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Lake Hartwell Fishing Report - April 29, 2021

Lake Hartwell saw a very up and down week of fishing this past week. Which can be very common for this time of year. The last week of April and the first week or two of May can be a major transitional period for all the fish on many southern impoundments. The spawn is tailing off for many species and the fish are ready to fill their bellies. The weather looks fantastic for the weekend and the lake is level is hovering around that 661ft mark. There are some big-time bass tournaments this week that coupled with the beautiful weather, will undoubtedly see the lake busier than we’ve probably seen it this year.

The stripers and hybrids are funneling down the lake from their spring spawn runs and looking to feed on the growing herring spawn. As we touched on last week, the herring spawn can be a difficult pattern to stay on day in and day out. So keep in mind, it’s a numbers game some days, so don’t get lulled into staying in one area too long. Stick and move until you find an area that is holding fish. Once you find a place that is producing fish, try and figure out what is it about that area. Pay attention to what factors you think are contributing to that area holding more fish than the others. Some things to pay attention to are the proximity to the main river or creek channel. The size of the point or shoal and its tapper to deep water can be a factor as well. Wind direction can also play an important role in which points will have more bait and more fish than the next. Planer boards and freelines have also been productive once the bank bite has slowed each morning. The down rod bite is improving each day with the warmer temps. Keep in mind pulling bigger gizzard shad and herring will still produce a big fish bite or two. Trolling umbrella rigs can also be a very productive way to put fish in the boat as well once the sun crests the trees. The benefit of this tactic is a huge increase in the number of areas you’re able to fish in a quick amount of time. You can fish ten times the areas you can with live bait in the same amount of time.

The spotted bass and largemouth are showing up on the same points and shoals as the stripers and hybrids. Some really nice fish are being caught in these areas with the topwater bite improving with the warmer water temps. We caught several fish in that four-plus range this past week. These fish can keep us striper guys busy catching while we look for the striped critters we’re targeting.

Good Luck and Great Fishing

Capt. Nathan Key

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