Fresh bait is key to catching summer stripers on Clarks Hill

Clarks Hill’s stripers will be moving progressively deeper through July.

Keep your bait fresh for summertime stripers

July isn’t often thought of as a transition month for fishing, but it can be exactly that for stripers and hybrids on South Carolina’s Clarks Hill Lake. It’s plenty hot early in the month. But guide Bradd Sasser of William Sasser Guide Service said the bite can be quite different from the first part of the month to the last.

Early in the month, Sasser said anglers can expect to catch plenty of fish in coves and pockets, especially if the lake is up or there’s been a lot of rainfall.

“In those conditions, you’ll find a lot of stripers holding in 25 to 30 feet deep in ditches, and they’ll feed very aggressively,” said Sasser (706-589-5468). “The bite will be extremely good right around sunrise. And the size of these fish will range greatly. We’ll catch stripers in the 8- to 10-pound range, along with hybrids that run from 1 to 5 pounds.”

Don’t give up in the afternoon

Toward the middle of the month, especially when the days really heat up, Sasser said the afternoon bite will pick up in deeper water.

“When the water temperatures get up into the mid- to upper- 80s, these fish will go deep in the middle of the channel. That’s when the afternoon bite really turns on. We’ll catch them between 35 and 50 feet deep,” said Sasser. He uses his electronics to find schools of fish, then presents live herring to them on down lines. He said it’s important to make sure you keep fresh live bait on the line, especially on the hottest days.

“As the heat really picks up, some days are better in the morning, and some days are better a little bit later in the day. It can change daily this time of year. But as long as you find the fish, they’ll bite at some point,” he said.

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About Brian Cope 1997 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of CarolinaSportsman.com. 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 brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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