Lake Lanier Fishing Report – July 2010

GON Staff | June 30, 2010

Lanier: Level: Full pool. Temp: 88-90 degrees. Clarity: Very clear.

Fair. The most consistent bite for numbers has been a drop-shot rig or a light Texas rig fished on deep, main-lake brushpiles. Topwater action has been hit or miss — mostly miss. You can try to call up some spotted bass on reef-marker humps and points using a Chug Bug, Zara Spook or by burning a Fish Head Spin. Also try working a fluke just out of sight in the clear water. You can also catch a few smaller spotted bass on the boat docks with a 3/16-oz. Texas-rigged finesse worm.

Stripers: All of the guides are reporting excellent fishing that should continue through the hot summer months. Shane Watson reports, “Since my last report we’ve had all of our boats out on guide trips every day. We’ve caught stripers up to 35 pounds on downlined bluebacks fished 25 to 40 feet deep over a 35- to 70-foot bottom just off points and humps. Some of our boats are still catching a few fish early on a freeline, on a Spro Dawg, a Super Spook and on a Redfin, and then we’re switching over to a downline. On my boat we have started out downlining at daylight, and the numbers and size have been good every morning. Lead core is also producing out on the main lake both north and south. Captain Mack’s four-arm U-rigs are also catching fish. Many things are working on the stripers. I think the biggest thing is being on active fish, without boats being right on top of you.” Mike Maddalena reports, “The striper fishing is excellent at the moment, both up and down lake, and will remain great all summer. The fish are just starting to school up in good numbers. They are still relating to points, humps and reef makers on the main lake and in the creek mouths. Look on the deep-water side of these locations. The fish will be on the drop offs. The bigger fish are just starting their migration toward the deep, open water. From the river junction on down the lake is where you need to be. Once the fish complete their migration to the deep, open water, good electronics are key to finding them. When slowly searching for fish, you should be at 92 percent sensitivity or higher. My Lowrance HDS10 is often at 96 percent this time of the year. You will not see those 80-foot deep fish on the lower settings. If you’re not marking a good number of fish, keep looking, because the schools will be around somewhere. You also want your GPS to have a map that clearly outlines the creek and river channels. It’s downrod time, plain and simple. As always when the fish are deep and on the move, trolling lead-core line or U-rigs are great ways 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 40 to 80 foot bottom is the ticket. Change baits often and keep them fresh. Bait is only a small portion of your fishing trip expense, and it does not pay to skimp on it. As we move into July, the fish will complete their migration to deep water and the river channel. By mid July, fishing should be best from Browns Bridge to the dam. Lead core fished six to eight colors back with a 1 1/2-oz. 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 in 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 feet deep in July.” Capt. Clay Cunningham reports, “Right now, the surface temperature is higher than normal on Lake Lanier. The good news is the water temperature down deep is better than normal due to the very cold winter. The stripers are keyed in on the schools of herring out in the deep water. With each passing day, the stripers are moving deeper and deeper. Right now the stripers are still 30 feet deep on the edges of the points up and down the lake. Any day the stripers are going to pull out over the open water, and some of the best fishing of the year will be upon us. Downlines 30 feet deep or deeper are already the best tactic for catching these fish and will continue into the summer. Be sure to use 12- to 15-lb. P-line flourocarbon on your leaders to increase your bites, and take plenty of bait. Also be sure to use small hooks like the Mustad 1/0 octopus hook and a quality 1 1/2-oz. swivel sinker to increase the action of your baits. If your bait is not active, you will not catch stripers. Also look for the lead core bite to develop out over the open water in the coming weeks. Tie the lead core with a 1 1/2-oz. Chipmunk jig, and tip the jig with a 6-inch chartreuse trailer.”

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