At around 56,000 acres, Lake Hartwell is a massive fishery. Throw in a few rivers that meander in and out of the lake on the South Carolina/Georgia border, and the fishing possibilities are endless.
So where is an angler to go?
Luke Gritter alternated between the river and the main lake in the recent Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan Outdoors. The result was a final weight of 34 pounds, 8 ounces and a second-place finish in the global competition of bass club anglers.
“I fished the river for the bigger largemouth and filled out my limit with the spotted bass in the lower lake,” Gritter, a carpenter from Otsego, Mich., and member of the West Michigan Elite Bass Club, told B.A.S.S.
According to that report, Gritter fished a brown 3/8-ounce leadhead jig and 3/8-ounce spinnerbait along shoreline woody cover in the river and a drop-shot rig made with a 6-inch Roboworm, 4/0 hook and 1/4-ounce weight in the lake, with a Lucky Craft Sammy producing topwater strikes.
Gritter won a fully-rigged Skeeter TZX190 and Yamaha SHO 150. He also earned a berth in the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Dicks Sporting Goods, March 16-18 on Lake Hartwell.
Caleb Sumrall of New Iberia, La., finished first at 36-12.
The championship is regarded as the only global bass club competition of its kind, with anglers from 47 states and five continents, as well as Mexico, Japan, Australia, Portugal, Italy, Zimbabwe, Namibia, the province of Ontario and the Republic of South Africa.
For complete tournament results and more information on the tournament, click here.