Clarks Hill: Level: 2.3 feet below full. Temp: 52-55 degrees. Clarity: The upper tributaries are muddy. If we get four or five days with no rain the upper reaches of the tributaries will start to run clear. The lower end is fairly clear from 378 south. Little River Carolina is muddy.
Bass: A Shad Rap or other small crankbait cast to shoreline cover will catch fish in February, but for bigger fish Joe Ludwig recommends working the ditches with a weighted leadhead jig. The bait has moved back into the creeks and if you can find a windblown pocket with bait holding over the ditch, you should find bass. The prime depth is the 15- to 20-foot range. Cast across the ditch, and use a swimming or stop-and-go retrieve. According to Joe, the fish are especially prone to hit the bait on the drop. Once the sun is on the water, switch over to a jig ’n pig and work it slowly across the edges of the ditches or find places where you can work the edges of the hydrilla beds. For details on Joe’s February tactics at Clarks Hill, see page 112.
Linesides: Fair. “It’s been unseasonable warm,” said Capt. Dave Willard. “We’ve been doing OK, but our fishing has depended on the cold fronts. I don’t really expect things to break loose until March.” Right now look for fish shallow, and you can catch them on planer boards and freelines using live herring. “February can be tough with the fronts. The other day it was too windy to fish. We’ve been catching some 5- to 7-lb. largemouths around rocky points on herring.” Dave has been fishing around Raysville, Little River and Big Hart Creeks, but those areas get muddy. “When those get muddy, I’ve been going to Soap Creek, Wells Creek and even near the dam on the points at Hamilton Branch,” said Dave. “Some days they’ll be on primary points, and if the wind blows right, they’ll move to secondary points.”