Lake Lanier Fishing Report August 2015
Lanier: Level: 2.6 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid to upper 80s. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Getting a bit tougher. Guide and tournament pro Ryan Coleman reports, “The summer has hit us here on Lanier, and the spotted bass know it. We are still catching some nice fish, but we are working much harder for them. The water has dropped a little, which is good. Our best bet right now is drop shot and jigs. I am still getting a few bass on topwater and swimbaits, but they are fewer and fewer every day. August will be your month to drop shot. The fish will be around the 30-foot mark, and look for them to move out as September rolls in. I have been dropping a 6-inch SpotSticker Hand Poured worm in hot tomato, cinnamon purple and SS Sunrise all over the south end of the lake for the past few weeks with good success. Look for fish to hang around the brush but more than likely to be just outside of it in the deeper water. For jigs, I am working a 3/8-oz. Green Craw jig with a Yamamoto twin-tail trailer early in the day up until 10 a.m. or so and then switching to the hand-poured worm on a drop-shot rig. The morning bite has been pretty good on the jig for bigger fish. Look for this bite to continue on through August, September and October. The jig bite is one of our best for the bigger fish in late summer to early fall on Lanier every year. August is a month to grind, so have your drop shot ready at all times for fish that you mark on your Lowrance.”
Stripers: Very good. Big Fish On Guide Service reports, “The striper fishing is hot during August. The stripers are on the southern end of the lake, and they’re jacked up like spider monkeys on Mountain Dew. The bigger fish are below the thermocline, which typically averages 30 feet in August. Consequently, you will be using various deep water techniques to catch summertime stripers. The two primary methods are trolling and fishing blueback herring on downlines. The basic trolling methods are with bucktail jigs. The first is using an 3-oz. umbrella rig with nine 1-oz. jigs. Set your umbrella rigs at 120 to 150 feet behind the boat, and troll at a speed of 2.8 to 3.2 mph. The second method is using lead-core line with a single jig. Use 27-lb. lead core with 60 feet of 20-lb. test fluorocarbon leader. With a 1-oz. jig you get 3 feet of depth for each color you let out. Set your lead-core line back eight to nine colors at a trolling speed at 3.0 to 3.5 mph. That should keep you out of the timber. Make wide, sweeping turns with both the u-rigs and lead core to avoid dropping them into the timber. With good mapping software, you can stay in the river and creek channels and creek mouths and avoid the timber. Typically, an additional ounce of lead on your jig will get you down a total of another 3 feet on your lead core. So, if you went with a 6-oz. jig and nine colors, you can get down to 32 feet or so. Don’t try this around the timber, or you’ll get frustrated quickly. Jigs aren’t the only thing you can put on lead core of course. Downriggers with jigs or large Rat-L-Traps or plugs work as well, as do deep-diving plugs. If you have to time to play and experiment, you might find something that is just whacking the fish. Fishing blueback herring with downrods is very productive in August, as it allows you to get to greater depths than trolling and allows you to fish the top of the timber more effectively. The basic downrod setup is a 1 1/2- to 2-oz. weight with a 6- to 10-foot, 8 to 12-lb. fluorocarbon leader and a Gamakatsu No. 1 to 2/0 octopus hook. The key to downrod fishing is lively bait. Keep your bait-tank water below 70 degrees, and change your bait often. Target areas for August are the lake and creek channels from Browns Bridge to the dam. Large coves or fingers that have deep water running off these channels also hold fish. The downrod bite is real strong right now, and you don’t need to power reel or rip a big spoon through them to trigger a bite, but that could change at any time. There are many good-sized schools roaming around.” Capt. Clay Cunningham reports, “The past few weeks the striper fishing has been on fire. Overall, this summer is looking to be the best in years for numbers of fish. The water temperature is in the low 80s, and the stripers have moved to their summer haunts. Look for the striper fishing to only get better in the month of August, if that is even possible. As soon as school starts back, the boat traffic drops dramatically, making it much more enjoyable to be on the water. The summer heat will have the striped bass concentrated on the lower third of the lake. Live bait on a Carolina-type rig with a 2/0 Gamakatsu hook will be the best method to catch these fish. Good electronics like the Humminbird Onix series will greatly increase your success. With today’s electronics you should be able to see your bait swimming around under the boat and the striper come up and eat the bait. One other tactic is to troll lead-core line. This line has a lead center, which gets your bait deeper than traditional line. This requires a certain reel like the Penn 330, so be sure to get help in your tackle store picking out the correct equipment. The Penn 330 on a Shakespeare Tiger Rod is hard to beat for fishing lead core. All in all, get out on the water before you miss some of the best fishing of the year.”
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