This 26,650-acre U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir is nestled between Lakes Hartwell and Clarks Hill on the Savannah River. Shoreline development is forbidden, making this one of the more pristine reservoirs in Georgia.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: ph. 1-800-944-7207
Prospects and Fishing Tips
LARGEMOUTH BASS, SPOTTED BASS, BLACK CRAPPIE & STRIPED BASS
Expect fishing to be consistent with last years catch. Similar numbers and sizes were seen in the 2016 electrofishing survey. Increased numbers of spotted bass make it more difficult to find and target largemouth bass in some areas. Concentrate in areas such as Beaverdam Creek, Coldwater Creek and Pickens Creek.
Popular year-round baits include spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, topwater baits, jig-head worms, jigs and other plastic baits. These baits can be fished around standing timber, main-lake points, river channel markers, offshore humps, riprap and rocky areas and around lay-down trees.
During winter months, fish crankbaits, jigs and other deeper plastics around standing timber and deeper main-lake points. Also, concentrate on deeper fish following large schools of baitfish with jigging spoons and drop shot rigs. In the spring, use jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and shallower plastics focusing on shallower standing timber and secondary points. During summer, use deeper plastics and drop shot rigs on main-lake points and creek channels. Night fishing during this time of year is popular. In the fall, fish spinnerbaits and crankbaits in the backs of creek arms, as fish migrate following baitfish.
The population of spotted bass continues to expand. Numbers of fish are up and targeting spotted bass has become easier than largemouth bass. Spotted bass can now be found throughout the reservoir. The average spotted bass during the 2016 electrofishing survey was around 1 pound, however 2 to 3-pound fish are available.
Popular baits include smaller crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jig-head worms, drop shot rigs and soft plastics. These baits can be used around standing timber, main-lake points, river channel markers and off shore humps.
During winter, fish smaller jigs, deeper plastics, jig-head worms, drop shot rigs and jigging spoons. Concentrate on deeper areas such as creek channels, ditches, main-lake points and rocky areas. In the spring, use jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, jig-head worms and drop shot rigs. Focus on main-lake points, secondary points and standing timber. Throughout summer, use jig-head worms, drop shot rigs and deeper plastics along deeper main-lake areas, off shore humps, rip-rap areas and bridges. In the fall, fish smaller crankbaits, jerkbaits, jig-head worms and drop shot rigs. Fish areas such as main-lake points, river channel markers, off shore humps and bridges.
A special striped bass regulation is in place at Lake Russell to manage the striped bass population as a trophy fishery. The striped bass regulation at Lake Russell is two (2) striped bass or hybrid bass per day, only one (1) of which can exceed 34 inches in length. With the special regulation in place, striped bass have been stocked at very low densities every third year (cycle began in 2011) to facilitate reaching management goals. Continue to expect striped bass catch rates to be low. However, expect the average striped bass to be in the 12 to 15 pound range, with many over the 25 pound mark.
Live bait, bucktail jigs, swim baits and jigging spoons are effective.
During winter months, focus on the lower third of the reservoir and look for striped bass in deeper water following schools of baitfish. During summer, concentrate on the Lake Hartwell tailrace and the Lake Russell Dam area.
Anglers can expect fishing for black crappie to be consistent with last year's catch. Most keepers will be 8-12 inches, with some fish larger than 12 inches. Crappie should weigh around 1/2 to 3/4 pound this spring, with good numbers of fish up to 1 1/2 pound. Fish from February to May for larger numbers and larger fish.
Minnows and jigs are recommended.
In early February, concentrate toward the mouths of the creeks, near the main lake and gradually move towards shallower water as temperatures rise in spring. In the spring, target standing timber, man-made brush piles and shallower cover in Coldwater Creek, Pickens Creek and Beaverdam Creek. When water temperatures reach the low 60s (F), target bedding crappie around shallow shoreline cover. During the fall, concentrate on the mouths of the creeks, river channels, standing timber and bridges.