Lake Allatoona Fishing Report – August 2023
Allatoona: Level: 0.3 below 840. Temp: Mid to high 80s. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Tournament angler Matt Driver reports, “Fishing on Allatoona continues to be great, even though the heat is here and water temps are up from July. School will be starting back soon, and we should see less pressure on the lakes, which makes for even better fishing. Historically, August has been a difficult time for Lake Allatoona, but as herring and alewife populations continue to increase, the bite stays consistent. The heat, sun and boat traffic has not affected the fish as much as you would think. The topwater bite continues to be good, along with slow-rolling a 4-inch paddletail swimbait. There are still lots of schools of fish to be found early. Watch for some surface activity. The deep bite has been good. Forward-facing sonar with the drop shot and swimbaits in the 15- to 25-foot range have been good lately. Night fishing is still good. Bass continue to associate to boulders and brushpiles. We’ve gone the whole year without a downtime in fish activity. Fishing is good on Lake Allatoona right now!”
Linesides: Guide Robert Eidson, of First Bite Guide Service, reports, “Lineside fishing is decent. We are still catching decent numbers, but we are having to run and gun right now. The fish are on the move and aren’t staying in one location for more than five minutes. Downlining live bait is still working, but shad and herring are dying very quickly on a hook. Be sure to take plenty of bait with you. Downlines fished 14 to 21 feet deep are working best right now. The dissolved oxygen level is so low below 21 feet that bait is dying in less than two minutes on a hook. I have caught fish this week as far north as the flats at Kellogg Creek and as far south as Allatoona Landing. These fish are on the move and never seem to be in the same place the next day. Hopefully, we will get some rain and cooler temperatures soon. If not, we all may have to switch over to trolling. The trolling bite has been my better bite the last few weeks, and this will probably hold true into the middle of September. I am pulling nothing but jig rigs right now. Color doesn’t seem to matter. It is more of a reaction bite right now. I have been having my best luck 110 feet behind the boat at speeds of 2.4 to 3.1 mph.”
Crappie: Robert DeHaas, of Red Rooster Custom Baits and an OG from “Team Geezer,” reports, “It’s August, and the heat is on. We are headed into the dog days of summer. The next couple of months on Lake Allatoona will be tough going and not for the faint of heart, but you can still catch a mess of slabs if you know the crappie pattern. High water temperatures cause the crappie on Lake Allatoona to be moody, finicky and size selective. I’ve seen fish come up to a live minnow and turn away. This time of year, we know that bait offerings need to be small. I’m using 1.5-inch jigs tipped with a scented Crappie Nibble or a small crappie minnow (1 to 2 inches). Spider rigging a live bait with 12-foot poles drifting over brush is always a good technique this time of year. If you can go at night, that would be another option to beat the heat and catch a few fish. My typical day of fishing is to locate a brushpile with forward-facing sonar to determine if there are any fish and what depth they are suspended. The fish are sometimes above, sometimes in and sometimes at the bottom of the brush. You don’t have to have expensive sonar to find the brush. Concentrate on the 20- to 22-foot depths. You’ll find them, they’re everywhere! Using my trolling motor, I set Spot-Lock 20 feet away from the brushpile and cast past the brushpile and slow-roll the jig while keeping it just above the top of the brush. As soon as you start reeling, the jig won’t drop any farther. Make sure you slowly crank the reel. If you don’t have Spot-Lock, just throw a buoy marker close to the pile, ease the boat back and start casting toward and around the buoy marker. Using a 1/16-oz. jig head, count down the depth you want to fish at. A 1/16-oz. jig head falls at about a foot every two seconds. My rod setup is a 6 1/2-foot Duckett Crappie Slayer rod paired with 6-lb. test high-visibility line and a 1/16-oz. jig head with a No. 4 hook. The day we got on the water, we went through seven different colors of soft plastics until we found the color the fish wanted. Believe it or not, it was a gray-ghost bait with a disco-gold jig head. We caught six fish by 9:30, but out of those six fish, all but one was less than 12 inches. Remember six fish are 12 filets! The jig colors that I would recommend this time of year would be natural colors to mimic both the baitfish and the common summer insects (mayfly). Baitfish colors are gray ghost, blue glimmer, baby blueback, Sowles magic and Pappy’s magic. The mayfly is the summer insect of choice (they hatch all month) and the natural forage of black crappie. The recommended colors that mimic the mayfly would be motor oil red, watermelon and Carolina pumpkin with gold flake. By the end of the month, the daylight hours are going to change and days start to get shorter. This will be a factor. Remember to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and sun-protective clothing, including fishing gloves. Summer skin care is important. One of our fishing partners had cancers cut off his ears and nose. It wasn’t a pretty site. After Labor Day, we will start longlining, and I will get into the techniques in detail to get you ready for the fall bite. Be a conservationist. Keep only the fish that you need and release the rest. Let’s work together to protect our fishery. May the Lord richly bless you and your family. Follow us on Facebook to see pictures we share from each trip on Allatoona.”
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