Wes Howard of Greenville proved once again that cut bait is king on Lake Hartwell when he landed a 40-pound, 43-inch striped bass from the Seneca River on Nov. 11. Howard was cut bait fishing on the upper reaches of the Seneca River when the big fish hit.

“The lake level has gone down, which most people don’t like, but the good thing for me is it allowed me to nose my boat up on the bank and still cast to the edge of the channel,” said Howard. “When this fish first hit, I wasn’t sure what it was, but soon as it started peeling drag, I knew it was a lot better fish than what I had been catching that morning.”

Howard said cut-bait fishing on the Seneca River has been producing everything from catfish to spotted bass to hybrids and striped bass.

“Everything I’ve heard lately is that stripers are down near the dam, out in front of Sadler’s Creek State Park,” said Howard. “For me, I have been catching fish, not just stripers, but catfish and spots, up the Seneca all year long. All of these fish are concentrating along the edge of the channel. The upper-lake rivers have so many long points and tight bottlenecks, it just concentrates the fish.”

Howard said conditions have been perfect over the past couple of weeks and should continue as water temperatures have dropped down into the lower 60s.

“In the area I caught this fish, I was casting cut herring out to the channel in about 15 feet of water,” he said. “I was on the end of a long point that kind of stair-steps down into the channel. The fishing has been on fire. I catch some nice blue catfish, spotted bass and a lot of striped bass. It was real foggy at daylight, and the fish were biting good. About 10 o’clock, the fog cleared off, the sun broke through and that’s when this big striper hit.”