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Lake Hartwell Fishing Report-September 2, 2020

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Our Lake Hartwell Fishing Report for September 02, 2020

Okay, September is here and that can only mean one thing! You had better carry everything in your arsenal with you when you hit the water. I’ve seen days in September when I could catch fish on freelines and Captain Mack Perfect Planer Boards one day and the very next day I could not find a fish on top as they were all suspended in the bubble in front of the dam and to get that bite you had to Power Reel or troll Captain Mack Umbrella Rigs through them. Just when you think you are not going to have a good day and you start back to the marina I’ve seen two acres of fish come up in the hottest part of the day and casting a Mini Mack would get the job done. So you may ask, Captain Rick what do I need to carry to the lake during the month of September? You had better be rigged for anything and everything because the Stripers and Hybrids are going to be following the changing water conditions and they could do just about anything at any time!  I continued to receive several calls and text this past weekend requesting help and that’s harder to do from a recliner when I need to be behind the console of my boat. My best information was to troll artificial bait if the live bait bite was not producing. The only other suggestion that I had was to get close to the main river channel on a hump or shallow flat and fish cut bait, this cut bait fishing paid off with some really good quality fish. This week I have shared some information that you will need to get you through the next couple of weeks of this changing weather and you already know that you are free to call me at any time. The information that I will be providing will always be first-hand information from my personal experience and from those who have provided current information to me from several of the best fishermen on Lake Hartwell as well as information from my personal log books that I don’t normally share. I will do this until I’m able to get back on the water with this bionic arm that’s taking it good time healing and we will get after the fish together. Please continue to pray for my recovery so that I can return to the lake soon. So as I tell my best fishing buddies my advice is let’s let, Humminbird Finds Them, Minn Kota Sneaks up on Them, Stealth Rod Holders Holds Them, Captain Mack Products Fools Them and 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 for fishing. The levels at the time of this report are 660.12 which are.0.12 feet above the 660 full pool levels. The current water temperature is into the mid to lower eighties and will begin to make more changes very soon. There have been some storms over Lake Hartwell over the last week with more forecast for this weekend from the hurricanes coming from the gulf so make sure you have plans to get off the water in a hurry if required. 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 continues to be hit and miss on Lake Hartwell. Lake Hartwell can be rather tough during the month of September with fishing patterns changing sometimes regularly. If you want to catch ‘em you better have every method covered because the fish can sure throw you a surprise!  I hate to be trying to retie a rod and reel when fish are all around me. If you need an example I carry sixteen rod and reels rigged in different ways during September and I catch fish. It may be a run and gun game but I usually can find a school of fish that will bite. If September is not your favorite month to fish just hang on October is coming and that’s one of my favorite months to fish as the fish can be much easier to find if the lake turn over does not cause a delay.  It still has been an early morning and late evening bite if you get lucky enough to find a good school. In my article three weeks ago I said that I would cover what I consider the best ways to catch Stripers and Hybrids during the hot weather months of August and September and with August now in our past September is going to be the toughest month in my opinion and the one month you will have to work to catch fish. First off let’s discuss what I’ve found to be the toughest month to catch Stripers and Hybrids on Lake Hartwell during the summer. With over forty years of guiding on Lake Hartwell under my belt I would have to say that September is a very tough month and my Log Books sure back that up! So let’s cover a typical September day. First of all I don’t have to be at the bait shop when they open up because I’m going to be pulling artificial bait most of the day and on some days I get a couple dozen bait just to be on the safe side if I don’t already have some in my tank at home. Now is the time to cover the main river channels pulling Captain Mack Umbrella Rigs or Captain Mack Mini Mack’s or a big Chipmunk Jig on lead core tipped with a Captain Mack trailer about 10 or 11 colors at 2.5 miles per hour and don’t hesitate to pull the edges of the channels and hit the tree tops where the Stripers seem to want to hang out when the water temperatures and oxygen levels are changing like they do in September.  If you run up on a good school of fish suspended that don’t favor your trolling outfits mark the waypoint and immediately grab one of your Power Reeling rods that I always have rigged with a Captain Mack Chipmunk Jig in the one and one half ounce size and I take a Herring, tea or alive will be effective, insert the hook through the bottom jaw of the bait and let the hook come through the nose of the bait. Drop this rig as fast as you can without backlashing your reel with your thumb on the line through the bait and fish and the reel like crazy until you pull the rig back through the fish. Hang on tight to your rod and reel because when they take the bait it will be aggressive. Keep doing this over and over again until the fish move or until you’ve had enough.(I normally catch my biggest fish of the day Power Reeling) I recommend the Chipmunk Jig In the one and one half ounce size because it falls faster and the jig comes in four colors and I’ve caught fish off of all four colors. Captain Mack also offers a Ben Parker Spoon that works great for Power Reeling and broken glass is my favorite one but they all will work great. Trolling leadcore line and Captain Mack Umbrella Rigs will also work well in September so we will cover more next week. My main point is don’t get discouraged, it is fishing and there will be those tough days but it can be those days that you say what’s the use in going that you may just miss out. Doubled anchored last week on humps and flats near the main river channels has worked and will continue to work on hot days. It’s a waiting game but always worth the wait. We do teach the best way to cut bait fish in our Lake Hartwell Instructional Classes. Man I surely miss every second of the many hours and days that I have been off the water and I can promise you when I’m better you will see me almost every day. Now is still a good 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 seasons. 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, 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.
  • 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 when trolled behind your Perfect Planer Boards, lead core line, or the down rigger. 
  • 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 lead core 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.

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 Carhartt College Tournament was held this past weekend on Lake Hartwell and Bethel University won the series with twenty pounds and eight ounces for a three day total. The BassMaster Opens will be fished on Lake Hartwell September 23rd – 25th for the Eastern Open.  My grandsons are still catching resident Bass from the dock using SteelShads and Weedless Wonders and Robo worms. As soon as I’m released back to Lake Hartwell I will give you an accurate report. 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. 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 August 6, 2020

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

Our Lake Hartwell Fishing Report for August 07, 2020

So I’ve proved it once again, Lake Hartwell is good medicine and even on a tough day the lake can put some pick me up in your steps. This past week I was invited to my son’s camp site at Watsadlers camp ground just in site of the Lake Hartwell dam for a cook out and some rest and relaxation. What a chill pill for this old fisherman who is off limits to a boat right now but able to sit down at a picnic table with the smell of hamburgers cooking close by and the lapping of Lake Hartwell water on the bank just feet away from me, well how do you describe blessed in a few words? I just did! From my view point I would guess that the evening bite is still good as I saw a lot of fishing boats running and gunning before the sun started to set. August is a great time to catch fish on Lake Hartwell especially during the late afternoon or early evening and you never know when you are going to find a school of fish that are schooled up and feeding aggressively. Keep in mind that the late afternoon bite is always a good time to get out and try many of the things you learned in one of your Lake Hartwell Instructional Trips earlier in the year. This week I will begin sharing some information that you will need to get you through the next couple of months of HOT weather and you already know that you are free to call me at any time. The information that I will be providing will be first-hand information provided to me from several of the best fishermen on Lake Hartwell as well as information from my personal log book that I don’t normally share. Please continue to pray for my recovery so that I can return to the lake soon. So as I tell my best fishing buddies my advice is let’s let, Humminbird Finds Them, Minn Kota Sneaks up on Them, Stealth Rod Holders Holds Them, Captain Mack Products Fools Them and Okuma Rods and Reels Puts Them in the Boat! So let’s go Fishing!  

   

The Lake Hartwell bite has remained good with the water conditions remaining favorable for fishing. The levels at the time of this report are 659.82 which are.0.18 feet below the 660 full pool levels. The current water temperature is into the high- eighties and has been holding at these temperatures over the hot days we have experienced this week. 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 been good but it still has been an early morning and late evening bite. My log book shows that last year and in past years that I have always caught fish by fishing a clean bottom very close to the main river channels in sixty to eighty feet of water within a mile or two of the dam. When you locate one of these places some light drumming will help get the bite started so don’t forget your drumming skills. This works good in the morning as well as in the evenings. I always have found that this is the best time to Power Reel a Chipmunk Jig when you get the fish ganged up under the boat. When the live bait bite slows down as the sun gets high in the sky and the fish move to deeper waters and in many cases the bigger fish you came out to catch head for the river channels then you’re in luck if you have your Umbrella Rigs in the boat. I personally have talked with several good Striper and Hybrid fishermen who are catching most of their fish before daybreak and the rest are being found and caught suspending and trolling Umbrella rigs over these fish. While trolling if you mark a large school of fish in the river channel suspended be sure to throw out a marker and go back and Power Reel these fish also and you may just catch the bigger ones out of these schools. The late afternoon is productive and I know that there are several Striper and Hybrid fishermen fishing under sodium vapor lights in the river channel right in front of the dam. I don’t fish after dark in the evening but years ago I caught my share and had a bunch of fun night fishing on anchor waiting on the bait and the fish to come to me. Now is still a good 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 seasons. 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, 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.
  • 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.
  • SteelShads 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 lead core 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 and 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 continues to be good based on a few reports that I’m getting from those weekend Bass Club Teams. My grandsons camped near the dam this past week and caught several fish from their kayaks fishing close to the banks using SteelShads and Weedless Wonders and Robo worms. As soon as I’m released back to Lake Hartwell I will give you an accurate report. 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. 

Go to Baits.

Lake Hartwell Fishing Report August 2, 2020

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

He’s back!!  Rick is recovering well from his recent surgery and he will be resuming the weekly Lake Hartwell Fishing report! So thanks Rick, we are glad the surgery went well and are excited to have you back!! 

Our Lake Hartwell Fishing Report for August 01, 2020

So let’s do a little bit of catching up from these past three months when there was no Lake Hartwell Fishing Reports being posted which left some fisherman experiencing a little bit of anxiety before leaving the dock. For those who liked to read the Lake Hartwell Fishing Report maybe the night before their trip as a part of putting together a game plan before backing the boat off the trailer then today is a good day as we are now ready for our comeback. For those who have not guessed what’s up or why I have gone so long without some sort of a fishing report let me apologize before I go any farther because that surely was not my intentions. I’m still currently recovering from a major surgery on my right arm that paralyzed my right hand and has put me in a recovery time frame of about eight to twelve months. Now when I say I had a total arm rebuild I’m telling you that I now have a Femur leg bone screwed and plated to my humorous arm bone along with all the metal that is required to complete this rebuild. My surgeon’s favorite saying is, “all of this will begin to heal in time and everything that he has done will begin to graph together as he reminds me big surgeries rarely end in quick recoveries.” I’m so glad to know that I’ll fish again even though it may be awhile from now. Maybe not as soon as I was first told that I might would fish, but I’ll be back on the water very soon. In the near future if you miss a Lake Hartwell Fishing Report every now and then over the next couple of weeks or months just rack it up to a slow recovery for me or a break for the Stripers and Hybrids. Now is a good time to get out and try many of the things you learned in one of your Lake Hartwell Instructional Trips earlier in the year so that you will be able to load the fish fryer soon or start working toward your personal best again. I will begin sharing the information that you will need to get you through the next couple of months of HOT weather and you already know that you are free to call me at any time. The information that I will be providing will be first-hand information provided to me from several of the best fishermen on Lake Hartwell as well as my personal log book information. Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes and I look forward to seeing you all again very soon. So as I tell my best fishing buddies my advice is let’s let, Humminbird Finds Them, Minn Kota Sneaks up on Them, Stealth Rod Holders Holds Them, Captain Mack Products Fools Them and Okuma Rods and Reels Puts Them in the Boat! So let’s go Fishing!  

   

The Lake Hartwell bite has remained really good with the water conditions remaining favorable for fishing. The levels at the time of this report are 660.07 which are.07 feet above the 660 full pool levels. The current water temperature have dropped into the mid- eighties and have been holding at these temperatures during the over cast days. With hotter days still in the upcoming forecast I would expect that the water temperatures will once rise again quickly back into the low 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 been good and to catch a lot of fish on a down rod you must be on the water as early as possible. I would suggest that if you get in the water and in one of the many coves or pockets near the dam SC or GA side before sunup it won’t take you long to empty your bait tank as the sun begins to come up and the fish find the frisky bait you have suspended under the boat. Some light drumming will help get the bite started so don’t forget your drumming skills. Always keep in mind that it’s a really good idea to add a bag of ice to your tank to help keep bait as frisky as possible and if you are running a Keep Alive O2 pump to your bait you will be working at 100%. When the live bait bite slows down as the sun gets high in the sky and the fish move to deeper waters and in many cases the bigger fish you came out to catch head for the river channels then you’re in luck if you have your Umbrella Rigs in the boat. I personally have talked with several good Striper and Hybrid fishermen who are catching most of their fish before sunup and the rest are being found and caught suspending and trolling Umbrella rigs over these fish. While trolling if you mark a large school of fish in the river channel suspended be sure to Power Reel these fish, they will bite almost every time and the fish that bite will be first quality. The late afternoon is productive if you can get away from some of the big thunderstorms that we have experienced lately. Now is still a good 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 seasons. 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, 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.
  • 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 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 continues to be good based on a few reports that I’m getting from those weekend Bass Club Teams. As soon as I’m released back to Lake Hartwell I will give you an accurate report. My Grandsons are still catching fish off the docks in our neighborhood so they fish it all and they are doing great. A Shakey head is still getting the job done.

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. 

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 Lanier Fishing Report- July 31, 2020

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

Lake conditions remain consistent, with the level, falling slightly from last week to a level of 1071.14, .14 feet above full pool. The lake surface temp is in the upper 80’s. The weather has remaining consistent, consistently hot and humid, with more of the same in the forecast. The bite has also been consistent, especially for the Striper Anglers, with the Bass fishermen also reporting good catches, particularly given that we are into what can often be a less than prime time to target Spotted Bass!

It’s hard to choose a “best “ technique for the line sides, with all of the traditional Summer patterns working well. I think maybe the trolling bite is the best pattern, mainly because the bait can be difficult to keep alive in places, jigs, spoons and Mini’s eliminate that issue. That being said, the bait bite is still very good, you’ll just need to take care of the Herring, both in the tank and on the hook. Drop them quickly, check them frequently. Last week there were certain areas and depths were the bait really struggled, often a common issue in August , so be aware of that condition.  Moving the down lines, either by stealth trolling at around .5 mph, or moving the bait up and down as the rod is in the holder. You may want to try dropping the bait below the fish and then slowly reeling up through the fish, basically it’s powered reeling in slow motion, and it can often trigger a bite. Keeping a bait on a light spinning rod, add a couple of splits, will also trigger a few extra bites. 

Trolling has been excellent, with lead core, downriggers, and flatline trolling the full size umbrellas producing very good catches. If you are using the full size umbrellas (both the 9 bait buck tail and shad rigs are effective), 1 20 to 140 feet behind the boat has been a good number, but fishing the rig that far behind the boat will cause you to sacrifice some control.  It is also hard to use rigs in conjunction with the lead core with the rigs that far out, they are more prone to cross up with the lead core rigs. To remedy that issue, add a couple of larger jigs to the umbrellas. Every time you add an ounce of weight to the rig, you add two feet of depth to the chart. For instance, Adding a couple of two oz jigs will add 4 feet to

the depth chart, adding 4  2 oz. jigs will add about 8 feet to the chart, allowing you to fish the rig much closer to the boat. This will also increase the distance between the baits on the lead core and the rigs, greatly decreasing the odds of the umbrella fowling one of the lead core lines.

 

Power reeling is also very strong, jigs and spoons will get the bite , and I think on some of my more recent trips the 2oz. Chipmunk Jig was the better producer. Tip the Chipmunk with a Herring, or a plastic shad body. The 4” Capt Macks Shad bodies in pearl and lime/chart have been effective trailers, as had been the DOA 4” CAL bait in the chart glow pattern . 

The Bass bite is also good, particularly for numbers as the fish are all over 25 to 30 foot brush. Worms on the Drop Shot are the big producer, shakey’s get the bite as well. Most of your favorite finesse worms will be effective, and the Roboworms in any of the morning dawn color patterns have been strong, along with Aaron’s Magic, Prizm Kraw , and Watermelon Magic. The Roboworm Alive Shad’s have also been producing well on the drop shot. Casting a walking bait, weighted Fluke or Spybait over the brush may call a few of the bigger fish up in low light or windy conditions .

While the 25 to 30 foot brush is producing the numbers , some of the bigger fish are showing up on the deeper humps and timber edges. Target those types of structures in 35 to 40 feet, the timber edges are difficult to find in any less water with the lake level staying slightly over full pool all summer. A single standing tree is also a really good structure to fish right now if you know of any, they will generally be in 30 feet or greater depths, but the top of the tree may be much shallower giving the fish an opportunity to suspend at the top or along the trunk of the tree depending on the depth. Approach the tree like you would s brush pile, casting a moving bait over the top and follow that up with worm on the drop shot!

Good Fishing!

Capt Mack

Lake Lanier Fishing Report July 18, 2020

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

July has been hot, especially in the afternoon. Fishing has been hot too, especially in the afternoon! Of course when the rods are bending it’s a whole lot easier to tolerate the heat and humidity! If you need to cool off, you can always take a dip in the lake, which fell slightly this past week, .21 feet over full pool to 1071.21. The surface temp is at 88 degrees. Based on the extended forecast we have plenty of heat and humidity in store as the ‘Dog Days” of summer are here! Looking at the extended forecast indicates we will have a greater chance of afternoon thunderstorms as we enter into next week.

Striper fishing has been good, and you’ll have several choices of productive patterns to choose from. The fish are using the typical July deep water patterns, although we still have some fish pushing back into the pockets over a 40 to 50 foot bottom. The overall trend is Stripers moving towards deeper water, creek channels, over the river channel. Fyi, you may find fish at any point out over the river or major creek channels, but that pattern seems to be best from mid day on. You may also see fish anywhere from 30 down to 80, so place the baits where the greatest activity is. Monitor the live baits closely, keeping the bait alive on the hook is difficult in some areas of the lake, check and change frequently if needed. Supplement the down lines with some power reeling, Spoons, Chipmunks and Herring are all good choices and power reeling is a good compliment to the live bait spread. FYI, Power reeling tip number 4 will post on Sunday afternoon! Live bait fishing has been producing well, down lines are the dominant producer, with a few fish still being taken on weighted flat lines. 

The trolling bite has also been very good, with fish responding to Minis and Jigs on the Lead core, full size umbrellas, and spoons. Pull the Minis on lead core, about 275 feet back on the counter, 30 foot leader included, about eight colors if you are counting off of the line. You can use the same depth parameters on either a 2 oz Chipmunk jig or the big spoons, there will not be much variation in depth between those three baits. Which one is the best option? That answer varies from day to day, but the 2oz Chipmunk tipped with a Herring or 6” trailer has been very consistent. As far as spoons go, the Parker spoons are a good choice as are the Hawg Series Fat Spoons. Any of the aforementioned baits can be trolled on lead core or with a downrigger, so keep that in mind when you deploy the spread. If you opt for the full size umbrella, and they have also been very effective, pull the rig from 120 to150 feet behind the boat. You can also use the rigs on the lead core or behind a downrigger as well. You may want to go with a lighter umbrella on the down riggers, just because it is hard to hold the bigger rigs in the release clips. The Capt Macks 3 arm rigs create much less drag so they are a good option, as are the Mini Mack’s. To help determine the depth of the big umbrellas when using with the down riggers, use the amount of line from the downriver ball to the rig and find the depth value for that amount of line deployed on the chart. Add that number to the depth of the downrigger ball and you should be spot on!

The Bass Fishing is also typical for July, main lake brush in 20 to 35 feet is holding plenty of fish. If you want the numbers, the drop shot will be awfully hard to beat, it may catch the bigger fish, but it will run up the numbers! Don’t forget about casting the drop shot as well. especailly on the windless days when the water really slicks off. This can be a very good technique when fishing the brush.  Shakey heads and your favorite finesse worms will also be effective in the brush. You can still entice a few of the bigger fish out of the brush to take a walking bait, and a sub surface bait like a Steelshad, Spybait or weighted Fluke over the brush are also good selections. 

Keep a bait tied on to cast at the very random surfacing fish, they are showing up in a variety of places, but will take a bait if you can get it to them quickly. Many of these fish are over deep open water chasing Herring schools( that is one reason that the bigger fish may be a little harder to come by, they are starting to suspend over deep open water) so have something that is capable of making long casts tied on and ready to go. Steelshads will do well for this application, as will Fish Head Spins, Topwater, or bucktails. 

Good Fishing!!

Capt. Mack