Lake Lanier Fishing Report – July 2009
Lanier: Level: 4.3 feet below full pool. Temp: 67-69 degrees. Clarity: Light stain up the lake and in some of the creeks.
Spotted Bass: Fair to good. The topwater bite has been sporadic. There are fish around the brushpiles on the points and humps down the lake, and a Sebile swimbait, Zara Spook, Chug Bug or burning a Fish Head Spin with a fluke will call them up at times. Also look for breaking fish. The topwater bite has been better on bright days with a slight to moderate chop. A drop-shot rig with a finesse-type worm is a consistent bite on the deep brush, and plenty of small spotted bass are under the boat docks and will take a light Texas rig or jig-head finesse worm or Trick Worm.
Largemouths: Good. Billy Boothe reports, “The largemouths are on their typical summer patterns. I’m catching a few good fish at daylight on a white buzzbait and a pearl Pop-R on main-river points. Once the sun gets up, working mid-depth brush and deeper ledges is the way to go. On the brush, throw a Texas-rigged, red-shad colored, 9-inch Mann’s Hardnose worm or a Carolina-rigged green-pumpkin Trick Worm. For the ledge fish, work a citrus-shad Mann’s 20 Plus or a 3/4-oz. green-pumpkin TABU jig in 12 to 25 feet of water. The flipping bite is hit or miss right now. Most of the dock fish are scattered, but there are a few bass on the laydowns. The best flipping baits have been a watermelon-red Sweet Beaver and a green-pumpkin/blue Brush Hog matched with a 1/2-oz. tungsten weight for a reaction strike on the fall.”
Stripers: Very good. Capt. Clay Cunningham reports, “Fishing has been great on Lanier. The stripers are on the downline bite strong. The fish are spread out from the north end to the south end, which has helped spread out the fishermen. Some are staying south thinking the fish are larger on the south end, but just as many big fish are on the north end as the south end at this time. Over the next few weeks, look for the fish to concentrate more on the south end of the lake. The fish are 28 to 30 feet deep on the downline over 40 to 60 feet of water. Over the next few weeks, look for the fish to continue to move out to a deeper bottom. Be sure to bring plenty of bait — you are going to need it.” Mike Maddalena reports, “The bite is very good at the moment both up and down lake and will remain great all summer. It’s downrod time. As always when the fish are deep and on the move, trolling is a 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 middles 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 lower lake. The main-lake fish are starting to relate to the timber and the edges where slick bottoms meet the timber. Often, where the mouths of the creek channels meet the river channel, you will get an old flood plain or delta, which will be slick and be bordered by timber. Same thing with the banks of the old river channel. The channel will be slick, while the old river banks will be lined with timber. These are key areas to search for stripes. Good electronics are key to finding these deep summertime fish. 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- or 2-oz. Captain 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 through the mouth and out through the brain, right between the eyes, to get it to track properly. Expect to be fishing your downrods 50 to 80 deep feet in July.”
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