Lake Lanier Fishing Report August 2012
Lanier: Level: 7.8 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 80s right now, and should climb up a little more toward 88-89 before the end of August. Clarity: Clear.
Spotted Bass: Good, according to guide and tournament pro Ryan Coleman. “The lake is now falling about three-quarters of a inch per day. Look for this rate of fall for the next two months,” Ryan said. “We can only hope for an early fall like we got last year. Fishing has been pretty good. There are a good many fish out on man-made brushpiles in 20 to 30 feet of water. These fish live their summer lives on these brushpiles and will be there until the early fall when they will start to roam more looking for big schools of bait. For now, there is plenty of bait around the brush in the form of bream, spot-tail minnows, threadfins and blueback herring. And trust me, these fish will eat all of them. My clients have been doing well the past few weeks on topwater baits such as a Vixen or Storm Chug Bug as well as a Fish Head Spin worked around the brush during the day, and then of course our best pattern is working a drop shot around the brush. As we get into August and early September, look for the drop shot to be the primary pattern. As the water warms more and the fish finally get tired of the topwater, Fish Head Spins and swimbaits basically shut down, and working the bass with the drop shot is about the only way to catch them. I have been doing very well on a 6-inch SpotSticker Hand Poured worm in cinnamon-pepper and watermelon-pearl colors with a No. 2 drop-shot hook and 1/4-oz. weight. This rigged on 6-lb. fluorocarbon line is my primary weapon for drop-shotting Lanier’s spotted bass. Also look for some of the bigger fish to move out to the edge of the timber in 35 to 40 feet of water as the surface temps rise. This is a normal occurrence in August, and they are following suit this year. I have already had some monster fish caught in 40 feet of water in July. As August moves in, this pattern should become stronger. On cloudy and windy days, I have been catching some nice fish on a Sebile Magic Swimmer over the brush and humps. I’m working this on 12-lb. fluorocarbon line and burning it over the structure. The strikes are violent and awesome to see. If the surface is calm, they usually will not come up on this bait this time of year. You need wind, and it’s better if you have some clouds.”
Largemouths: Fair. Billy Boothe reports, “If you crank the right brushpile, you can catch some big fish right now. I was catching most of my fish on plastics and jigs, but the crankbait bite has been heating up lately. Look for isolated brush near steep drops in the 15- to 25-foot range, and burn a sexy-shad-colored Mann’s 20 Plus through the limbs. Spend more time than you normally would fishing the brush, and crank it from all angles. It can be tempting to throw a worm in there if you hit a couple and don’t get bit, but if you stick with the crankbait it can pay off with some nice largemouths right now. If burning a deep-diving crankbait in extreme heat isn’t for you, there is still a decent shallow bite up the rivers. You can pick off some fish by skipping a green-pumpkin Mann’s Franken Toad under docks and by shallow cranking a bluegill-colored Mann’s Baby X Square Bill around stumps and rock.”
Stripers: Very good. Shane Watson reports, “The striper fishing has been great most mornings and afternoons. The stripers are biting 1-oz. bucktails tipped with a live blueback, a paddle tail or a Basstrix. Fish your lead-core line nine colors out at 3 mph over the channel and in the mouths of creeks. Downlined bluebacks have also been working very well when the fish have been loaded up on your screen. Fish your bluebacks from 40 to 100 feet deep over a 80- to 120-foot bottom where you are marking active fish. Mid-lake and south have been best.” Guide Mike Maddalena reports, “Striper fishing is very good and should continue throughout August. The fish have moved into the creek and river channels from Browns Bridge to the dam. The key is finding them as they are moving and using the river and creek channels as highways. Tolling lead-core line back eight to nine colors continues to be the most productive. It is also a great way to search for the large schools and pick up a single fish at the same time. Tip your lead-core with 40 feet of 20-lb. fluorocarbon line and a 1-oz. Captain Mack’s bucktail jig with a 4-inch shad body in white or chartreuse. Vary your speed from 2.7 to 3.8 mph. Downriggers will also work and will allow you to pull below 30 feet and reach those deep fish in the river channel. When you find a school of fish, you can continue to troll or you can stop and fish blueback herring on downrods. Vary your down rod depth from 35 to 80 feet. Stripers love to chase their bait, and lively bait is critical. Consider changing your bait every 15 minutes. Keep a 2-oz. Captain Mack’s bucktail jig handy for power reeling for those stubborn fish that will not eat. Tip the jig with a herring, drop it below the fish, and burn it back up through the school. You can often trigger a bite that will fire up the entire school.”
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