Clarks Hill: Level: 3.3 feet below full. Temp: 83 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Fair. Craig Johnson said the best bite is after dark. Look for humps that have brush, rock or hydrilla on them, and throw Spot Removers and big jigs. Craig concentrates from Schriver Creek down to the dam and up to Rosseau Creek (Little River). Get a lake map, and find these humps or ride down the lake and find your own. You’ll find hundreds of humps in this section of the lake, and Craig said the best ones top out at 15 feet. “You want to cast up on the shallowest part of that hump,” said Craig. “In July, when it’s hot, if the bass are feeding, they’ll be up there in three or four feet of water.” When bass are in a feeding mode, drag your bait off the steepest side of the drop. A lot of times you’ll find hydrilla starting in about 11 feet of water, and those bass will stack up along the edges. You can also deep crank rocks and stumps. “A lot of guys don’t crank deep stuff on this lake. They don’t know how to do it,” said Craig. For more on how Craig cranks deep structure on Clarks Hill, turn to page 20.
Linesides: Good. “The lake is beginning to stratify, which is good because the fish are starting to get into schools,” said Capt. Dave Willard. “The real thing is going on from 24 to 30 feet deep. We did real good fishing live herring this week.” Look for fish to stack up in the 24 to 40 foot range as temperatures rise. Fish the humps near the river channels, and Dave suggests the mouths of both of the Little Rivers, both Georgia and Carolina. Also, any deep timber will hold linesides. “In July and August you’re going to catch them on an early morning pattern,” said Dave. “We even catch a lot of fish between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. After 10 o’clock, it’s tough.” Downline live herring to these fish. Expect to see a few schooling fish on top, although topwater action will get better toward September. At the Russell tailrace, guide Wendell Wilson said there is a good bite in the slack water from daylight until 9 a.m. using bluebacks on freelines. When they start generating, around 1 p.m., Wendell said the bite picks up again, and a cloudy afternoon is your best chance at a really big striper in the tailrace.