Skip to main content

Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell

Up the Savannah River from August, Georgia is 56,000 acre Lake Hartwell. I asked 2015 Bassmaster Classic Casey Ashley champ what he liked about this amazing body of water. "It's a big lake with a lot of patterns, lots of 4 to 6 pound largemouth, and lots of big spotted bass," replied Ashley. Hartwell is not known for giant bass, but 8+ pound fish commonly come to the scales in tournaments. As you'll see below, this lake has options that will make an avid basser dizzy.

"Mid-March through mid-April is a great time to fish Hartwell. You have bass—both largemouth and spots—in all stages of the spawn," explained Ashley. The bass stage on long, flat points. Ashley temps bites rotating through jerkbaits and soft plastics offered on shakey head jigs and Carolina rigs.

The peak largemouth and spotted bass spawn will begin in late March and continue through mid-April. Search shallow pockets off the main lake and large coves. The water is clear enough that site fishing is a strong option.

When the water warms to 64-65 °F, the blueback herring spawn begins. "Unlike the shad spawn, the herring spawn throughout the day," said Ashley. "From my own experience, 11 to 2 is when the herring-spawn action is best." And if this doesn't excite you, the best way to catch herring-crashing bass is with topwaters. Ashley prefers large pencil poppers, Zara spooks, and Zoom flukes.

If the herring-spawn bite dies or you want a change from mauling bass on topwaters, you can always go site fishing or return to the points for staging bass.

Hartwell also hosts excellent striper and hybrid striped bass fishing.

Contacts: Casey Ashley, Brad Fowler, Striper and Hybrid Bass Fishing, Buster Green's Guide Service.

[navionics zoom="8" long="-82.8" lat="34.4"]

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Crescent CK1 Venture Kayak

Crescent CK1 Venture Kayak

The Crescent CK1 Venture is a lightweight, throw-and-go, nimble paddling kayak that is universally capable on most waters thanks to a proven and versatile hull design that also keeps you high and dry. The CK1 Venture is 11 feet long, 34 inches wide, has an overall capacity of 400 pounds and weighs only 60 pounds.

Old Town Sportsman BigWater PDL 132 Kayak Review:  Hands-Free Precise Boat Control

Old Town Sportsman BigWater PDL 132 Kayak Review: Hands-Free Precise Boat Control

In this video, we explore the 2021 Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 with MirageDrive 360 Pedal Drive Technology that allows this versatile kayak to turn on a dime and is loaded with professional features.

Where to Find Catchable Fish

Where to Find Catchable Fish

Here are some suggestions of general fishing locations to look for in your area if you're heading out on an adventure with your family soon.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the In-Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top In-Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now