Lunker time on Lake Hartwell

bassBass are in various stages of the spawn in March

Brandon Cobb is a big fan of Lake Hartwell in March. He won the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series event on this lake, so he knows a thing or two about it. One thing he likes about it is the variety of areas you can catch bass here this month.

“In March, you’ll see fish in the spawn, pre-spawn and toward the end of the month, post-spawn. So that means different groups of bass are in many different areas,” he said.

Another thing he likes is the diversity of the lake itself. And that goes for the different species of bass as well as the geography of the lake. Largemouth and spotted bass both lurk here. The same tactics and lures will catch both species.

“You not only have that clear water, spotted bass, deep type fishing, you also have hundreds of tributaries that get stained water, especially after some heavy rain like we often have in March,” he said.

Cobb talks about his favorite places to target, and stresses that similar areas are located all over Hartwell.

“One of my favorite areas to target has clay banks transitioning to rock in creeks. This time of year, the fish will move up on the rock, and the banks will just be loaded with them,” he said.

To catch these fish, he relies primarily on crankbaits.

“You just have to cover water with a crankbait until you run into the group of fish. I like fire tiger and crawdad colors.

Docks and roadbeds

“The shoreline along Lake Hartwell also has docks all over it. They can be awesome opportunities to catch during the spawn and pre-spawn. It’s really good 12 months out of the year, but especially during the spawn and pre-spawn,” he said.

These are all floating docks, and Cobb said fish will spawn under the walkway that connects the dock to land. And they’ll stage under the dock itself.

When targeting these fish, Cobb likes to skip a soft plastic worm, rigged wacky style, under the walkway and dock. He said this offers anglers a great chance to catch some of the biggest fish of the year.

Roadbeds in deep water also hold bass that are feeding on herring until right when they are ready to spawn.

“They can move from 35 feet deep to the banks in a day,” said Cobb.

About Brian Cope 2745 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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