Lake Lanier Fishing Report July 2014

GON Staff | June 26, 2014

Lanier: Level: 0.2 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 80s. Clarity: Clear except for light stain in the very backs of some creeks.

Spotted Bass: Good Guide Ryan Coleman reports, “We have had a few 90-degree days, and that has shot the water temps up. The water clarity is extremely good, which is better for us during the summer since we fish so many sight baits. The spotted bass have finished the spawn now and are starting to gang up on the offshore structure. I am finding good schools of fish, but not out on the offshore humps and long points in 20 to 30 feet of water. This is a very typical place for our fish here on Lanier. I am getting some fish on topwater, but it is not as strong as it has been in the past years. The fish are out there, but the high water has spread them out some. Most of the offshore brush has fish on it, but there are so many brushpiles that each only has a few bass on it. My best patterns have been jigs and topwater, but I am getting a few on an under-spin and drop shot. For my big fish, I have been fishing a 3/8-oz. SpotSticker hand-tied jig in green-craw tipped with a 5-inch cinnamon-pepper twin tail. This is a great setup for the big spots in the summer. I am working this bait on the humps in 20 to 25 feet of water around the brush. I am also having some good success swimming a green/pearl 3/8-oz. jig out over the brush. This has been a good technique this year and has boated some very nice fish for my customers. When things are slow and you mark the fish on your Lowrance, make sure you have a drop shot ready with a 5-inch hand-poured worm. This is still a very effective way to catch fish when they are stubborn. For topwater, I have been using a Reaction Innovations Vixen and a Storm Chug Bug. Both these baits are effective and will always catch fish on Lanier in the summer. I have had more success with the Chug Bug early and then the Vixen as the day goes on. Just work them out over the humps and points, and change your cadence throughout the day. It seems to change as the fish get more aggressive.”

Stripers: Guide Mike Maddalena reports, “Striper fishing remains very good. The fish are moving to their summer pattern. You can put away your planner boards and freelines and rig your downrods with 6- to 8-foot leaders. We use 20-lb. Seaguar fluorocarbon main line with a 2-oz. slip-egg weight, a bead and small swivel with 12- or 15-lb. test Seaguar fluorocarbon leader. Don’t forget to ice your herring, and try to maintain a water temperature under 70 degrees. Lively bait is critical when fishing summertime downrods. Your Lowrance fish-finding sonar and GPS electronics are critical tools for summertime fishing, and in our opinion Structure Scan is a must for finding fish in the trees. I am still focusing on deep-water points, but there are fish in bays over a 50- to 80-foot bottom from the Chestatee to the dam. There is also a umbrella-rig bite with a 3-oz. four-arm rigged with 1-oz. Captain Mack’s bucktail jigs with white worm trailers. Set these rigs 80 to 100 feet back, and pull between 2.7 to 3.5 mph. As we move into the summer, expect the fish to continue their migration south and out of the creeks. The areas where the old creek channels meet the river channel, often a 100-foot bottom, and the main river channel itself, will start to get hot.” Guide Clay Cunningham reports, “The striper fishing on Lanier has been getting better with each passing week. The fish have already made the move to open water. July is always one of the best months of the year. The fishing on the weekends can be tough due to boat traffic, but during the week it is a different world. What people find the most surprising is the best fishing can be in the middle of the day. Many days we get a strong bite early and then after lunch another strong bite due to generation at the dam. The key pattern in July is downlines over deep water with blueback herring. The downline is a type of Carolina rig similar to bass fishing. You use a 2-oz. swivel sinker 6 feet or more above a 15-lb. fluorocarbon leader and a 2/0 Gamakatsu Nautilus Light Circle hook. If the herring are small, go to a 1/0 for more action out of the bait. The rod and reel consists of a Shakespeare 7-foot, 6-inch Striper Rod and a Penn Squall line-counter reel spooled with 15-lb. Trilene Big Game. The best fishing will be from Vann’s Tavern down to the dam due to the better water quality. With each passing week the fish are moving farther and farther south. The stripers will be over open water, so good electronics are important. Report can be summed up with this is the best time to go. Do not miss it. It is time to go catching.”

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