Lake Lanier Fishing Report – August 2007

GON Staff | August 1, 2007

Level: Down 6.7 feet below full pool. Temps: 80-82 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Spotted Bass: Fair. Guide and tournament angler Ryan Coleman said there’s a good bite, but it’s isolated. “The fish are holding in 25 to 30 feet of water and sticking around the deeper, man-made brushpiles,” Ryan said. Some of the fish have moved out to the deep timber, but Ryan said that bite does not get good unless the water falls to about 10 feet or more below full pool. “I’ve been having some great days on a big swimbait when the fish are up feeding, then sight fishing for them with my electronics when they go to the bottom with a drop-shot worm and lightweight spinning outfit. There are some fish feeding up on very small shad that spawned last month. A chugging type of topwater has produced better for my guys over the past few weeks, which seems to happen every year as August rolls around. Where you find these feeding fish, you will have big numbers, so stick around a little longer than usual for Lanier. I have been having good success with a Rebel Super Pop-R and a Storm Chug Bug. If the wind dies, you will need to go with the drop shot or a YUM Gonzo grub rigged on a 1/4-oz. jig head worked around the brush. As August rolls through and the lake level continues to fall, look for some of the bigger fish in the edges of the standing timber in 40 to 50 feet of water,” Ryan said.

Largemouth: Fair. The largemouth fishing on the upper end of Lanier has been pretty slow, but tournament angler Billy Boothe said a few patterns might produce. “There is an early buzzbait bite right at daybreak around the clouds of threadfin shad, but that bite is over pretty quick. The two best patterns right now are fishing ledges and brushpiles. For big fish, you can’t beat the ledges right now. I’m only throwing two baits on the ledges, a Mann’s 20+ in a citrus-shad pattern and a 9-inch Mann’s Ribbontail worm in green pumpkin or red shad.” He said that the best ledges right now are in 15 to 20 feet of water where the river channel makes a bend, combined with where the channel swings near the bank or where a secondary channel joins the main channel. “For numbers of fish, brushpiles are the way to go. The largemouths are relating to wood cover pretty good right now with the low lake level, so I’m doing a lot of idling just watching my graph looking for any brush in the middle of main-river pockets or off points in 8 to 12 feet of water. I’ve had the best success with a Carolina-rigged Trick Worm or a green-pumpkin Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm on a 1/4-oz. Bite Me jig head. On days when it’s overcast or raining, move shallow and throw a Mann’s 1 Minus or a pearl Senko around laydowns and docks,” Billy said.

Stripers: Excellent, according to striper guide Shane Watson. “The downline bite is as good as I’ve ever seen it, and I was born and raised here,” said Shane. Begin the morning downlining bluebacks 30 feet deep over a 40- to 50-foot bottom. After 9 a.m., Shane said anglers should move to a 80- to 100-foot bottom and fish around 40 to 60 feet deep. Shane likes to use a 1/0 Octopus hook on a 15-lb. test main line with a 14-lb. fluorocarbon leader to reduce line visibility. Shane said on a four-hour trip on July 26 they caught and released 17 stripers up to 21 pounds, and an average day has been 20 nice fish in four to five hours. “These fish are wide open on the summertime pattern,” said Shane. “The biggest fish last week was 30 pounds, and a lot of 10- to- 20-lb. fish are also being caught.” Shane said anglers should remember the state creel limits because catch and release does work. He said this pattern should last through the middle of September, maybe the whole month. The key is to keep fresh, good-looking live bait on the hook and change it frequently. Make sure you get the water out of the bait-store’s tank. Some of the stores have outside tanks — you will have to ice the water if this is the case.

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