Hartwell: Level: 3.5 feet below full. Temp: 83 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Fair. The Flukes & Spooks pattern on main-lake humps, points and reef markers still works, said Hartwell fishing guide Mark Waller. If the topwater isn’t working for you, the back-up to that pattern is a Carolina-rigged lizard worked on the same structure.
Stripers/Hybrids: “You can catch all the fish you want,” said Hartwell guide Buster Green, “but there is nothing of any size. The fish are running in the 1 1/2 to 2 1/2-lb. range.” The fish are holding over nearly any point or hump from one end of the lake to the other. “If you put live blueback herring on the bottom in 35 to 40 feet of water, you’ll catch them, but if you catch 40 fish, you’ll be lucky to have one over three pounds.” Schooling activity has been sporadic, said Buster, with just a few fish on top very early in the morning and during the last 30 minutes of daylight. By this time of year the stripers and hybrids should have started to stack over the river channel from the dam to Portman Shoals seeking better oxygen and cooler temperatures, but according to fishing guide Mark Waller, it hasn’t happened yet. “I have been struggling to stay on them,” he said. “They are here today and gone tomorrow. I have been out in front of the dam at night with sodium lights and live bait, but that pattern hasn’t set up yet.”