Channel catfish are some of the best-eating fish on the table, especially cut in small chunks, fried golden brown and served with a side of cole slaw. If you have fresh catfish on your mind, Lake Hartwell is the place to catch them right now.

According to Bill Plumley of Capt. Bill's Fishing Adventures, the channel cats have been tearing it up on Lake Hartwell lately.

"The channel cats are biting just about anything right now, but the stink bait is the best without a doubt," said Plumley (864-287-2120). "They're running from about 1 to 3 pounds, and you can occasionally catch a 5-pounder, but they're a good eating size. You could probably catch 15 to 25 in a 4- to 6-hour trip."

For bait, Plumley suggests Hoss' Hog Bait presented in a rather unique way. He takes a swim noodle – the kind kids use in the pool – and cuts a half-inch section off, the result being a piece of foam that looks like a doughnut. He makes one more cut so the foam is in the shape of a slice of cantaloupe, then cuts small sections off that slice and dips them in the stinkbait before casting them out.

"I use a Carolina rig with an 18-inch leader and let it sink to the bottom," Plumley said. "What that piece of swim noodle does is floats that stinkbait off the bottom. All a fish has to do is swim by, take a bite and keep on moving."

Fish have also been biting both live and cut herring, but the stinkbait has definitely been his top producer. Plumley suggests fishing on points in about 20 to 25 feet of water, and he uses spinning tackle.

"It seems that I don't have to throw the spinning reels nearly as hard when casting to get a good distance," he said. "That way you don't throw your bait off the hook when you're trying to cast. Plumley uses 8- to 10-pound test line for channel cats and recommends Trilene XL or something similar.