Lake Lanier Fishing Report July 2015

GON Staff | June 25, 2015

Lanier: Level: 1.2 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid to upper 80s. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Good. Guide and tournament pro Ryan Coleman reports, “The lake is still a little below full pool, and the surface temps climbed this week to the mid to upper 80s. The surface temp is already higher than the entire last summer. From the outlook, we are in this type of weather for the rest of this summer. The two-week forecast looks like more of the same. Fishing changed some this week with the weather heating up. The fantastic topwater bite we had the past few weeks really slowed. We started the week off with a good bite, but as the week progressed, it dwindled to a halt. You can still run brush with a topwater and bring a few up, but it is not the best pattern any more. I had my best luck on big fish by working a 3/8-oz. jig right off the bat in the mornings on points and humps. The first four hours of the day is very good for the jig bite. I have been using the Spotsticker 3/8-oz. Casting Jig in green pumpkin/craw and green craw for the most part, but I did experiment with Georgia craw and PB&J with good results. As usual, I am putting a 5-inch Yamamoto twin tail on the back of my jig. This was great all week for big fish. We had 16- to 19-lb. stringers most days this week, and I was out every day. Once the jig bite slows a bit, usually around 10 a.m., the drop shot has been the key. I have been working around the brush and humps in 25 to 30 feet of water with a SpotSticker hand-pour and 3/8-oz. drop-shot weight. I have been more broadcasting my drop shot this week instead of dropping on fish that I see on my Lowrance. This has been more effective to be 10 feet or so away from the boat. My best color all week was the cinnamon purple but had great luck with hot tomato and SS sunrise, as well. We did not get as many bites on the drop shot as usual this week, but the quality was fantastic. Look for the drop shot to be a big player this summer on Lanier. With the climbing water temps so early in the summer, the water temps usually do not go down much. In past summers, that means lots of bottom baits versus topwater and swimbaits. It makes for a long summer here on Lanier, but if you want to catch fish in the 95-degree temps, there is no better place to go, and nothing works here in those conditions better than a jig or drop shot.”

Stripers: Big Fish On Guide Service reports, “Welcome to summertime fishing on Lake Lanier! Summer is here, and the striper fishing is fast and furious. They are currently on humps and long and short points. Smaller fish are over 20- to 35-foot bottoms, while large fish are over a 35- to 60-foot bottom. The 19- to 21-inch stripers are spread from Wahoo to Shoal, while the large stripers are moving down the lake and out of creeks. The stripers will complete their migration to their cold-water refuge on the southern half of Lanier during the month of July. Unlike typical freshwater fish, adult stripers will spend the summer in deep, dark and cold water. They couldn’t be happier! Consequently, fishing live bait on a downrod will replace the shallow-water techniques we have been using this spring. We use 15- or 20-lb. main lines and a 6- to 8-foot 12-lb. Seaguar fluorocarbon leader. Attach the leader to the main line with a bead and either pencil sinker with swivels on both ends or swivel and egg sinker, from 1 1/2- to 2-oz. in weight. We use Gamakatsu Octopus No. 1 or 1/0 hooks depending on the size of the herring. The live bait of choice for July is the blueback herring. Stripers love to chase the bait, and it is essential that you change your bluebacks every 15 to 20 minutes. In addition to live bait, trolling with Capt. Mack’s bucktail jigs on lead-core line and umbrella rigs are effective summertime techniques. Lead-core line is nothing more than multicolored line that has a core of lead in the middle to give it the weight needed to get your jig deep. The line changes color every 30 feet. We typically run our 27-lb. test lead core at seven to nine colors back, which equals 210 to 270 feet back not counting the a 30- to 50-foot 20-lb. test fluorocarbon leader. Set your umbrella rigs at 100 to 150 feet back and trolling speed at 2.8 to 3.5 mph. Vary your speed to control your depth. Target areas for July are the creek mouths from Browns Bridge to the dam. Six Mile, Four Mile, Flat, Flowery Branch and Big Creek are good places to start. The water quality is good.”

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