Lake Hartwell Fishing Forecast for March 2014
Report Date: February 22, 2014
Water Temperature: mid 40s
Water Level: 3 feet below full pool
As we transition out of a cold winter, fishing will pick up as the water temperature rises. As the temperature climbs above 50°, the fish will become active. This is my favorite time of the year. I cannot get fish to eat herring until April, but the hybrids, stripers and bass will eat small artificials from midday till dark as long as the water is warming.
There are exceptions. Big gizzard Shad pulled on free lines and planer boards in the backs of major creeks will catch a few fish. These are usually very big fish, just not many.
My favorite technique is to cast toward the banks in creeks that I know have fish. As the water warms during the day, the fish move shallow to the warmest water. Do not be in a hurry to start early. The best bite is late afternoon.
Crappie also move into the creeks and stage under docks especially on sunny days. Tiny jigs and light line are a must. Cast to the dark side of the dock and work the jig very slowly. As the month progresses, the crappie move farther into the creeks to shallower docks.
If you like to catch lots of fish on light spinning tackle, get some tiny jigs and small soft plastics and hit the major creeks. Fish till dark and you will catch a variety of fish from bass to stripers. My best striper last year was caught in March on a 1/8 ounce jig head and a tiny zoom fluke. It was tied on 15 pound test braid with a diameter of 4 pound test. I put on a 6 foot leader of 10 pound test fluorocarbon. The fish weighed 45 pounds and took 15 min. to land.
Picture is of Matt White from Gainesville, Georgia, with a nice striper from Lake Hartwell.
Capt. Preston Harden
Lake Hartwell, GA
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