February Fishing Forecast for Lake Hartwell
Report Date: January 11, 2018
As of mid-January the water level is 9 feet below full pool and the water temperature is 46 degrees.
As we enter into February the water is cold and most fish are dormant. Last year, the water did not get cold and most fish stayed active all winter. The exception is crappie. They eat no matter how cold the water gets. They taste better when the water is cold. They move into the major creeks this time of year in preparation to spawn. They congregate under bridges and boat docks to escape from the Sun. I look for them 20 to 30 feet deep in late winter and shallower as the water warms in early spring. Tiny 1/32 oz. Jigs and 4 pound test line works best in cold water. Working the jig very slow will get more strikes. I fish vertically in the shade most of the time. Spider rigs trolled very slowly also catch crappie.
When the water gets cold, wear a life jacket! Hypothermia is dangerous and can happen quickly. It causes the body to go numb in a matter of seconds. Have a plan to get back in the boat with a lot of cloths on. Carry a spare change of clothes. Pick a pretty day, stay safe, and you might end up with a mess of good eating fish.
Picture is of a rare Lake Hartwell walleye.
Capt. Preston Harden
Lake Hartwell, GA
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