Ever been driving in the mountains listening to your favorite song on the radio when you round a bend and go into a tunnel? Suddenly, everything goes dark, and you lose your signal for a while. Then, after a short stretch, the song comes back on and everything's sunny again.

That analogy describes the striped bass fishing at Clarks Hill. During the late summer, the fish were biting good until. Then, with little warning, the lake began turning over, and the bite just shut down. According to guide William Sasser (706-589-5468), happy days are here again.

"We've made it to the other side, and we're catching a lot of fish now," he said. "We're even seeing two patterns emerge, which is normal for this time of year, but it's a good sign the winter bite is one."

The two patterns Sasser is referring to are a shallow-water bite in four to 10 feet of water in the backs of many creeks and a deeper bite near the main Savannah River channel in 40 to 45 feet of water.

For the shallow-water bite, Sasser is working the upper part of the lake.

"Starting around Amity and Thompson creeks up the lake, head towards the back and pull live herring behind planer boards," he said. "You'll catch a mix of 3- to 5-pound hybrids and stripers, and some bigger stripers now. Don't underestimate how shallow these fish will go. The lake is down almost 15 feet, and it may look barren, but you run a board up there with a lively bait behind it and watch what happens."

Fortunately, anglers can enjoy both patterns. While the shallow bite is best early and late, Sasser is catching the deeper fish during the middle of the day after it warms up a bit. He said fish are congregated in bends in the river and playing hide-and-seek.

"You won't see much by riding and looking at the graph," he said. "You pretty much need to go find a bend in the river channel, either the Georgia Little River or main Savannah River where the bottom is 40 to 45 feet deep, and start fishing. Put six baits out just off the bottom and start thumping on the bottom of the boat. It doesn't take long, and they'll find you."