LAKE HARTWELL July 21 2018
Our fishing forecast for Lake Hartwell July 21, 2018
With Lake Hartwell right in the middle of its summer time fishing pattern you will find the lake at 659.73 which is finally below its 660 full pool levels. Now that’s just a few drops out of a great big pool of water especially in comparison with the last few years where the lake was several feet below full pool every summer.
Now you may want to ask what does this have to do with the fishing. The answer to that can be everything. Lake Hartwell fishing is no different than any other body of water that you may fish. Water levels, temperature, dissolved oxygen; bait locations, weather conditions as well as many other factors can play a major role in catching fish.
Striper fishing on Lake Hartwell is great right now with large numbers of quality fish being caught. The water temperature is between 85 and 87 degrees. The current pattern for live bait fishing is fishing on the bottom near deeper water in 55 to 75 feet deep.
These fish are being caught off of clean bottoms near the river channels with the live herring being set one reel turn off of the bottom. Fish with the wind, we have had an east to an east north wind for several days now so the west and southwest areas of the lake seem to be holding more bait and fish.
Lake Hartwell water conditions seem to be best below 45 feet and the bait is staying alive well if you keep your bait below these levels. Just before sunrise you will have stripers running bait into the 30 to 45 feet depth range but this does not last long due to the water temperatures and dissolved oxygen content.
Power reeling is slow but will pick up as the summer drags on and stripers become more suspended. Pulling umbrella rigs and lead core is working well as the fish move back into the river channels at mid to late day; this pattern works best in the middle of the day. If you have trouble locating fish a recommend pulling a umbrella rig just off the edge of the river channels until you find a school of fish bunched up.
Bass fishing is still an early morning bite using top water jigs and swim baits. The money minnow has been very productive bait and gives you the ability to fish it at different depths depending on the size of the lead head that you use.
When choosing swim baits color always is a big deal on Lake Hartwell, I always keep a few of my favorite colors on hand at all times because what works one day may not work the next.
The SteelShad is still very productive bait and has boated some nice largemouth as well as spotted bass. This bait is very productive due to the ability to fish it shallow in the mornings and deeper as the day heats up.
Fishing the SteelShad over deeper brush piles is a great way to land the larger fish that you are focusing on.
The crappie bite is in its summer time pattern. This pattern will remain until the fall weather moves in. We will return to our crappie reports at that time.