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Hartwell could be stingy for NPFL event

Hartwell could be stingy for NPFL event

The National Professional Fishing League (NPFL) will conduct its second event of the 2024 season this week at Lake Hartwell in South Carolina. Competition days are Thusday through Saturday.

Hartwell produced for the NPFL field in April 2022, when Drew Six took the victory by targeting deep spawning fish and outlasted the shad-spawn bite. This year, a month later in the season with several natural factors at play, Hartwell is looking a lot different.

Colin Smith knows the lake as well as anyone in the field and says despite May and June being two of his favorite months to fish, it might be a tougher week than most expected due to major weather that swept through the area.

“We have had it all recently – crazy weather, tornados and trees and power lines down,” he said on Saturday, before the official practice period. “Our neighboring counties had it worse, but the fish will be biting and someone will catch them well. I love this time of year; there is so much happening and so many things that should be playing out here. However, it has been tough.”

Smith said some of the local events have seen some decent weights, but it's been tough to be consistent day after day. Three-pound bites could be tough to come by with added pressure on the lake in the weeks leading up to the event.

“I’d guess it's about 80 percent postspawn, which means the fish are in their funk and nothing is for certain each day as things change,” he added. “This is an event where getting a big bite will make a huge difference.

"Under normal circumstances, it should be fishing better than it is, but the pressure on this lake has been unreal the last few weeks. Combined with the postspawn deal, it could be hard to come by a three-pound fish. It’s a marathon this week, not a sprint. You need to fish throughout practice and the tournament with an open mind because things are changing.”

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