Lake Hartwell: Pre-Spawn Fishing Trends

Right outside of Greenville South Carolina, is a bass fishing paradise that very few anglers have of heard of. However, in the last decade, the popularity of Lake Hartwell has picked up. Lake Hartwell is a Spotted Bass paradise, with its miles and miles of shoreline, docks, deep clear water, amazing population of baitfish, and deep brush; it has every piece of the recipe for success. In the last few years, it has made a name for itself onto the Top-100 Best Bass Fishing Lakes in America and has been home to the Bassmaster Classic three times since the year 2000. Winners include Alton Jones (2008), Casey Ashley (2015), and Jordan Lee (2018). Make sure to read to the bottom to find out How Revital Outdoors Premium CBD Products may help anglers fishing Lake Hartwell.

Spotted Bass Fishing

The first part of getting to know Lake Hartwell, and why it is such an awesome Spotted Bass factory is because of its huge population of blueback herring. To a Spotted Bass, this is like a filet mignon. This baitfish is known for living in big groups throughout their whole lives and can travel through water columns very quickly. Therefore, Lake Hartwell is known as a run-and-gun lake. Anglers often find themselves having to chase the Blueback Herring all over the lake throughout the day of fishing. They can be shallow, they can be deep, and can even suspended in the middle of the water column. Blueback Herring is one of the hardest forages to try and nail down a pattern on. It’s not uncommon for anglers to have success in tournaments on Lake Hartwell and have burned a full tank of gas. It’s also very common for anglers to come in with a big sack at Lake Hartwell, and they have fished multiple different patterns in multiple places on the lake throughout the day. 

Common Shad

Blueback Herring, with the exception of how they live in big groups, are very much like Common Shad found throughout the rest of the US. However, because Blueback Herring are found predominantly in lakes like Lake Hartwell, in deep reservoirs with clear water, and it is very important for anglers to match the hatch. This means throwing smaller baits, baits with the natural glimmer that Blueback Herring have, and baits that have a blue hue down the back of the bait. This feature is how they get their name Blueback Herring. 


Lake Hartwell is also full of crawfish; because of how clean the water is and its abundance of submerged trees and brush piles. So, in the early springtime when the majority of tournaments on Lake Hartwell are happening, anglers find themselves doing very well on jigs. There’s no real secret to color-patterns here: the brown, orange, black, and green pumpkin colors can all get bit on Lake Hartwell. There is one thing that most anglers will do a little bit different because of the clear water on Lake Hartwell. And that is they will cut the skirts down to make their jigs appear a smaller profile. This just creates an easier meal for lurking Spotted Bass and Largemouth Bass that live in Lake Hartwell.  

Alabama Rig

Other predominant springtime baits on Lake Hartwell are the Alabama Rig, Underspin, Drop Shot, and small Jigging Spoons. Probably the more popular bait in this line-up, is the bait that Casey Ashley won the 2015 Bassmaster Classic on. The Underspin took off on Lake Hartwell, and many local anglers are making their own version of Underspins, also many lure manufacturers have their own version for anglers to purchase. This is a small swimbait head with a small willow leaf spinnerbait blade attached to a wire below the head, and tipped with a small swimbait or fluke-style bait. Anglers will throw the underspin in big pre-spawn ditches, and areas leading to spawning flats. Anglers are generally catching bass in staging areas when they are using an Underspin and working the bait very slow along the bottom. This is not a shallow water technique, anglers catching fish on an underspin are generally fishing anywhere between 15 and 30 feet of water. Once an angler locates a good staging area that leads into the back of a creek or spawning flat, this is where the Underspin shines the most, however the dropshot and the jigging spoon will also pick up a few extra bites from fish holding in these areas. Again, these areas are going to be places where the Blue-Black Herring are eventually going to show up throughout their daily cycle, which is why the big Spotted Bass and Largemouth Bass on Lake Hartwell will be there. 

The Docks

Finally, the docks are always a factor on Lake Hartwell. Especially on a sunny day with little wind on the water. The docks serve as a heat source to the Blueback Herring and other forage in Lake Hartwell. That is why the bass are there, they are looking for an easy meal in areas like that hold a few degrees warmer temperatures.  Locals around Lake Hartwell have also been known to do very well in tournaments skipping a jig underneath docks. Some angles will run up to one hundred docks a day fishing a tournament on Lake Hartwell. Again, a key to docks holding fish versus docks that are not holding fish will come down to docks that are near staging areas and spawning flats. So, if anglers have an arm of Lake Hartwell that has a good abundance of deep water with submerged trees leading into the back of a spawning flat, and there’s docks near these areas, it’s a safe bet to spend the time and fish these docks. Often, also, this is where anglers will pick up their kicker fish in the tournament. 
Lake Hartwell will always be a gem to the state of South Carolina. It continues to grow some of the biggest Spotted Bass found in the United States. Tournament organizations such as Bassmaster and Major League Fishing continue to have tournaments at all levels for anglers on Lake Hartwell each year. It is a great opportunity for anglers to catch multiple fish in day, but some of the biggest Spotted Bass they have ever seen in their life. And generally speaking, all of the major tournaments on Lake Hartwell happen in the early spring during the pre-spawn staging time of the year for the bass. 

How CBD May Help Anglers:

Like professional angler Bryan New, it’s common for anglers to suffer from chronic inflammation and muscle soreness in the shoulders and back region. This is due to the constant casting and reeling that our back, shoulders, arms, and hands are growing through each time we repeat the process in hopes of a huge largemouth bass. One product to keep in your tackle box is the Revital Outdoors Premium CBD Cream. This product is extremely moisturizing, unscented, and contains 250mg of CBD. You’ll want to apply the cream to your areas of muscle soreness and discomfort. If you’re wondering if CBD topicals are good for your skin, read this.

If you’re new to CBD and want to give it a shot, you can feel comfortable purchasing with Revital Outdoors’ due to our 30-day money-back guarantee. This program allows for our customers to try our product and return it within 30-days if they don’t feel that the product was right for them. This way, you’re not out any money and at least you can say you gave it a shot.

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