Stripers are a mainstay for many South Carolina fishermen, but the problem at this time of year can be getting them to take a bait.

But guide Steve Pietrykowski of Fishki Business hasn't been having many problems recently on Lake Hartwell.

"The stripers are doing better than the largemouth right now, but overall, fishing's been pretty good," said Pietrykowski (864-353-3438). "Fish have been really big this year over what we've seen in the past, making for a great season. The last couple trips I've chartered we caught a box full of fish and they were all between six and 11 pounds."


Fish have been suspended in the 40- to 50-foot range, and Pietrykowski will use a down-rod set up, but he waste too much time with one school of fish.


"During certain times of the year, you can find a couple groups of fish and put your day together with just those groups," Pietrykowski said. "Lately, it seems that some of the schools are getting a little more dispersed, which is pretty typical for this time of year. So, if I locate a school and it isn't active, I don't waste too much time trying to make them bite. If the school isn't active, you have to move and find one that is. I don't give it any longer than 15 minutes, and if nothing bites by that point, I'm off to the next spot looking for a new group of fish."


Pietrykowski said power reeling has been more effective than trolling. The concept is simple: you drop an artificial bait as fast as it'll go through a school of fish, and once it hits the bottom, you reel it up as fast as you possibly can.

 "I would recommend using a big bucktail or jigging spoon to power reel," Pietrykowski said. "You want at least a 1- to 2-ounce jighead, because you want enough weight to drop fast. If you don't have enough weight, you won't get that reaction bite. This method has definitely been effective since they've been a little lethargic lately."