Hartwell: Level: 6.2 feet below full pool. Temp: 85 degrees. Clarity: Clear on the main lake; stained in the creeks.
Bass: Tournament pro Kerry Partain reports, “The water has really warmed up the last couple of weeks, and the fishing has been tougher. This time of year you really have two options—you can either fish fast-moving lures for a reaction strike, or slow down and use smaller finesse baits. On Lake Hartwell, there is always a chance for schooling fish to come up busting, so I always keep a Zoom Super Fluke ready to cast. When the fish are not schooling on baitfish, I pay attention to my Lowrance electronics and determine what depth the fish are concentrated. Once I locate some areas holding fish, I use a drop shot and a shaky head with a green-pumpkin or watermelon-candy Zoom Finesse worm and catch as many active fish as possible out of the school before locating another area. As we head into August, the water should start to stabilize, and the thermocline will concentrate most the fish in one depth range and make fishing a little easier to pattern.” Guide Preston Harden reports, “Bass are around brushpiles in 15 to 30 feet of water. Most main-lake points and humps have brush placed around them. Once you find these brushpiles, save the waypoint on your GPS. I like to cast a topwater from a distance before I get on top of the brush and drop a shaky head or a drop-shot rig. If the bass are there, they are easy to see on your sonar. I never thought there could be so many spots, with many of them over 2 pounds.”
Linesides: Guide Preston Harden reports, “July fishing has been as good as I can remember. The lake is heavily stocked with hybrids and stripers. With the cool temperatures and consistent rain, August could be as good as July. Last year with the hot weather and drought, fishing got tough in August. This year will be different. Most hybrids and stripers will be from mid lake to the dam. That is where the best water quality is, and they can roam the deep waters of the lower lake. Good electronics are very important in locating schools of fish. A blueback herring is seldom refused when presented at the depth that the fish are seen on the sonar. Artificials such as jigs, swimbaits, big spoons and bucktail jigs can catch fish. Reeling artificials through the schools of fish can trigger a strike.”