Dock talk at Lake Hartwell 2022 Posted on March 2, 2022 Photo: Andy Crawford - Shallow or deep? Largemouth, spotted bass or both? Those are two factors that will shape the patterns of the anglers competing on Lake Hartwell at the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk. All captions: Craig Lamb Photo: Craig Lamb - Unseasonably warm weather is in the forecast, all but eliminating the theory that bass will be centralized in deeper water. Warmer days ahead could open up the strike zone, benefiting anglers with shallow water expertise. Will the game be played in seasonal late winter patterns? Or will a prespawn movement be a winner? Photo: Andy Crawford - At legendary Green Pond Landing, those are the questions we posed for the Classic edition of Dock Talk. And in Dock Talk style, we report and you decide if the answers are fact or fiction. Photo: Andy Crawford - Lee Livesay I’m going to fish shallow, you know that. There are a lot of fish out deep, too. I’m going to start out deep in the morning and then move up shallow. Photo: Andy Crawford - I saw a lot of new fish today, that I had not seen before, and where I had been in the first few practice days. I think the weights are going to be better here, than we’ve seen in previous Classics. Photo: Andy Crawford - Seth Feider Everything is pushing shallow; bait, fish, everything. It’s been happening all week. Photo: Andy Crawford - I’ve been practicing for it, for betting on the come, and hopefully for them to move up shallow. Photo: Andy Crawford - Drew Cook I think you will see the shallow guys do really well. The weights would have been better if it had been cold, because now we have fish all over the water column. Photo: Andy Crawford - I think the best bite will lean more toward shallow water. Photo: Andy Crawford - Chris Zaldain The last couple of weeks have been up and down with the high and low temperatures, really unstable. Yesterday marked March 1, and that month in the South means on thing, and that is fish heading to the bank. If you look at the last Classic, we had freezing cold temperatures and guys still caught them up shallow. Whenever you have clay banks, shoreline structure like docks and laydowns, the fish are going to try and use them as much as they can. Photo: Andy Crawford - One thing about Hartwell is that it’s many creeks spread out like branches on a tree. It’s going to fish big. I had a really good practice. I’m doing what I like to do, which is throwing the bigger-than-normal baits. You mix in the warming weather with wind makes it ideal for the shallow bite. Photo: Andy Crawford - Matt Robertson There are still some spotted bass in the drains out deep, but those fish are moving up. I think you’ll see the spotted bass guys bring in 15-pound limits, but the shallow water will be where it goes down. Photo: Andy Crawford - That’s where I’ll be. I just think there is more potential for the bass to move in shallow. I mean, that’s where they will end up, anyway. Photo: Andy Crawford - Hank Cherry We’ll see them caught from 50- to 1-foot of water. Schooling fish, sight fishing on the docks, jerkbait fish, underspin fish. However you want to catch them, you will be able to do that. Photo: Andy Crawford - It will depend on how much wind we get, and how much fishing pressure we get from other sources. I think it will take three magnum spots and two largemouth to keep in the game to win it. Photo: Andy Crawford - Patrick Walters There will still be a lot of fish out deep, and also shallow fish. The bass are moving as quickly as the possibly can. They’ve got spring fever. The water temperature is 58 degrees and rising. Photo: Andy Crawford - There is an early bite out but the shallow bite heats up later in the day, and by the hour. It’s going to be a 60% mix of largemouth and 40% of spotted bass in the winner’s creel. Photo: Andy Crawford - Caleb Sumrall There will be some of everything, deep and shallow. It’s going to be tough to see if a largemouth bite can hold up every day of the Classic. Photo: Andy Crawford - A winner will have to have both, the perfect mix, unless you can get on an all-largemouth pattern in shallow water. If that happens and the migration speeds up, then it won’t take both to win. Photo: Andy Crawford - Ray Hanselman I saw some on bed today, but they were males. However, if we have a couple more days of warm weather, like this, it might be a different outcome. Photo: Andy Crawford - There are fish chasing shad out deep, some staging and the spotted bass are moving up, too. I’m not really having to cover a lot of water, though. I’m just staying with my strengths. Photo: Andy Crawford - Bryan New This was the best practice that I’ve ever had at Hartwell. There are fish in all depth ranges, and in both clear and muddy water. I think you will be able to win doing several different things, and all at different depths, which is what I’m doing. Photo: Andy Crawford - Joey Nania There will be fish caught shallow and deep, and with the warming trend the shallow bite will be more on that we thought. I’m going to start deep and work shallow. You won’t be able to stick with one thing all day and win it. It will take doing a lot of different things, adjusting as the fish move shallow. Photo: Andy Crawford - Jason Christie The fish positioning has changed daily. I think the guy who wins will have an educated guess on what to do. I think it will be clearer of what it will take to win it by Friday. Photo: Andy Crawford - We will fish caught on Hartwell like they never have before. I think by the end of the week that we’ll see some fish caught sight fishing. Photo: Andy Crawford - Kyle Welcher Last week, I thought the bass were way ahead of schedule in their migration, and today they are way behind. The migration has slowed down. Photo: Andy Crawford - The fish didn’t adjust like I thought they would. Instead of fishing the unseasonable weather, I’m going to go back to how they should be caught in a normal March. Photo: Andy Crawford - Hunter Shyrock I’m fishing shallow, which is my strength, and I think you will see guys doing it their way. Photo: Andy Crawford - I’m just rolling with the conditions, and adjusting to the changes in weather as it goes.