In the springtime in South Carolina, the fishing is just absolutely phenomenal. Fish are feeding up heavily on shad, blueback herring, and other bait fish to get ready for the spawn. Lake Hartwell is no exception to this, and the month of April can be great for anglers who love to bed fish and Spotted Bass enthusiasts. April is when the majority of tournament anglers can bed fish all day long. This can be time consuming, very aggravating, but very rewarding for the anglers who have the patience and ability to locate enough spawning Largemouth and Spotted Bass that live in Lake Hartwell and spend the time rotating through baits to finally entice the bites they need. In this blog we are going to discuss a few of the baits and techniques that anglers can use on Lake Hartwell during the spawn. Make sure to read to the bottom to see How Revital Outdoors Premium CBD Products help anglers fishing Lake Hartwell.
The first question many anglers that are fishing tournaments in Lake Hartwell will ask themselves is, “Will I have to only sight-fish to be successful in Lake Hartwell in tournaments?” The upfront answer is NO they will not. Although at some point anglers are going to want to focus on going up shallow and looking for bass locked on a bed on Lake Hartwell; however, they can get away with power-fishing swimbaits and finesse techniques in spawning coves and spawning flats to generate a number of bites. When power-fishing on Lake Hartwell during spawn and searching for bass that are locked up on beds, anglers are going to want to imply a swimbait or wacky worm. If an angler is up in the area where they are seeing a lot of cruising Largemouth and Spotted Bass getting ready to spawn, they will want to throw a wacky worm to capitalize on getting a lot of bites, and a quick limit during a tournament. Typically, because anglers are fishing so shallow in this technique, they will want to throw a wacky worm weightless. A 5-inch senko style worm that is watermelon, watermelon candy, or watermelon red will be very successful to capitalize on this pattern. The more translucent and natural colors will dominate for throwing in a wacky worm color because of the Lake Hartwell’s clear water.
Once an angler gets their limit, they can then pick up a swimbait and maximize on trying to catch better quality bites while still searching for fish locked up on beds. Many anglers on Lake Hartwell that are utilizing this technique will be using line-through, internally weighted swimbaits to do their damage. These swimbaits are going to be between 5 and 6 inches long and weigh anywhere from 1/2oz to 1oz. Natural shad colors or blueback herring color patterns in a swimbait will be what anglers want to utilize. The key here is to make very long casts going down the bank leading into spawning pockets and spawning flats. Again, anglers are going to be catching fish that are cruising around thinking about coming up spawning. Anglers will also be catching fish straight off beds who are protecting the bed and are very aggressive to swimbaits swimming around them. So naturally anglers will be getting reaction bites from the fish.
Once anglers start locating bedding fishing on Lake Hartwell, they’re going to want to rotate between several different soft plastic baits in order to entice that fish into biting. If an angler throws a bait into the bed and the fish immediately leaves whether it be the male or the female, chances are that angler is going to waste too much time trying to entice a bite. The other scenario anglers will be faced with is if they throw a soft plastic into the bed and the male or female bass will either try to nudge the bait or blow on the bait to get it out of the bed. These fish are a little bit more able to bite, the angler will just want to rotate with different baits and find a spot in the bed that makes the bass more aggressive. Finally, the last scenario tournament anglers are going be faced with when bed fishing, is throwing a bait up on the bed and either the male or the female being a very aggressive and biting immediately. Anglers should be cautious on this scenario because many times that fish is so aggressive that they haven’t quite inhaled the bait completely and when the angler goes to set the hook, they will foul hook the bass outside of the mouth. Tournament rules state that all bedding fish should be caught and hooked on the inside of the mouth. So, anglers will want to be patient and verify that the bait is completely engulfed into the fishes mouth before the set the hook.
Soft plastic bait selection for bed fishing varies on what the angler likes to throw. Many anglers have had great success and throwing creature style baits in a variety of colors. Many anglers will throw white color soft plastics because they can easily identify the bait up on the bed and when the fish completely engulfs it into their mouth. Some anglers believe that the bright white color decreases the chances in a bass biting, therefore they will throw more natural colors that will still show up well in the water for them to be able to see but look more natural to the bass. Anglers have also had great success throwing finesse jigs or crawfish style baits when bed fishing. This works tremendously well because crawfish will eat the eggs a bass will lay on a bed, therefore it will trigger a very aggressive bite to the bass locked up on a bed. Lastly, some anglers will Texas-rig a swimbait or shad imitating bait and throw that when bed fishing. This imitates a shad or bluegill trying to disturb the bed or their eggs, which also will result in a very aggressive bite from the Largemouth or Spotted Bass bedding on Lake Hartwell.
Anglers should never be confused or negative about bed fishing on Lake Hartwell during the spawn. This is a technique that many anglers should consider utilizing in the month of April on Lake Hartwell and should spend the time in practice figuring out exactly how to maximize the technique.
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