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Pre-Practice at Lake Hartwell

Posted by stephen on December 22, 2014


The 2015 Bassmaster Classic is getting closer and closer, so I’ve taken full advantage of Lake Hartwell until the off limits period.  I finished up a few days of practice there this past week and it’s really shaping up to be some good fishing.  We had the Classic here a few years back and I tried forcing the pattern I wanted to fish instead of letting conditions dictate it.  I definitely won’t make that mistake again.

The biggest difference to the 2009 Classic is the water levels.  During that Classic the water was about ten feet lower due to drought conditions in the area.  It doesn’t seem to be an issue this time around and I think water levels will remain stable through February.

Going in with an open mind is my main focus.  Most of my practice has been looking; more than actual fishing.  The best thing about this strategy has been being forced to use my new Raymarine electronics.  I have to say after spending a few days graphing I am very impressed.  Hartwell is set up similarly to a lot of lakes I fish back home in Arkansas, so I’ll be able to fine tune my offshore game at those places while it’s off limits.

I don’t think Hartwell will be a surprising tournament as far as techniques go.  It seems like your standard wintertime tactics will produce, like jerkbaits and cranks.  The biggest factor will be who can adjust to the weather during those three days.

Stephen and Beau with Buck.jpg

In some other news, my son Beau was able to get his big Kansas buck finally.  During the September Youth Hunt, we spent some time out that way, but he was never given an opportunity to make a shot.  I’m glad we were able to go back a few weeks ago and give him that chance and he delivered.  It’s always a great time hunting in Kansas and spending some time with him and some of my best friends in the world.

I'd like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!