Lake Lanier Fishing Report – July 2007
Lanier: Level: Down 5.3 feet below full pool. Temps: 80-82 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Spotted Bass: Good, said guide and tournament pro Ryan Coleman. He said the majority of the spotted bass have moved out to the offshore, main-lake structure, and they’re feeding well. “Fish have been holding on flats from 20 to 30 feet deep and roaming, looking for bait,” Ryan said. When the spotted bass are relating to these main-lake flats, they’re feeding on blueback herring, and that means you can call up the spotted bass with topwater. Ryan recommends a Heddon Super Spook, and he said you can fish topwater all day. “Keep a watermelon-pearl Spotsticker hand-poured worm rigged on a drop shot handy for small schools of spots you will see on your Lowrance,” Ryan added. “As July moves along and the water temperature continues to rise, look for fish to pull up on the manmade brushpiles where they will hold for a few months. A Super Spook or Fish Head Spin worked across these brushpiles will draw up some of Lanier’s huge schools of spots. Make sure to keep your distance from the structure as these fish are easy to spook with your boat,” Ryan said.
Largemouth: Good. “The largemouth have settled into their typical summertime patterns,” said tournament pro Billy Boothe. “First thing in the morning, there’s a pretty good topwater bite up the lake. I’m buzzing a pearl-colored Stanley Ribbit frog on main-river flats and around laydowns in 3 to 6 feet of water, and the largemouth are coming up and crushing it. If you start to get short strikes or the fish just flash under the frog, have a follow-up bait rigged and ready to go,” he said, recommending a 1/16-oz. Bite Me jighead rigged with green-pumpkin Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm. As the sun gets up, pattern No. 2 is to head to the ledges and main-river points. “The best ones will be in 12 to 20 feet of water and will be loaded with bait,” Billy said. “Watch your graph as you idle the ledges. When you start seeing the balls of shad with arches around them, toss out a marker buoy and throw a gray-ghost Mann’s 20+ crankbait. After you have worked the ledge good with the crankbait, throw a Carolina-rigged watermelon seed Flirt Worm to pick off inactive fish. If ledge fishing isn’t one of your strong suits, you can run docks and laydowns near the main channel in 6 to 10 feet of water. Work the cover with a 1/2-oz. green-pumpkin Mann’s Stone Jig or a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver,” Billy said.
Stripers: Good, said guide Greg Robinson. “The best bite has been from Brown’s Bridge to Gainesville Marina. They’re cruising the river channel, which is full of bait,” said Greg, who recommends downlines at 30 feet deep combined with flatlines with a 1/8-oz. splitshot. There’s also a good umbrella-rig bite on the south end of the lake, Greg said. Pull the rigs over humps that top out at about 30 feet deep. As it gets warmer later this month, Greg said the stripers will go a little deeper, and anglers should start trolling 2-oz. jigs on lead-core line. Greg said there’s also a good nighttime bite. “Anchor on a hump that tops out at 30 feet deep, and put a Hydro-Glow light out. The herring will swarm it. You can catch bait as you need it on a Sabiki rig,” Greg said. Tight Line Charters guide Joey McBride said to downline bluebacks 25 to 35 feet deep in 35 to 40 feet of water early in the morning. If it’s not a windy day, Joey uses a 1-oz. sinker, and if it is windy, Joey uses a 2-oz. sinker. He uses Owner Mutu 1/0 hooks because the bluebacks at the store are usually smaller. “That pattern tends to go away as it gets warmer, and we start trolling U-rigs, clipping points 20 to 30 feet deep, staying right off the bottom,” said Joey. He uses a 9-bait, 3-oz. U-rig made by Mac Farr. Joey says hit the main-lake points from River Forks to just above Hwy 53. You’ll run four or five points that don’t have fish, and one or two that do. When the sun gets up Joey starts lead-core trolling over the main river channel, targeting 22 to 25 feet deep over 70 to 100 feet of water.
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