SAN ANTONIO, TX (April 9, 2024) – This upcoming weekend, the Association of Collegiate Anglers will contest its first event of 2024 on the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.  The Hartwell Slam will be held at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, SC on April 13-14.  With a total prize payout of more than $20,000 in prizes and contingencies, the ACA double points tournament is a no-entry-fee event, with close to 250 teams registered to compete, which also includes media coverage on a variety of streaming platforms, live coverage, social media promotions and is nationally televised on several networks.

The Hartwell Slam will mark the second time in which the ACA has contested a major college event at Lake Hartwell.  Last summer, 400 of the nation’s top collegiate anglers competed at Lake Hartwell for the Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.  That event was contested during the early summer, in late May.  This year, the ACA is visiting during the middle of spring as bass are preparing to move shallow to spawn.

Lake Hartwell is a 56,000 acre fishery featuring a healthy population of both largemouth and spotted bass.  The lake has a variety of fish holding habitat, including rocks, flooded timber, and boat docks.  The forage in this fishery also makes it very unique.  Along with the common baitfish and prey, Lake Hartwell is also home to a thriving blueback herring population.  The combination of all of these variables makes Lake Hartwell a world-class fishery that has been the stage for many major national-level events throughout the years.

April at Lake Hartwell is considered to be the peak of the spawn for Lake Hartwell bass.  Water temperatures are rising steadily with strong warming trends, which has the bass on the move.  At the start of this event, a majority of the bass in Lake Hartwell will either be shallow or moving through transition areas on their way into popular spawning locations.

Lake Hartwell boasts fairly clear water conditions across the lake.  This will set up well for anglers looking to sight fish.  In these scenarios, both Texas rig and weightless soft plastics will be the primary baits anglers use to target these fish.

If bass are not on the bank spawning, they are likely in the prespawn phase.  These bass will be moving through ditches and drains in major creeks, as well as setting up on points and other key transition areas.  Baitfish, including shad and blueback herring, will be what the prespawn bass are keying on.  In these scenarios, anglers will be throwing a variety of baits to get bites.  Swimbaits and glide baits will warrant the bigger bites.  Weather conditions will also impact which other patterns may be at play.

The weather forecast this week in the Anderson, SC area looks pretty typical for the spring.  Early in the week, there is a chance for rain.  High temperatures are projected to be in the low to mid 70’s, with nightly lows dipping down to around 50 degrees.  Currently, for both tournament days, it is looking like there will be minimal clouds and breezy winds.  High temperatures for Saturday and Sunday will be between 75 and 80 degrees.

If the forecast holds true, presenting anglers with sunny, warm conditions, boat docks could also be key areas for anglers to target.  During the spring, bass will set up around docks as a transition spot, or even move up to the shallow walkways near the shore to spawn.  A combination of jigs and soft plastics will be what most anglers tie on to target bass around boat docks.

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