Hartwell: Level: 1.1 feet below full pool. Temp: Upper 50 degrees, some warmer water back in stained creeks. Clarity: clear.
Bass: Good. According to fishing guide Mark Waller, it took 23 pounds to win the Fishin’ Hole tournament on March 26. “Josh Fowler won it,” said Mark. “The story was that he was throwing a Blade Runner under docks. The fish up here are ready to go on bed — in fact some of them may have been on the beds before the cold weather.” Mark said the dock bite should hold up well. He recommended throwing Trick Worms or jerkbaits around docks back in the pockets.
Stripers/Hybrids: Excellent. In April the hybrids and stripers move up on the banks early and late in the day. One of the most successful patterns is to beach your boat in a likely spot on a red-clay point or bank and fish live bluebacks on the bottom on a Carolina rig. The fish can also be caught pulling freelined herring. The amount of surface activity is increasing and will pick up further with warmer water temperatures For a preview of the April linesides fishing at Hartwell with guide Steve Crenshaw, see page 56. On March 27, Steve said the fish were not on the banks yet, but should be when the water temperature climbs back into the 60s.
Crappie: Fish that were up in three to five feet of water have pulled back temporarily. Try pulling jigs halfway back in places like Little Beaverdam, Big Beaverdam and Eighteen Mile creeks. Fishing minnows in brush 15- to 20-feet deep has also been producing. Steve said he had been catching about 50 fish on recent trips.