Lake Hartwell | A Bass Fishing Destination

By Outdoor America

Lake Harwell is known for several things, but it has steadily risen as one of the best bass fishing locations in the southeast. The lake boasts beauty and bountiful fishing opportunities that bring visitors from all corners of the country.


Visit Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell is a man-made lake that sits on the Georgia and South Carolina border. The lake was formed as a flood control and hydropower project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over 60 years ago. Three main rivers flow into the lake, which are the Savannah, Tugaloo, and Seneca rivers.

The lake covers 56,000 acres and has over 900 miles of shoreline. Hartwell gets its name from Nancy Hart, who was a Revolutionary war hero, for which a county, town, and dam also bears her name. The recreational impact on the two states that share this lake is tremendous. Millions of visitors each year journey to the lake for recreation and fishing. In addition, over 25,000 acres surround the lake that provides further recreation including rustic and modern camping, swimming areas, and wildlife viewing.

Lake Hartwell Fishing

Lake Hartwell fishing is some of the best in the southeast. The lake offers angling opportunities for largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass as well as crappie, catfish, and striped bass. The lake is dotted with recreation areas, boat launches, and fishing piers where all types of anglers can fish the lake. Numerous fish habitat structures in both deep and shallow water areas have been and continue to be added to increase fishing prospects within the lake. If you go, either a valid Georgia or South Carolina fishing license is required to fish.


Catching Bass at Lake Hartwell

Hartwell is widely known for its exceptional striped bass fishing. However, what draws more and more anglers each year is the black bass fishing. The lake has all three species; largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass. Each species has its place, but most anglers focus on getting largemouth bass bites.

Bass fishing in Lake Hartwell is year-round. The lake is a blueback herring lake, which to bass anglers means fishing techniques are focused around this target forage for bass.


Bass Fishing the Seasons on Hartwell

  • Winter – Bass move to rip-rap and other manmade structures like bridge pilings during winter months. Here bait will aggregate to take advantage of warming water. Fish shallow diving crankbaits and spinnerbaits near these areas on warmer winter days.
  • Spring – Spawning time on Lake Hartwell means as it does everywhere else, bass will be shallow. The back of coves, shallow creek arm pockets, and shoreline brush piles all will hold spawning bass. Spring bass fishing Lake Hartwell with lures such as weight-less soft stick baits, flukes, and spinnerbaits will all prove successful during the spawn.
  • Summer – After the spawn, bass will transition to main lake points to feed on shad and blueback herring. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times to fish and can produce some amazing topwater action. Bass will explode on baits like spooks, flukes, and pencil poppers.
  • Fall – The feeding bonanza continues into the fall. Bass will follow shad and herring from the main lake back up through creek arms. Topwater will still catch bass during the fall but also crankbaits play a factor especially early in the fall when bass fishing in Lake Hartwell.

Lake Hartwell is one of the more sought after locations in the southeast for both anglers and recreational enthusiasts. The lake rivals many other spots in the southeast when it comes to bass fishing. The recreational value here is incredible and worth at least a few days to visit.

Outdoor America

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