UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Wylie

Key Areas on Lake Hartwell

Key Areas on Lake Hartwell
Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell has been the home of many major and local tournaments throughout the years. Recently, Casey Ashley has been the dominant pro on Hartwell, winning the Walmart FLW Tour event on his home lake in 2014 and the Bassmaster Classic here in 2015. Before Ashley, Jason Christie won at Hartwell in 2011, followed by Brent Ehrler in 2012. Most recently, Mike Devere won the FLW Bass Fishing League Wild Card on Hartwell in the fall of 2015.

Here’s a look at the types of areas that have produced tournament wins on Lake Hartwell over the last few seasons. 

 

Lake Hartwell

In 2011, Jason Christie won on Lake Hartwell, with Brent Ehrler finishing 10 pounds behind him. Christie looked for prespawn fish in dirty water that looked like what he fishes back home on Grand Lake in Oklahoma. He found it in Beaver Creek and was able to fish his strengths and throw a spinnerbait for big prespawn bass.

Much of Lake Hartwell is deep and clear, so finding stained water like in the image above isn’t the easiest thing to do.

With this week’s warming trend, any stained water might be the first to warm up for eager bass looking for spawning grounds.

 

Lake Hartwell

In 2012, Brent Ehrler got his revenge on Lake Hartwell and took home the crown by holding off Micah Frazier by 3 pounds. Ehrler keyed in on a few spots around the islands that are centrally located on Lake Hartwell. He fished 30 to 50 feet deep with a football jig, drop-shot and umbrella rig.

Anglers who like to fish deep will be searching these areas for schooling spotted bass feeding up on blueback herring.

 

Lake Hartwell

Gulls and loons raft and dive in the water for bluebacks on the edge of the islands.

 

Lake Hartwell

In 2014, Casey Ashley won his first major tournament as the hometown hero at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Hartwell. He won by almost a 15-pound margin. Andy Morgan was his closest competitor. Ashley used local knowledge to fish brush piles in and around boat docks and marinas.

This year the current weather trend has been much warmer, and the fish are moving quickly. The staging fish might already have moved past the brush piles that Ashley fished, and they could be sitting on the bank when the Tour event starts.

 

 

Lake Hartwell

It wouldn’t be a Lake Hartwell tournament without someone in the top 10 catching fish off of boat docks. In 2014, Brandon Cobb won a BFL tournament on Lake Hartwell running a pattern that included fishing docks for big largemouths. Cobb knew the bigger fish were suspended under the floating docks, and he was able to cull up for the win after the sun came out in the afternoon.

As more fish move to the banks these docks might be the last places they stop before committing to the spawn.

 

 

Lake Hartwell

Casey Ashley followed up his FLW Tour win with a Bassmater Classic victory the following year. His primary bait was an under-spin with a Zoom Fluke trailer, which he used to target spotted bass. Ashley took advantage of the early bite to put a big fish in the boat every morning.

Spotted bass are always a factor on Lake Hartwell, which is good news for spotted bass experts such as Anthony Gagliardi and Cody Meyer.

 

Lake Hartwell

In November 2015, Mike Devere won the BFL Wild Card event by fishing rocky banks on Lake Hartwell using a 1/2-ounce Stan Sloan’s Zorro Bait Co. Booza Bug matched with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk trailer. Devere racked up a 21-pound, 11-ounce limit, which showed Hartwell’s true potential.

Although autumn is behind us, Lake Hartwell is setting up to show off big weights this week from many anglers in the top 10.

 

Lake Hartwell

Even though a major tournament has yet to be won at Hartwell by strictly fishing spawning bass, the pattern will be a factor in this week’s event. Many of the spawning bays are warming quickly as the air temperature here in South Carolina reaches into the 80s.

One key factory will be the thick pollen blanketing the surface of the water in some pockets. The pollen reduces visibility and makes it harder for anglers to target shallow bass in spawning areas.

 

Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell is setting up to be a slugfest of sorts for the Walmart FLW Tour pros and co-anglers. Over the next four days, fishing fans will get to see what kind of challenges and the quality of bass that Lake Hartwell has to offer.

Tags: lake-hartwell  jesse-schultz  pre-tournament  2016-03-17-lake-hartwell 

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