Captain Mack’s Lake Hartwell Fishing Report

The Lake Hartwell bite still remains somewhat tough with the water conditions beginning to change quickly
for fishing. The levels at the time of this report are 661.09 which are.1.09 feet above the 660 full pool level.
And with the limited amount of rain in the current forecast maybe we will drop below full pool soon. The
water temperatures are now falling into the sixties which is perfect for catching fish.

Stripers and Hybrids

If you look back at last year’s Lake Hartwell Fishing Report you will see that the fishing was great and we
were catching a lot of fishing pulling Captain Mack Umbrella Rigs. The only difference was the lake was
several feet lower than it is now. The live bite is good but the fish are much smaller than the one caught off of
Captain Mack’s Umbrellas and Mini Mack’s The trick to the Mini Mack’s is to get them way behind the boat
and hook them to your perfect Planer boards, right now until the water drops a few feet my personally advice is
to pull your Captain Mack Umbrella Rigs over humps and into the coves where you see fish breaking.

As a
rule of thumb the bigger fish usually are only a few feet deeper than the small fish and the umbrellas are the
best way to catch the bigger fish. I’ve always had a lot of luck pulling my lighter Captain Mack rigs over long points where the water is much shallower or across under water road beds or ditches where the bigger fish are
hanging out, but don’t overlook the main lake if you see fish breaking on top especially if they are all bunched
up and knocking water about a foot high.

Now everything that you need to know to catch Stripers and Hybrids
is here now that we have begun our fall and winter Instructional Trips, so if you get a chance to get into a
teaching boat, book and take that trip. This could be the best trip that you will ever take and it will increase
your odds of catching fish tremendously on any Striper or Hybrid lake. If you are interested in booking an
Instructional Trip or guide trip give Captain Mack a call at 770-235-8135.

Go to baits for this week.
• Live Blueback Herring fished on down rods and freelines. The bait shops are all suppling nice big
quality bait.
• Okuma Cold Water CW203D reels. What a great match, this rod and reel combo is the perfect Striper
and Hybrid combo and it is unmatched in its ability to handle a good fish while giving you all you
need to enjoy the fight. This rod and reel combo is the perfect tool and I would give this rod and reel
an A++ for Striper Live Bait Fishing.
• Keep Alive Oxygen System. This system will make a huge difference in your bait. I personally believe
that it will help keep your bait in perfect condition especially if you decide to pull gizzard shad this
winter and you have them in your tank with your herring.
• SteelShad are still working great for schooling or breaking fish. This bait will catch all bass species
when cast to points or fished in deep or shallow waters.
• Captain Mack Umbrella Rigs. I will not go to the lake without them!
• Captain Mack Mini Mack’s – they will catch good fish if trolled or pulled behind your Perfect Planer
Boards or while trolled behind leadcore line.
• Perfect Planer Boards. The early morning free line bite behind Planer Boards will return later in the
fall so now is a good time to get your Planer Boards ready for the upcoming fall fishing patterns.


Lake Hartwell Largemouth Bass fishing has not changed much and continues to be on the slower side but the
Spotted Bass fishing has remained excellent with a lot of fish being caught off of Shakey Heads and Flukes
and Mini Mack’s as well as live bait while Striper fishing. There are some hard hitting and heavy Spotted Bass
on Lake Hartwell and if you will work at it some you will never come home without having a rod bent or some
good eating Spots if you eat fish from Lake Hartwell. It seems that every year we catch more and more Spotted
Bass than the year before and right now top water baits and lipless baits will get the job done as the Spotted
Bass are schooled up somewhere on Lake Hartwell everyday.

• SteelShad in all sizes and colors are working great. The mini SteelShad is working the best on points
in the mornings when the bait is shallow. The Heavy Series is working over schools of bait in the main
lake. Be prepared to throw this bait at schooling fish for a guaranteed hook up.
• Captain Mack Mini Mack’s with or without blades, both work great. This bait is catching some hogs
while being fished off of points or around bridges and docks.
• Ned Rigs and hard and soft Jerk Baits of your preference. We are catching some good fish on
swimbaits as well.
• Flukes of several different sizes and colors.
• Captain Mack Weedless Wonder Shakey Head rigged with a bluegill or Morning Dawn Robo Worm.
Use the plastic of your choice. This is the BEST Bass bait that I know of for Lake Hartwell and I
recommend that you not go to the lake without rods rigged with the Weedless Wonder Shakey Head!


It’s time to get those Crappie rigs all set up! I’m getting some good reports of Crappie being caught dock
shooting and fishing old and new brush piles. It won’t be many more days and I will have some first-hand
information as I’m getting ready to go! I dropped a huge Crappie Condo this week and can’t wait to see how
long before the big donkeys show up.
Go to Baits.
• Blue Ice Jigs seem to be the go to color on Lake Hartwell right now. You may want to move up to
bigger jig heads as the fish move deeper. When every other color fails on Lake Hartwell we find that
chartreuse still will catch fish. Bobby Garland is my choice but many other brands also work great.

• Small Minnows under floats. This may not be your cup of tea but it still works and the bigger Crappie
will take live bait when they won’t take anything else.
• Chartreuse and white jigs are working well when blue ice or blue grass colors fail.
• Custom Jigs are working if you can find the right ones. It’s still a good idea to see what is selling the
best at your local bait shops. If the bait shop is out of certain bait you may want to see when they are
scheduled to get their next shipment so that you can give it a try.
• Humminbird Solix or Helix graph. These graphs have superior side imaging and down imaging and
are worth every cent if you are looking to locate Crappie.

Wishing you all .ght lines and good fishing!

Rick Owen – Lake Hartwell Professional Fishing
Guide (Ret.) Cer.fied SCDNR Fishing Instructor
To book your next Lake Hartwell fishing adventure please call Captain Mack Farr at –