Hartwell: Level: 3.6 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 80s. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Fair. Josh Fowler reports, “Most of the tournaments are taking weights in the low teens to win, and the weights are likely to remain low until the water starts to cool down in the fall. The most consistent bite going is targeting deep main-lake brushpiles with a combination of techniques. As you pull up to the brush, try casting a weightless Zoom Super Fluke, a Lucky Craft Sammy 100 or a Lucky Craft Smasher 105. It’s important to work these baits fast across the surface to try and draw the fish up to your bait. As you’re casting these moving baits over the brush, you need to watch your electronics and be ready to drop a drop shot rigged with a Zoom Swamp Crawler or a Wackem Baits Big Sissy worm straight down to any activity you see. Typically you only get one to three bites off of each brushpile before the school is pulled away from the brush, so it’s very important to have numerous brushpiles to fish during the day. The other bite that we typically see develop on Hartwell during August is a shallow deal in the backs of the major creek arms. Early and late in the day, I like to cast a Buckeye Lures DH2 buzzbait or a Zoom Horny Toad around any shallow cover in the very backs of the major creeks. This shallow deal is usually better during low-light situations, so you may have to move offshore as the conditions of the day change.”
Linesides: Fair. Preston Harden reports, “Stripers have been slow to migrate down lake. Fish have been moving around in the river channels, suspended above the thermocline. They have been in the river channels in 60- to 90-foot deep water. They have been mostly suspended about 25 to 35 feet above the thermocline. The thermocline comes up to about 40 feet. They are moving to the mid to lower lake where there is better water quality and no thermocline. They will go deep in the lower half of the lake. By August, they may be at 120 feet deep feeding on herring. Keep herring in a good tank with conditioner and salt at about 65 to 75 degrees. Use a Carolina rig to get the bait down to the level of the fish quickly. Big 1-oz. jigs and soft plastic or jigging spoons reeled up and down through fish will also get bit. Do not expect schooling activity until about mid September, when the water starts to cool.”