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Clarks Hill Lake Fun Recreation and Fishing

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General Lake Info
Ducks at Georgia LakeClarks Hill (known as J. Strom Thurmond in S.C.) is Georgia's largest reservoir at 71,535 acres. This U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir is located 30 miles northeast of Augusta on the Savannah River.

The numerous creeks feeding the lake, over 1,200 miles of shoreline and large areas of open water provide a wide range of fishing opportunities.

Angling prospects are compiled by fisheries biologists and are based on sampling efforts of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), knowledge of past fishing trends, angling experience and information provided by anglers and marina owners. For more information, contact the Wildlife Resources Division, Thomson Fisheries office at 706-595-1619.

Fees - Many corps facilities have boat launch fees, user fees or both. Refer to contact information for pricing.
Boat Ramps
WRD operates two boat ramps on Clarks Hill. Info on Corps-operated boat ramps.
Best Fishing Bets
Striped bass, Largemouth Bass, Hybrid Bass, Chain Pickerel, Catfish, Redear Sunfish and Crappie
Largemouth Bass - Tagging project results indicate a high release rate. This combined with strong year classes resulted in numerous small bass available. Anglers are encouraged to harvest catches. In doing so, more 3-plus pounders will be available in the future.

Technique - In mid-winter, jigging spoons in creek channels or where bait fish "bunch up" is a great tactic.

Target - Bass tend to congregate away from the banks. In the fall and winter, target Grays, Lloyds and Rousseau creeks in the Little River arm and Soap, Murray and Fishing creeks in the main Savannah River arm. For great fall surface action, fish over hydrilla beds. In the spring and summer, target Bussey Point, and Cliatt, Cherokee and Big creeks. Year-round productivity rests in the flats around the confluence of the Savannah and Broad rivers.
Georgia Lake
Striped Bass - Strong year classes in recent years are producing good numbers. The average striped bass will be 7 pounds.

Technique - Best technique: drifting live blueback herring. Count on a light breeze or otherwise, use your trolling motor to control speed and direction. Other techniques: Slowly troll redfins, Norman lures or roostertails 80-100 feet behind the boat; jigging spoons near drop-offs, ledges or humps in 20-30 feet of water. By summer and into fall, dead or cut bluebacks, shad and large minnows on the bottom work well. For schooling fish in late summer and fall, bucktails, Gotcha shad and pencil-poppers work well.

Target - During winter and early spring, target Big Creek, the Little River near Germany Creek upstream of Holiday Park, Soap Creek from the confluence with the Savannah River to U.S. Hwy. 378, the north bank of the reservoir above the dam and major creeks near Bussey Point. Hot spots for summer and fall: the mouths of major feeder creeks and rivers.
Hybrid Bass - Strong year classes in recent years are producing good numbers. The average striped bass will be 3 pounds.

Technique - Best technique: drifting live blueback herring. Count on a light breeze or otherwise, use your trolling motor to control speed and direction. Other techniques: Slowly troll redfins, Norman lures or roostertails 80-100 feet behind the boat; jigging spoons near drop-offs, ledges or humps in 20-30 feet of water. By summer and into fall, dead or cut bluebacks, shad and large minnows on the bottom work well. For schooling fish in late summer and fall, bucktails, Gotcha shad and pencil-poppers work well.

Target - During winter and early spring, target Big Creek, the Little River near Germany Creek upstream of Holiday Park, Soap Creek from the confluence with the Savannah River to U.S. Hwy. 378, the north bank of the reservoir above the dam and major creeks near Bussey Point. Hot spots for summer and fall: the mouths of major feeder creeks and rivers.
Crappie - Fishing considered excellent. Catches will average 3/4 pound with bigger catches around 1 1/2 to 2 pounds.

Technique - Small jigs with or without minnows. Bring an assortment of colors to determine what they are hitting on.

Target - In spring, target Soap, Grays and Newford creeks and Little River near Raysville. During late summer and fall, fish under bridges. For pre-spawn action in the winter, try the backs of creeks such as Big, Hart, Dry Fork, Knoblick and Cherokee.
Georgia lake at dusk
Bream - Redear sunfish and bluegill are available. Sunfish are generally large, ranging between 1/2 to 3/4 pound, and easy to catch.

Technique - Crickets, worms, grubs, spinners, flies or wasp larvae.

Target Keg, Lloyd, Grays, Cliatt, Soap, Big and Fishing Creeks. Fish attractors also are excellent spots, holding good numbers of sunfish and bluegill.
Catfish - In recent years, several 40-plus pound flathead catfish have been caught.
Technique - Chicken livers, cut bluebacks and worms work best.
Target - Little River near Holiday Park, Germany, Big and Hart Creeks and the Broad River.
Chain Pickerel - Fishing considered excellent. Catches will average 3/4 pound with bigger catches around 1 1/2 to 2 pounds.

Technique - Small jigs with or without minnows. Bring an assortment of colors to determine what they are hitting on.

Target - In spring, target Soap, Grays and Newford creeks and Little River near Raysville. During late summer and fall, fish under bridges. For pre-spawn action in the winter, try the backs of creeks such as Big, Hart, Dry Fork, Knoblick and Cherokee.
Other Fish Species - Sampling efforts indicate plenty of white perch. Tons of fun on lightweight tackle. Makes an excellent meal.
Technique - Small jigs, spoons or minnows work best.
Target - Look in 20-60 feet of water near ledges, drop-offs and standing timber.
Additional Info
Due to recent drought, boaters are encouraged to exercise extreme caution when on the lake because there are numerous hazards at or just below the water's surface. Numerous boat ramps and courtesy docks are not accessible due to the low lake level. As of January 2009 the lake was 14 feet below full pool.

Georgia state parks on the lake (Mistletoe, Elijah Clark, and Bobby Brown) participate in the fishing tackle loaner program. Check with the park offices if you require additional fishing gear. Mistletoe and Bobby Brown state parks also offer canoe and/or john boat rentals.
Contact Info & Website Link
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers - Phone: 1-800-533-3478 - Website for Clarks Hill Lake Fishing
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