Lake Hartwell

by Preston Harden

As of mid-September, the water temperature is about 78° and the water level is about 7 feet below full pool.
After a great summer of stripers and hybrid fishing, I think it will only get better this fall. They may be harder to locate, but they will feed much better. In the hot water of summer, they don’t eat bait so aggressively. Sometimes artificials will work better than live bait in the summer. The key is to work the bait to provoke a reaction strike. My two favorite plugs for surface feeding fish in the fall are a Sebille Magic Swimmer in white or a Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost minnow. Remember to use a net and pliers or be prepared to get hooked. I also pinch the barbs on these plugs just in case.
The lower lake had some big schools of spotted bass out on the prowl this summer. Many days this summer we caught spots at will over deep structure 20 to 40 feet deep. They should also hit these plugs the same as the stripers and hybrids do. Drop shots and shaky heads are also options if you see them on your sonar.
Watch out for turning water in October. Look around for greener water and try to stay away from brownish water. This usually happens after some cold weather. It will get better with stable weather. The crowds of summer have gone. The leaves of fall are beautiful, and the fish are jumping out of the water.