Lake Hartwell: Lake Hartwell water levels are up to 652.28 (full pool is 660.00), and water temperatures are around 70 degrees. After the very significant rain over the last few days the most in some time the water is more stained and some of the creeks are blood red.
Striped bass can be found pretty much all over Lake Hartwell, with Captain Bill Plumley (864-287-2120) reporting that the one exception is in very deep water. Anywhere on the lake from the shallows out to about 30 or so feet could hold fish, and overall they are feeding well. With herring spawning striper can be caught off the points early with live bait fished on the bottom, and pulling free lines and planer boards in the same areas will also catch fish. There are also some fish being caught on down-lines in about 25-30 feet of water. Captain Bill has not seen any fish schooling.
The bite for catfish is improving, and Captain Bill advises that channel catfish are really starting to move around and feed. They can be caught pretty much anywhere in the lake from the creeks to the main lake as long as you target 2-20 feet of water. The population is so strong that anywhere in that range where you put night crawlers, red worms, dip bait, or cut herring on the bottom you should be successful. Blue catfish can still be caught for now, but they are starting to head for deeper water as the shallows warm up. Look in the 15-30 foot range. Flatheads can be caught on live bait fished on the bottom around brush at night.
Crappie are solidly in a post-spawn phase, and they are grouped up around shallow brush. Cover in 8-10 feet is a good area to look. Last week Captain Bill caught a 2-pound crappie while down-lining herring!