Lake Lanier Fishing Report – July 2008
Lanier: Level: Down 14.3 feet below full pool and falling about an inch a day. Humps, rocks and treetops are just below the surface, and many are unmarked. Temp: 81-85 degrees. Clarity: Very clear. Visibility of 10 feet on the lower end.
Spotted Bass: Good. “It’s a pretty typical summer pattern out there for spotted bass,” said guide Ryan Coleman. “Most of the fish have pulled out to the main-lake structure and are holding on brush or trees in 20 to 28 feet of water. My best techniques have been tossing a big topwater bait like a Zara Spook or Sammy over brush and flat humps and points. Work the bait back fast in the clear water, and keep your eyes open. I am seeing some big schools of fish at one time. I have also been doing very well this summer on a 1/2- to 3/4-oz. football jig tipped with a brown or green twin-tail trailer. Work the jig very slowly on humps and points in 15 to 25 feet of water. Some of the fish are very tight to the brush, and a drop shot will produce well in July. Keep a drop shot handy at all times when fishing Lanier in July and August. Look for the water temps to get in the high 80s by the end of the month, and the action will be more isolated. The fish will feed in smaller time cycles, so be very observant of what is going on around you. It’s easy to get lulled to sleep by a hour or two of slow action, but remember on Lanier it can explode in just seconds. Just be ready,” Ryan said.
Largemouths: Good. “There’s a pretty good topwater bite going right now back in the pockets around bluegill beds,” said Billy Boothe. “Start out in the mornings with a green-pumpkin Zoom Horny Toad or a small chartreuse/white Pop-R fished over the beds. Once the sun gets up, I’m backing out and fishing the perimeter of the beds by swimming a 5/16-oz. watermelon-red TABU jig or a small crankbait like a Bandit 100. The largemouths are bunched up around the bream beds, and you can catch multiple bass around each one. As this pattern starts to fade into July, it will be time to hit main-river points. The ledge bite has been a little off this year, and the bass seem to be relating more to points that fall off into the main channel. I’ve had the best success on a citrus Mann’s 20+ and 10-inch junebug worm. Watch your graph. If the bass are up on the point, they’re feeding and are easy to catch. If you’re seeing the bass suspended over the channel by themselves, they’re inactive. For big fish, flipping is still producing the best fish, but you’re only going to get three to five bites a day doing it. Look for docks and laydowns on channel-swing banks, and flip a watermelon-candy Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver or a 7/16-oz. black-and-blue TABU jig,” Billy said.
Stripers: Guide Mike Maddalena reports a striper bite that will remain great all summer. “The fish are starting to school up in good numbers. It’s downrod time, plain and simple. As always when the fish are deep and on the move, trolling is great way to locate an area holding fish, once the fish are located, stop and hit them with the downrod. Bluebacks fished 30 to 40 feet deep over a 50- to 80-foot bottom is the ticket. Change baits often, and keep them fresh. The bigger fish are moving quickly to the main lake, while you can still find great numbers of smaller fish from the backs to the middle of the creeks and up lake. Creek mouths and main-lake coves are the best places to currently search for the bigger fish on the main portion of the lower lake. The main-lake fish are starting to relate to the timber and the edges where slick bottoms meet the timber. Good electronics are key to finding these deep summertime fish. If you’re not marking a good number of fish, keep looking because the schools are around somewhere. As we move into July, the fish will continue their migration to deep water and the river channel. By mid July, fishing should be best from Three Sisters to the dam. Lead-core line fished six to eight colors back with a 1 1/2-oz. or 2-oz. Capt. Mack’s Chipmunk jig or a 6-inch swimbait will do the trick. You can tip the jigs with worm trailers, shad bodies or a herring. Hook the herring in through the mouth and out though the brain right between the eyes to get it to track properly. Expect to be fishing your downrods 50 to 80 feet deep in July,” Mike said. Guide Greg Robinson also reports good striper fishing. “The summer bite is in full swing with half-day trip averages in the 25- to 30-fish range. Look for fish off the main channel in deep creeks and pockets over a 45- to 65-foot bottom. These fish can be caught on a downline with big bluebacks fished 25 to 35 feet deep on a No. 4 Chaser Hook, or good numbers are being caught with Capt. Mack’s umbrella rigs or lead-core line with a 1 1/2-oz. jig pulling six to seven colors back.” Greg said this bite will stay consistent until the water temps stabilize and top out at 88 to 89 degrees, then it’s time to start power reeling with 2-oz. jigs as the fish go from the 60- to 100-foot range. “Don’t look for this until about mid July,” Greg said.
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