Lake Lanier Fishing Report July 2019
Lanier: Level: 6 inches above full pool. Temp: Low to mid 80s. Clarity: The water is clearing some, but there are still areas that have a funky-looking color to it for mid June at Lanier. Some of that is the high water creating run-off from the shore, and some is the remaining algae that has been around for a few weeks.
Bass: Guide Ryan Coleman reports, “The fishing is pretty good right now. The topwater bite is on pretty good right now, even though the water is so high. Typically the extremely high water spreads the fish out, and it’s tough to find them in Lanier’s 40,000 acres, but they are set up on humps and brush like normal, and you can work on them with topwater and drop shots. A walking bait like a Zara Spook or Reaction Innovations Vixen has been working very well, as has the Chug Bug. I’m using shad colors for the most part but also having some success on chrome and pearl white. I’m just moving around fairly quick until I find a school, and then I’m staying on them for a little longer than normal. It seems that they have been more willing this year to come back after I have caught a few when compared to past years on Lanier. Once I get them on the bottom, I have been dropping 4.5- and 6-inch SpotSticker drop-shot worms down on them. The 4.5-inch sand and electric-shad colors have been working great for me lately, but I am getting great stories from tackle customers who are buying the hot tomato in bulk. I am just using a typical open hook drop-shot rig with 8-lb. fluorocarbon line and a 3/8-oz. drop-shot weight. If the water was more clear, I may drop to 6-lb., but that is not necessary right now. I am looking for them on the Lowrance and then dropping on them as I pull them off the structure with the topwater bait. Very typical summer patterns on Lake Lanier. Good luck out there.”
Stripers: Capt. Clay Cunningham reports, “The striper fishing on Lanier has simply been on fire. July looks to be just as good as June. The stripers have moved deep, and the schools are getting larger and larger each week. With the schools of stripers being deep, good electronics and great bait are the essential ingredients to success. With the new graphs like the Humminbird Solix units, you can see your baitfish get devoured by stripers as they feed deep. After picking up blueback herring at the local bait stores, you just need a few key items. The key setup is a Shakespeare striper rod, a Penn Fathom II Linecounter reel, Capt. Mack’s Swivel Sinkers and red Gamakatsu Octopus hooks. You should be able to see your sinker drop into the schools of stripers. If you want to try artificials, spool up another Penn Fathom Linecounter with 15-lb. Trilene Big Game line, and tie on a Ben Parker spoon or a 2-oz. Capt. Mack’s bucktail. Use the linecounter to drop to the correct depth, and reel the spoon up past the stripers. Many times they will try to rip the rod out of your hands. Give it a try, and you will be hooked, as well. See you on the water. The time is now.” Capt. Ron Mullins reports, “July striper fishing on Lanier means huge schools of fish in deep water on the south end of the lake. These fish will be found from Brown’s Bridge to the dam in deep drainages, creek and river channels in 40 to 60 feet of water early in the day to 80 to 100 feet later in the afternoon. Trolling with lead core or Cannon downriggers and a 1- to 1 1/2-oz. Capt. Mack’s Chipmunk Jig with your favorite trailer or a herring trailer is a great way to look for these schools and be fishing while you are looking. Make sure you are using your side imaging on your Humminbird graph because this makes your search pattern coverage much greater. With lead core line, we will be best pulling at 2.5 to 3 mph with six to eight colors out and 40 to 60 feet behind a downrigger ball that is set 25 to 40 feet down. Once you find a school of fish, downlines will be the go-to live-bait technique. Your setup should be a 1.5- to 2-oz. lead, 6 to 8 feet of 10- to 12-lb. fluorocarbon leader with a No. 1 Gamakatsu Circle or Octopus hook. This setup will get your fragile bait down through the hot water fast and allow him to swim around without dragging around an oversized hook and heavy leader. The best baits will be herring, but small to medium gizzard shad will get the attention of some larger fish. Make sure you keep a Parker spoon or a 2-oz. Capt. Mack’s Chipmunk with a trailer tied on that you can drop down through these schools and power reel these baits up through the school of striped bass. Vary your retrieve speed when power reeling, but when you think you’re reeling fast enough, know that you probably aren’t. The stripers at Lanier will be moving a lot looking for suspended bait pods this month, so be ready to cover a lot of water, as well. Get out there, and catch them up.”
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