Catching striped and hybrid striped bass through the summer boils down to three things: location, location and location. Guide Brad Sasser of Sasser’s Guide Service in Clarks Hill said he and his partners typically pick up on the down rod/live herring bite in late May when striped bass come off their false spawning runs. It happened this spring, but this spring, the bite never seemed to let off.
“We pick up on the schools of fish as they move down the lake from spring and through the summer,” said Sasser. “This summer has been a really good season, the water temperatures started to climb, but then we got enough rain to cool them back into the 80s, and the fish have bit for us all summer.”
Sasser said that trend is continuing now that September has arrived; his biggest problem is finding anglers willing to go catch them.
“The fish are in the lower lake now, and some days they’ll bite better first thing in the morning, and some days it’s a little later in the day,” said Sasser, “but we’ve had good luck, and that will just keep right on going into the fall until the lake turns over.”
Sasser’s gameplan is to first graph fish and figure out how they are orienting in the water column. Early in the day, fish may be near the surface over 60 to 70 feet of water and later in the day will seek shallower water, say 40 to 50 feet, and they will hold near the bottom.
“Once I graph fish, it’s just a matter of putting fresh live baits down to them and getting them started biting,” he said. “Then once you get that first bite, it’s on, and we’ll catch several fish right after another. It’s not uncommon for the boat to limit out in that one spot in an hour.”
In the attached video, Sasser guides a group from Greenville on a productive day of catching late-summer striped bass and hybrid striped bass from Clark’s Hill Reservoir.