Lake Lanier Fishing Report July 2012
Lanier: Level: 6.7 feet below full pool. Temp: 82 to 84 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Largemouths: Fair. Billy Boothe reports, “I’m catching most of my fish on plastics. You can pick up some decent fish early running flats with a topwater, but I’m spending most of my time on deeper brush and points. You can catch a lot of fish right now Carolina rigging a watermelon-red Trigger X Swimming Worm around brushpiles in the 20-foot and deeper range. If you are after a big bite, my best fish are coming on a green-pumpkin-candy 3/4-oz. War Eagle football jig with a green-pumpkin Trigger X twin-tail grub. Fish the jig very slowly, and make multiple casts to each brushpile. There are still some shallow fish to be caught later in the day. Target pockets and main-river banks with a green-pumpkin Trigger X paddle-tail worm or small creature bait fished on a light Texas rig.”
Spotted Bass: Very good. Ryan Coleman reports, “The fishing has been excellent over the past few weeks with typical patterns being the best. The fish have moved offshore and are schooled up around the man-made brushpiles in 20 to 30 feet of water. My clients have been having excellent days working topwater, drop shots and swimbaits over these brushpiles as well as on the offshore humps and flats. For topwater, I have been mostly using a Storm Chug Bug in chrome or white/green colors. I have been working this bait on 15-lb. mono when the wind is not present. As the wind picks up, I switch to a walking topwater like a Sammy or Vixen as well as throwing and ripping a Sebile Magic Swimmer over the brush and flats. The swimbait has been excellent on windy days. As things slow down during the day, we have been having some huge days drop-shotting a 6-inch SpotSticker worm in cinnamon pepper, crushed herring, watermelon pearl and melon murder. I am working these baits on 6- and 8-lb. fluorocarbon with a size 4 Owner drop-shot hook and 1/4-oz. SpotSticker drop-shot weight. Work this rig around brush, and fish that you spot on your electronics.”
Stripers: Very good. Shane Watson Guide Service reports, “Our boats have been out daily, and downlined bluebacks fished 30 to 45 feet deep over a 50 to 80 foot bottom have been best. About halfway back in creeks and deeper bays off the main lake have been the best areas.” Mike Maddelena reports, “The fish continue to move and are a challenge to find. There does not seem to be a pattern in terms of location. They are on points, humps, flats and pockets, but you seldom find them in the same place two days in a row. There are still fish on points in less than 30 feet of water. I am not marking a lot of fish, but instead I am running and gunning points with freelines and a couple of downlines as close to the bottom as I can get given the trees. Do not be surprised to find stripers, spots and catfish on the same point. There are also fish over a 60- to 80-foot bottom which are being caught with downrods at 20 to 30 feet deep. If you mark a couple of fish over deeper water, go ahead and put out baits as there may be a lot more in the trees. The umbrella-rig bite has picked up. I am using a four-arm, 3-oz. rig with nine 1-oz. Captain Mack bucktail jigs with 4-inch white-and-chartreuse shad bodies. Pull between 3.3 and 3.8 mph with rigs 70 to 100 feet behind the boat. Target points early from the Chestatee River to the dam with a focus on creek mouths. As the water continues to warm, move to deeper water at mid morning. Fish are still being caught on the north end of the lake, but with the warm temperatures I do not expect that bite to last.” Clay Cunningham reports, “The best fishing of the year has arrived, and the fish are starting to make their way to the south end in big numbers. So far this summer, most of the stripers have come on live herring on downlines. Most of the fish are 30 to 50 feet deep, and they will get deeper with each passing week of hot weather. Drop your herring 30 to 40 feet deep, and be sure to change your baits often. To keep the baitfish livelier, many people are now using a pure oxygen system. Look for stripers in the trees most days, but at times they may also be out in open water. A good graph is essential for this. The best fishing will be from River Forks south over the next few weeks, and by late July most of the fish will be below Browns Bridge. The best way to catch stripers on artificials will be to either power reel large 2-oz. bucktails or troll large bucktails out over the channel on downriggers or leadcore.”
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