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Lake Information for Hartwell Lake


Lake Hartwell is one of three large reservoirs on the Savannah River operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE). Lake Hartwells 56,000 acres are formed by the Tugaloo and Seneca Rivers, which merge to form the Savannah River. Lake Hartwell provides a wide variety of fish habitats that range from rocky bluffs on the upper Tugaloo River arm to shallow cove pockets and sandy flats in the middle and lower sections of the lake. Long, gradually sloping points and humps are located on most inside bends along the main channel. These points attract striped bass and hybrid bass during the cool weather months. Large expanses of submerged timber are located at the mouth of many coves and along the main river channel. Boat access is available at many locations around the shoreline at boat ramps operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers and State Parks. On the Georgia side of the lake, Tugalo and Hart State Parks also offer lodging, camping, picnicking and other recreational activities.

The lake has fallen quite a bit in the last year because of drought.

Fishing Description: 

Lake Hartwell is an excellent bass fishing lake and even hosted the 2008 Bass Masters Classic. Black crappie is another favorite target of Lake Hartwell anglers. Hybrid bass and striped bass are stocked annually into Lake Hartwell and support popular fisheries.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

On the Georgia side of the lake, Lightwood Log Creek, Shoal Creek, Gum Log Creek and Eastanollee Creek typically yield the highest catch rates of bass. During the spring months, shallow water bait presentations around cover located in coves and pockets is the preferred technique. In early summer, bass key in on shad and herring on main lake humps and points. A favorite summer pattern is fishing early mornings and late afternoons with topwater baits like the Sammy, Zara Spook or Super Fluke, in clear water around 25 feet deep near the reef marker points on the lower half of the lake. Fishing guides often comment how bass explode to the surface from their deep-water hideouts to take these topwater baits.

The areas with the largest numbers of crappie on the Georgia side of the lake include Eastanollee Creek, Gum Log Creek, Shoal Creek and Lightwood Log Creek. As the water starts to warm in late February to early March, anglers will find fish in these areas around submerged trees, bridge abutments, and old road beds in 10 to 15-feet of water. When the water temperature reaches 65oF by early April, crappie will move into 2 to 3-feet of water in the back of the cove around submerged cover. Fishing around structure and cover is critical to your success. During the fall, large numbers of crappie congregate in the submerged timber in Eastanollee Creek.

Largemouth Bass
Striped Bass
Optional Information
Surface area: 
Hartwell Lake
Lake type: 
South Carolina

Businesses Located Nearby

Boat Rental

    Carpe Diem Boat Rentals
  • 160 Clydesdale Rd - Seneca, SC
  • (864) 903-9428
    Interstate Boat Rentals
  • 422 Gipson Rd - Lakemont, GA
  • (706) 782-4754
    A-1 Boats
  • 4450 Gumlog Rd - Lavonia, GA
  • (706) 356-1104

Vacation Rental

    Lake Hartwell Cottage Vacation Rentals
  • 510 Lake View Dr. - Westminster, SC
  • (864) 647-4969

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