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Lake Hartwell Fishing Forecast for January 2020

Report Date: January 15, 2020

Water temperature – upper 50s water level is about 5 feet below full pool

As of mid-December, fishing is good on Lake Hartwell. It got tough last month with the turnover. Now the water quality is good and fish are feeding. Most fish have moved up the Lake and into the major creeks and up the rivers. Most fish prefer small thread fin Shad to large Herring. They will key in on smaller Shad as the water cools. I used to say that hybrids and stripers slow down in January, but after the last two mild winters, the fish have kept feeding all winter. If the water goes below 48°, most game fish do not eat much as their metabolism slows. Who knows what this winter will bring. If we have a warm winter, fish will feed all winter. If the water gets cold, the best option is crappie. They will feed no matter how cold the water gets. They taste better from cold water. I like to work a 1/32 ounce jig and a soft plastic very slowly under shade. Bridges and docks 15 to 30 feet the will hold schools of crappie in January. It helps to have some brush. Side scan shows the schools clearly. Pick your days in January with nice weather. Wear a life jacket as the water will cause hypothermia in seconds.

Picture is of Capt. Preston Harden with a rare Lake Hartwell black crappie

Capt. Preston Harden
Lake Hartwell, GA

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Bucktail Guide Service
Preston Harden
115 Snyder Dr.
Townsville, SC
Phone: 706-255-5622
Email: [email protected]

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