Lake Lanier Fishing Report July 2013

GON Staff | June 26, 2013

Lanier: Level: 0.9 feet above full pool. Temp: 80 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Spotted Bass: Good. Guide Ryan Coleman reports, “We are still getting a good bit of rain here in the Lanier area, and the water just won’t go down. It has been over full pool for months. The lake being so high really changes the summer fishing. There are still a good many fish that have held up shallow, which is pretty typical for a lake with high water conditions. I am still catching some fish up shallow on reef markers as well as on points less than 10 feet deep. That is pretty unusual for Lanier in the mid summer. Those shallow fish can still be caught on jig head/worm combo, topwater and swimbaits. We have also had lots of clouds the past few weeks which has helped this pattern. I am pitching a 3/16-oz. SpotSticker jig head with a Zoom Swamp Crawler in green pumpkin or watermelon seed around the shallow rocks on these areas. As the wind picks up, work a Sebile Magic swimmer or Bull Herring swimbait up around the markers. Our typical pattern of 20- to 30-foot deep brush is also working fairly well. There are not tons of fish out on the brush like there usually would be by July, but there are some good ones out there. I have been doing well out there on topwater, swimbaits and FishHead Spins. The drop-shot bite is decent, but it’s not as good as it usually is out there since there just is not as many fish out there. The bigger fish are really buried in the brush right now, and your best bet for the bigger fish is to put a jig right in the brush. I am working a 3/8-oz. brown/olive casting jig in the brushpiles that I find in less than 25 feet of water. A lot of them are a little deeper since the water is up, but if you find some good brush in 25 or less, work the casting jig in there and hold on. I am tipping my jig with a Yamamoto 5-inch twin-tail trailer. As July rolls in, look for the drop-shot bite to pick up. Hopefully, we can get the water down a few feet and that will pull all the shallow fish out to the brush which will give us a bigger concentration of fish to work on. Look for the topwater bite to really pick up as they get more grouped up.”

Largemouth: Good. Tournament angler Billy Boothe reports, “Start out early in the backs of creeks with a chartreuse-shad River 2 Sea Bubble Popper targeting secondary points and weed lines with deeper water near by. If we have some wind or rain, fish a 1/2-oz. River 2 Sea Bling spinnerbait in the I Know It pattern with double willowleaf blades. Once the sun gets up, you can stay shallow and grind or try to find some bigger fish out deeper. If you stay shallow, your best bet is to cover as much water as possible. Rig up a River 2 Sea Biggie Smalls crankbait in abalone-shad and a green-pumpkin Berkley Havoc Pit Boss. For the deeper fish, you won’t catch numbers, but the size is really good. The deeper fish are really spread out, with some on points, ledges, brush, etc., but the one constant is baitfish. When you find areas that are stacked with bait, crank a River 2 Sea Hi Dep 88 in aurora-black or chartreuse-blue.”

Stripers: Good. Guide Mike Maddalena reports, “The fish remain on points over a 30- to 40-foot bottom. There are fish on points in the creeks and main-lake points from Wahoo to the dam. We have been focusing on mid-lake points from Gainesville Marina to Vann’s Tavern. We will work out our way south this last week of June and early July. The downrod bite 22 to 30 feet deep is better than weighted freelines and will only get stronger. We have been using 6- to 8-foot 12-lb. test leaders, with a 2-oz. weight. Check your leaders for nicks often with the light leaders. The key to fishing downrods is the quality of your bait. Change your bait often. Fresh, frisky bait is critical. The early morning bite is strong, so get out at first light if possible. We have heard of a few fish being caught on lead-core seven colors back off the river channel, but the downrod bite is clearly stronger. Heavy umbrella rigs pulled on points is also working and can be an effective search tool. As we move into July, the stripers will move deeper off the points and start hanging on the transitions between the slick-bottom areas and standing timber in the mouths of the creeks. Look for the bite to move below Browns Bridge.”

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