Lake Lanier Fishing Report July 2016
Lanier: Level: 3.4 feet below full pool. Temp: Low to mid 80s. Clarity: Clear on the main lake and stained in the backs of the creeks.
Spotted Bass: Fair. Tournament pro and guide Ryan Coleman reports, “We are about 3.5 feet below full pool right now, and with no rain it will continue to fall. Pretty typical for the summer for Lanier. Fishing has been decent. We are still catching a good many fish on topwater, swimbaits and of course, the drop-shot bite is doing very well. This is a very typical bite for Lanier during the summer. These three techniques give you something deep, something mid depth and a surface bait. I have been using walking baits like a Vixen or Spook on topwater for the most part but still getting a few on a shad-colored Storm Chug Bug. Depending on the wind conditions, I choose the Vixen with choppy water and the Chug Bug with calm. Working these baits early on humps and points then transitioning out to man-made brushpiles in 25 feet of water has been my pattern. Once the sun gets up, I have been also working a 7/16-oz. SpotSticker Underspin tipped with either a Zoom Super Fluke Jr. or a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper over brush in 25 to 30 feet of water. I am using a slow, steady retrieve with this, trying to keep the bait in 10 to 15 feet of water. When all else fails, I have been dropping down on fish that are visible on my Lowrance sonar with a Hand Poured drop-shot worm in either cinnamon pepper or cinnamon purple to clean up the mess. Most of the time, the bass just can not resist the drop-shot bait worked slowly around the cover. As the summer rolls on, this drop shot will become my go-to bait for numbers and even good-sized bass on Lanier. It’s just hard to beat. The 6-inch SpotSticker Hand-Pour is just perfect for Lanier. It’s super soft, which gives it a lot of action. Three colors to try are the cinnamon pepper when the water is super clear and calm, and the hot tomato and the crushed herring, which is a two-color worm with pearl and green. I am working these on 8-lb. fluorocarbon line and a 1/4- to 3/8-oz. drop-shot weight. I tie it on a No. 4 Gamakatsu drop-shot hook and about a 18-inch leader to my weight. This basic rig is your best weapon on Lanier for the next four months—learn to love it…”
Stripers: Very good. Capt. Clay Cunningham reports, “The striper fishing on Lanier has been as hot as the weather. The fish are headed south for the colder deeper water and are feeding heavily. Look for the bite to get even better in July. The best bait so far this summer has been herring on the downline. This will be the same for July. Take as much bait as you possibly can, and drop them on the large schools of stripers that are cruising the creek channels. On the downline, tie up a Carolina rig on a 7-foot Shakespeare Striper Rod and a Penn Squall reel. Spool the Penn Squall with 15-lb. Trilene Big Game line. On the Carolina rig, tie a Capt. Mack’s swivel sinker and a Gamakatsu size 1 finesse wide-gap hook. On the leader, use 15-lb. Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. If you want to use artificials, tie on a white 1-oz. Spro Prime bucktail tipped with a 6-inch chartreuse Capt. Mack’s trailer. Drop the bucktail below the schools of stripers, and reel it up through the school. The power-reeling bite will almost rip the rod out of your hands. The next eight weeks are hard to beat for striper fishing. Do not miss it.” Big Fish On Guide Service reports, “Striper fishing is good. Summer is here, and the fish are moving south and deep. The majority of the fish are south of Chestatee River, which is exactly where they should be this time of year. Summertime fishing is when your electronics really pays for itself. Last week we caught fish at 25 feet over a 40-foot bottom, at 80 feet over a 100-foot bottom, and we caught them in the creeks from Browns Bridge to the dam. Your Lowrance Structure Scan is the ticket to locating these fast-moving summertime fish. If you want to fish while you are searching an area, the umbrella rig is a good choice. Pull the umbrella rigs at 70 to 90 feet behind the boat at a speed of 3 miles per hour. When you find stripers, you can pull your umbrella rigs up and put out baits, or continue to use you umbrella rigs to catch fish. The downrod bite with blueback herring has been strong and will continue to be the primary technique through this summer. We are using a 5-foot 12-lb. Seaguar fluorocarbon leader and a 2-oz. slip egg sinker tied to 20-lb. Seaguar main line for our downrods. You can also jig with the Ben Parker Spoon while you are downrod fishing to get a reaction bite when the fish just don’t want to eat. We have also had some success with lead-core line this week pulled at seven colors. All of the creeks south of Browns Bridge are holding fish. Baldridge, Shoal, Young Deer, Six Mile, Two Mile, Orr and Flat are some of the creeks where stripers have been caught over the past week. The lake level is dropping fairly quickly, so be careful out there. As July continues to set up the thermocline and deplete the oxygen above Browns Bridge and in the backs of the creeks, the stripers will continue to move south and toward the main lake.”
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