Red clay will make your day

Pull up on a red-clay point and fan-cast live baits for striped and hybrid bass this month on Lake Hartwell.

Location. Location. Location. The key to success for this springtime striper-hybrid fishing bonanza is a red clay bank on a gently sloping point, Hamilton said.

“I believe that some of the mildly rocky points are good, but we don’t pull up on them because the rocks just beat your baits to death.”

Hamilton said one guide did pull up on a point with smaller, gravel-sized rocks and stabilized his boat with power poles away from the bank.

“He did very well on this point several days in a row, but I would not fish it because of the possibility of tearing my boat up on the rocks. It’s just harder to fish a rocky bank unless you are using power poles.”

The other advantage, Hamilton said, is that the red clay helps pinpoint which point and which sloping bank to pull up on.

“Why red clay is better than sand I don’t know. I have caught them on sandy banks, but the sand was mixed in with the red clay.”

And that is a critical factor. If there is no wind you can’t pinpoint which bank to go to. But if there is a good wind rocking the bank, it creates a mud line and the baitfish will pull up into that mud line because they feel safer there, he added.

“Trial and error has shown that red clay is better than sand,” Hamilton said.