One thing all fishing guides look for is a consistent pattern they know will help catch fish for their clients. For guide William Sasser, striped and hybrid bass at Clarks Hill that are returning from their upstream migrations are that summer pattern that he expects to last for several months. 

“We are going out now and using live herring on down rods and are just wearing the fish out,” said Sasser (706-589-5468). “Typically, on a sunny day, it’s going to be a morning bite that starts just before daybreak and lasts for a few hours until the sun gets up and sends the fish deep.”

Sasser is targeting main-lake points and humps anywhere he can find shallow water that drops off deeper. He said the hybrids and stripers will school up and rush a point, and it’s all he and his crew can do to keep rods baited and in the water. He said he is catching most of his fish in water between 12 and 20 feet deep.

“Most of these fish are hybrids,” said Sasser. “I think there are just as many stripers in the mix, but the hybrids are so aggressive they get to the bait first. The typical size schooling fish are 3 to 5 pounds for the hybrids and a little bigger, up to 10 to 12 pounds for the stripers.”

Sasser prefers to stay just off the point, mark fish on his graph and then ease over the top of the school with his trolling motor. He also advised that many anglers will have good luck beaching their boats and throwing out live or cut bait, fan-casting lines around the boat to make sure they hit various water depths.

“Obviously, we do this a lot, and we have our spots that produce for us,” said Sasser. “To say it’s just one area of the lake wouldn’t be true. I like to fish about two-thirds of the way down the lake and over into the Georgia Little River because that’s close to where we put in. Other areas of the lake are doing just as well. The key is to find the right bank that the stripers are using to push bait up on.”