several different sizes and colors.
  • Sebile Magic Swimmers, cast them to the points and hang on!

CRAPPIE

  I will be back later in the year with an updated Lake Hartwell Crappie Report when it cools off into the sixties and I start back Crappie fishing. I will be building and sinking a bunch of new Crappie Condo’s this year so I’m getting ready. I’m already starting to hear some good reports! 

Go to Baits.

  • The Bobby Garland is the go to, brush piles, Crappie Condos, or shooting the docks are all good areas to target. Fish the fish on the side imaging and they should be quick to bite! Check with your local retailer to see which color is performing the best!
  • 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.
  • 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. The side imaging feature is a must for Crappie fishing!

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 – 770-235-8135

 

Lake Hartwell Fishing Report-September 23, 2020

By Captain Mack's Blog, Fishing Tips, Lake Hartwell Fishing Report No Comments

Welcome to fall, it did not sneak up on us this year as the air temperatures dropped and if you caught yourself on the lake this past weekend wearing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt you most likely were seen talking to yourself about the chill that kept running up your backbone. This past Saturday was a special day for me because I got to see my boat pull out of the driveway just before daylight on its way to the lake. The only thing missing was I was not going to be in it but one of my very best friends in this world Lester Hughes who I met during an Instructional Trip last year was kind enough to come get my boat my fishing gear and best of all my three grandsons and take them fishing. Now I know what some of you may be thinking, you let someone else take everything that means the world to you fishing and in your own boat, you bet I did and I’ll do it again. If you have ever talked with me on the water or tried to schedule an Instructional Trip you know by now that every other weekend no matter what the situation I take my three grandsons fishing and let me tell you these boys can fish. Now that the doctor has me off the lake until I completely heal I’ve had to watch them come over every other weekend with all their gear and walk down to the dock and spend their day fishing one area and they usually catch fish and even if they don’t they never give up. So to see the look on their faces when I told them that Lester was going to take them fishing in my boat this past Saturday was worth everything to me. Now the boys love to hook up with a Striper or Hybrid and I usually can make that happen without a problem but Lester is an old Bass Tournament fisherman and he knows how to catch fish so the boys got the opportunity to fish for Stripers and a bunch of green fish all in the same day and that was like winning the lottery to them. They had a great day and boated some good Spots as they learned some things as they picked their guides brain. I can tell you this they had a blast caught a good bunch of green fish and will be ready to go again whenever Lester decides to take them again. My boat had been sitting long enough and it needed running and it needed some fish hooked up and flopping on the deck. I’m getting better and it should not be long before I will be fishing again! Late fall or early winter is the target date, with or without my doc’s permission. A Special thanks to Lester for thinking enough about me to take my boat to the lake and let my grandsons tag along for a fun day of fishing. A person with friends can call their selves BLESSED and I’m truly blessed! So as I tell my best fishing buddies my advice is let’s let, Humminbird Find Them, Minn Kota Sneaks up on Them, Stealth Rod Holders Hold Them, Captain Mack Products Fool into biting while Okuma Rods and Reels Puts Them in the Boat! So let’s go Fishing!  

The Lake Hartwell bite has remained fair with the water conditions beginning to change quickly for fishing. The levels at the time of this report are 660.46 which are.0.46 feet above the 660 full pool levels with very heavy rain from this past week. This same time last year the lake was two feet below full pool. The current water temperature is into the high seventies and will begin to drop quickly if we continue to get these cool evenings. There have been some storms over Lake Hartwell over the last week that dropped as much as five inches of rain that’s still running in from all the creeks and rivers that feed the lake. As soon as the lake makes a complete turn over you will see a huge difference in the fishing.

STRIPED BASS & HYBRIDS

Striper and Hybrid fishing on Lake Hartwell still remains as tough as I’ve ever seen or heard in all my years of fishing for Stripers or Hybrids. Just as a follow up to what I hear and know about what’s happening on the lake is this past weekend there was a Striper Tournament on the lake and not one single Striper or Hybrid was caught! Now there were not that many folks Striper fishing but the ones that where on the water are some of the best on the lake. So what’s up, first of all let me tell you that the lake is not empty of Stripers and Hybrids. The Biologist I talked with last week said when they shock fish up on Hartwell they have no problems finding numbers of Stripers and Hybrids. So let me tell you that how I explain it best to my grandkids the best I know how. I believe that the lake has been way to full all year, so hear me out. At the end of the day we know that when we leave the dock we will never cover the nearly one thousand miles of shoreline that Hartwell offers. Now let’s break it down in how hard it can be to catch fish when the lake is full. I have a big bait tank in the front of my boat and when the day of fishing is over with I usually ask one of my grandsons to catch the bait out of the tank and cast them back into the lake. Now if there’s a bunch of bait left the first dozen are not hard to catch but wait until you get down to five or six. It’s then that the bait tank seems like it has one thousand miles of shoreline and when it gets to catching the last one or two it feels like you’re trying to catch them out of the ocean. Now let’s talk about making things easier, pump the water level down in the tank and the lower it gets the easier it is to catch the bait so now when I ask one of the boys to empty the bait tank they have found that they lower the water level first by pumping some water out and then they have no problem catching the left over bait. So let’s put it into perspective, when the Lake Hartwell water levels fall below full pool the Striper fishing is always better and when the Striper fishing gets better it doesn’t take long for the word to get out the when, where and how to catch them. Fall is now here and that is a good thing because the fish will move into smaller areas where the fish will be easier to catch when they move back into the upper lake as it gets cooler and cooler. I’ve been kidding a bunch of folks that the fish are just waiting for me to get back on the water, I promise you there’s no truth in that but by the time I’m able to hit the water again the fish will be just where I want them to be and they will be much easier to catch. So with the fish that we know that are already in the lake and and the numbers of fish stocked over the last two years, it’s going to get better and better very soon! Let me assure you that I know personally that even though that there are not as many Stripers and Hybrids in the lake as what we saw many years ago, there are still a big number of fish in the lake and if you do your homework you will find them and catch them. We teach everything that you need to know to catch Stripers and Hybrids so if you get a chance to get into a teaching boat, book and 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 freelines. 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.
  • Captain Mack Chipmunk Jigs and Trailers in all colors available.
  • 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.
  • 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 – Great for Stealth trolling, flat line trolling, trolled on the Perfect Planer Boards or casting to surfacing fish!
  • Perfect Planer Boards. The early morning free line bite is cranking up and will only improve with cooling water temps. Get your Planer Boards ready for the upcoming fall fishing patterns.

BASS

The Lake Hartwell Largemouth Bass as well as Spotted Bass bite continues to be good based on a few reports that I’m getting from those weekend Bass Club Teams. The BassMaster Opens will be fished this week on Lake Hartwell September 23rd – 25th for the Eastern Open.  My grandsons are still catching resident Bass fishing from the dock using SteelShads and Weedless Wonders and Robo worms, The Weedless Wonder and the Robo worm seem to get the best bite. 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 rigged with a Bold Bluegill Robo Worm. 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 into the sixties and I start back Crappie fishing. I will be building and sinking a bunch of new Crappie Condo’s this year so I’m getting ready. I’m already starting to hear some good reports! 

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 – 770-235-8135