First Trip to Clarks Hill

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First Trip to Clarks Hill

Postby murray_madman on Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:47 am

I am going to be coming to Clarks hill for a 3 day fishing trip the first wek in October. This will be my first trip to Clarks Hill. In Murray I normally catch my striper trolling spoons and bucktails deep with lead core line and also mix in some live bait fishing as well. I will be putting in a Hickory Knob in McMormick SC. Any advise for that time of year will be appreciated.


Also why is your lake so low? Are most of the ramps still open. I do not understand why Hartwell and Clarks Hill are 12 feet low and Russell and Jocassee are at full pool. Makes no sense to me. I was in Atlanta this weekend and could see lake hartwell from interstate 85 and it looked terrible.
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Re: First Trip to Clarks Hill

Postby Roy Phillips on Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:37 pm

Murray_madman,

You'd have to speak to the Army Corps of Engineers about why the lake is so low. I think it basically comes down to how much water they can get away with letting go over the dam - the more power they generate, the more money somebody makes.

I live about 3 miles or so from Hickory Knob. I really wouldn’t recommend fishing there this time of year. I believe that you will find the fishing a lot more productive either above the Strom Thurmond Dam or perhaps below the Russell Dam – take your pick.

There is an oxygenation plant just off of the Modoc boat ramp. Fish from there, downstream to the Strom Thurmond Dam. The oxygenated water in that area holds fish. I don’t know what the dissolved oxygen content of the water is near Hickory Knob, but I am guessing that it is below the optimal 5% that stripers like. No oxygen – no fish.
I have had luck trolling umbrella rigs and lead core above the Thurmond Dam, but not lately. Lately I’ve been catching them with live bait on down rods. Fish 50 to 70 feet deep off of points that stick out into the old Savannah River bed.

I’ve been launching my boat at the Modoc boat ramp. It is fine in the low water. I believe that the Scotts Ferry boat ramp is also good, but I haven’t tried it lately. If you launch at Hickory Knob, you can get live bait on the lake at the Parksville Marina (I’ve been told, but haven’t tried) and then continue on down to the Modoc area. Otherwise, you can get bait at the Palmetto Angler in McCormick or The Bait Hole, closer to Lincolnton GA (Rob Hedrick 706-401-0029, Located off Soap Creek Lodge Road - Closed Sunday).

Leave a few of the big ones in the lake for the rest of us. :D
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Re: First Trip to Clarks Hill

Postby murray_madman on Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:46 pm

Thanks very much for your advise. I called hickory knobb and they said there ramps are still good for now. I have also purchased a lake map and have heard about the Modoc oxygen system (we need one of those in lake murray). Has it been effective? I will probably start trolling from there to the dam. Can you see the oxygen bubbles in the water?

I have heard great things about your lake and am looking forward to hooking into some big Stripers. Also how about Hybrids are they caught the same way as stripers? What is the percentage of stripers\hybrids in Clarks hill. I have never caught a hybrid but imagine it is similar to striper fishing. Again thank you for the advise and I will let you know how I do.

Thanks

Carter
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Re: First Trip to Clarks Hill

Postby Jay_hawk06 on Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:35 pm

the bubbles are highly visible. I have caught some nice fish at the bubbles on live bait. Get there early. The fish are schooling heavily at horseshoe island near the river channel. Good luck
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Re: First Trip to Clarks Hill

Postby Roy Phillips on Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:54 pm

Yes, the oxygenation system has been very effective. Our club got a brief from the Georgia DNR. They track the oxygen levels in the lake. The new system is keeping the dissolved oxygen at around 5 parts per million (if I remember correctly). At any rate, it is in the healthy range. Before the system was installed, the levels declined to around 1 part per million in the summer. You may have heard that the oxygen declined so low two years ago that we had a large fish kill.

Yes, at times the bubbles from the oxygenation system are very visible. If there is a chop on the water you may not be able to see the bubbles with the naked eye. However, your sonar will definitely pick them up regardless of the weather.

Catching hybrids is no different than catching stripers. There are a lot more hybrids in the lake than stripers. Also, the hybrids can tolerate higher water temperatures so they can be in more places than stripers – they can be in warmer water, higher in the water column. If you combine their greater numbers and easier accessibility, they seem easier to catch. Really, they are just as finicky as their larger brethren.

Enjoy your fishing trip.
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