Lake Hartwell Fishing Report - June 11, 2021

There’s no better time to be on Hartwell chasing striper and hybrids than June! June really marks the start of the summertime patterns which is my absolute favorite way to target linesides on Hartwell. The lake has fished extremely well over the last several weeks with the fish finally coming out of their major transitional period that May often brings. The lake level is slightly over the full mark of 660 and water temps have hit the low 80’s.


The lake is fishing pretty evenly right now with the mid-lake area and river arms being slightly better than the far southern end. There has been a very shorted live shallow bite each morning around shoals and points in 10-20ft across the lake. Freelines have produced far better than downrods first thing on these shallow fish. It’s only about a thirty-minute bite right at first light. Once the fish pull off these shallow feeding areas they have congregated in creek mouths and deeper pockets looking to finishing feeding up for the day. Once the morning bite ends there is often a lull in between the fish leaving the shallows and forming up in that 40-60ft of water. This is where good electronics pay dividends in finding these deeper fish. Those of you that have fished with me know I’m glued to my Humminbird units this time of year to find these deep fish. Downrods have way out-produced freelines once the fish move deeper but it’s always a good idea to still have a freeline or two out for those bonus fish. Often times they will produce your biggest fish of the day. A small split shot on the freelines has seemed to produce a few extra bites some days and not the next.


I’ve had a ton of calls lately asking how the striper fishery on Hartwell is doing and how I feel the state of the fishery is doing after the last several tough years. I thought next week I’d kinda touch on how I feel the lake is setting up for the summer and just a general overview of how I view the health of our fishery. One hint it’s more positive than negative!


Good Luck and Great Fishing!


Capt. Nathan Key



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