Lake Lanier Fishing Report – August 2008

GON Staff | July 29, 2008

Lanier: Level: Down 15.8 feet below full pool. The lake is dropping each week, but not at the rate it was last month. A lot of the ramps are closing. Web users can go to <> for ramp info. Temp: 84-86 degrees. Clarity: Very clear.

Spotted Bass:
Fair. “Fishing has slowed a bit as the water temps continue to climb. Fishing has moved from a great summer pattern to a so-so one,” said guide Ryan Coleman. “We are having to fish deep now with drop shots and jigs for most of our big spots here on Lanier. The topwater bite is very limited, and you can still get a few on a 3/8-oz. Fish Head Spin fished over what deep brush is there. Keep a topwater bait like a Spook or Sammy handy for the occasional schooling fish. Your best bet now is to use your electronics and look for schools of fish located near deep brush or timber and fish vertical for them with drop shots or jigs. I have been using a 5-inch Spotsticker hand-poured worm rigged on a No. 4 drop-shot hook and 1/4-oz. weight. Working these fish takes patience, and you must be familiar with your electronics. My best worm colors have been watermelon pearl and hot tomato in the Spotsticker worms. For the Fish Head Spin, I have been using white or albino for the most part. Stick with the 3/8-oz. Fish Head Spin during the summer, as it is much easier to keep at a constant depth,” Ryan said.

Fair. “The largemouth bite is pretty tough right now,” said Billy Boothe. “With the low water and extremely hot days, the bite is really suffering. You can pick up a few fish early on a 1/2-oz. white buzzbait or a green-pumpkin Horny Toad fished around channel-swing banks if there are shad present. After the sun gets up, it’s a real grind. Look for brushpiles in 8 to 15 feet of water, and fish them with a shad-pattern Mann’s 15+ or a junebug Texas-rigged 8-inch Lake Fork worm. Watch your graph. If you don’t see bait present around the brush, move on to the next one. The ledge bite is still really off. Most of the fish are inactive and suspended in the middle of the water column. I’ve had the best luck on these fish slow-rolling a big 3/4-oz. spinnerbait through the fish and getting a reaction strike. If you get bit and get a school fired up, switch to a crankbait that will run at the depth the fish are suspended, and fish it with a fast stop-and-go retrieve. I’m still catching my bigger bass suspended on the fronts of deeper brushed-up docks. I’m pitching a 7/16-oz. watermelon red TABU jig with a watermelon twin-tail trailer. All the bites are coming on the fall, so watch your line closely. On days when it’s cloudy or storming, just put the trolling motor down and cover water with a white Ima Shaker crankbait or pearl Zoom Super Fluke fished around any cover that’s at least 3 feet deep.”

Stripers: Excellent, according to guide Mike Maddalena, and it should remain excellent all summer. “Catching 10 to 20 fish a day is typical, with a 30- to 40-fish day a possibility. The fish are schooled up good and tight,” Mike said. Use downrods with live bait to catch numbers, and use trolling to find concentrations of fish. Bluebacks fished 30 to 70 feet deep over a 50- to 80-foot bottom is your best bet for downrods right now, Mike said. “If you’re marking a school of fish and not getting bit, try quickly dropping the herring below the fish and burning it back up through them. This will often trigger a bite. Be sure to be holding on to your rod tightly as the hits can be savage. Change baits often, every 15 minutes or so, to keep them fresh. The deeper you fish them, the more often they will need to be changed. The fish are moving very fast, and it’s not easy to stay on them, so be ready to pick up and start searching again. The creek channels near the creek mouths and main-lake coves remain the places to look. Some fish are just starting to move out into the main river channel, normally after 10 a.m. The area from Browns Bridge to Three Sisters is currently holding the majority of fish. Not many are showing up in the Shoal Creek/Bald Ridge Creek/dam area yet, though I expect them to show up there any time. Your trolling setup should be lead-core line fished six to eight colors back with a 1 1/2-oz. or 2-oz. Captain Mack’s Chipmunk jig, or a 6-inch swimbait with a built-in jig will do the trick. You can tip the jigs with worm trailers, shad bodies or a herring. Hook the herring through the mouth and out through the brain, right between the eyes, to get it to track properly. Take the rod out of the holder, and jig it while passing through a school to increase your chances of a bite. As the fish move deeper and to the river channel, expect to be fishing your downrods 50 to 100 feet deep and pulling seven to 10 colors of lead-core line while trolling,” Mike said.

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