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Lake Hartwell Fishing Report - April 15, 2021

Lake Hartwell fished extremely well this past week and it couldn’t have picked a better time than spring break week.

The lake was definitely way more crowded than we’ve seen it all year. It was heartwarming to see how many kids got to take part in some great fishing trips this past week. Almost every boat I passed had a kid or two onboard partaking in the sport we all love. I’m a product of taking a kid fishing at a young age and it has drastically shaped my life. Sometimes to us, it’s just another fishing trip, but to these kids, it’s a memory most of them will never forget. The lake level is slightly above full pool at 661.45 and the weather is favorable with a slight cool front coming in for the end of the week and weekend.

The striper and hybrid bite this week was phenomenal on Lake Hartwell. It was kind of a pick your poison type week with a bunch of different patterns paying dividends for anglers. Those that prefer targeting numbers saw the hybrids cooperative as well as some trophy stripers feeding heavily as well. The majority of the stripers are still feeding shallow most of the morning and sliding deeper as the morning goes on. The hybrids have seemed to gang up over the last few weeks as a response to their spawn run. While most of the hybrids are in the major tributaries arms of the lake there have still been some good-sized schools roaming the mid and lower lake. A majority of the stripers have been found feeding on shallow points, shoals, and creek flats on the main lake and larger creek drainages. Planner boards and freelines produced slightly more than down rods this week due to the shallow feeding patterns the fish seem to favor.

One thing to keep in mind for the next few weeks is the early nature of the bite during the spring. Most mornings the lake will fish drastically better for the first two hours of daylight and tail off as the sun gets higher in the sky. Take advantage of this and fish early and get home for that mid-day nap. The herring spawn is right around the corner and will only amplify this early feeding pattern. Check back next week and we’ll dive a little deeper into the herring spawn and tactics we use to target fish during this time.

The crappie bite has been slightly down from what it was a few weeks ago. Most of the fish are extremely shallow as their spawn is in full swing. This usually spreads the fish out a bit and makes sitting on one spot and loading a cooler more difficult. Pulling Long lines and throwing popping corks around blowdowns and shallow brush has produced for most this past week.

The largemouth and spotted bass bite has remained strong as a majority of the largemouth have pulled up on beds to spawn. The spots have finished their spawn and are found in many of the same areas as the stripers and hybrids as they look to feed on the emerging herring spawn.

Good Luck and Great Fishing

Capt. Nathan Key


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