Lake Lanier Fishing Report – June 2008

GON Staff | May 27, 2008

Lanier: Level: 13.3 feet below full pool. Temp: 70 degrees. Clarity: Very clear.

Notice: The lake level is still very low. Twelve boat ramps are expected to remain open. According to a corps release, “With only a fraction of the lake’s ramps open, parking will be at a premium. Boaters and their friends should carpool or make other arrangements when meeting at the lake. Underwater hazards such as shoals, tree stumps and old road beds are closer to the surface and pose greater danger to boaters and swimmers.”

Spotted Bass:
Good. “The fish are biting well,” said guide Ryan Coleman. “Most of the fish have spawned, but there are a few still up on beds. The bigger fish are starting to move out on offshore structure and are schooling up. I am catching good fish on topwater and swimbaits over flats in 15 to 30 feet of water.” As we move into June and the summertime patterns, Ryan said to be aware that typical patterns might not be the same this year. “The lower water level will put the fish on different structure this summer than before. Though some of the man-made brushpiles are finding new homes, a lot of it will be too shallow for the summer spotted bass. Most of our fish will hang out in the 25- to 28-foot range due to water quality, oxygen content, temperature and the availability of baitfish. The lower water levels will put a lot of the standing timber in play this summer — unless we get a lot of rain. Look for big spotted bass to start to roam over the timber and move daily. That will make it extremely important to know how to use your electronics to find them. Vertical fishing and fan casting over this timber should be the main techniques. By the middle of the month, topwater should be in full swing. Toss Spooks, Sammys and Chug Bugs over structure all day, followed by a Fish Head Spin or swimbait. Keep a Spotsticker hand-poured worm rigged on a drop shot handy for sight fishing with your electronics,” Ryan said.

Largemouths: Excellent, according to Billy Boothe. “There is an awesome topwater bite going on right now up the rivers around the clouds of threadfins. Look for main-river flats and rock points in 3 to 6 feet of water and throw a white buzzbait or a pearl Stanley Ribbit. Once the topwater dies off, you can fish the same areas with a chartreuse/white Bandit 200. For numbers, hit main-river ledges in 10 to 15 feet of water with a citrus-shad Mann’s 20 Plus or a junebug Carolina-rigged Reaction Innovations Big Unit worm. There are a few good fish on the ledges, but the size just isn’t there yet. With the rising water level the past few months, we still haven’t had that big push yet. For big fish get out the flippin’ stick and work visible cover up the lake in 2 to 5 feet of water. I’ve had some insane strikes pitching a 7/16-oz. green-pumpkin TABU jig around docks that had bluegill on them. Most of the strikes are coming on the fall, so watch your line closely. There are also some good fish holding in laydowns near the main river. Flip and pitch a green-pumpkin Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver with a light weight, and work over every inch of the tree. You’ll get a few less strikes on the laydowns, but it’s your best bet at a big fish,” Billy said.

Good. The stripers are beginning to set up on a summer pattern deeper on the points, but the topwater bite has been missing in action. “The primary bite is bluebacks on down rods, fished 18 to 30 feet deep over a 20- to 35-foot bottom,” said guide Mike Maddalena. “You need to be on a point with a slick bottom. The point can be on the main lake or up to midway back in the creek. The points reaching out to a channel are best, though secondary points are holding some fish. Expect to catch a mixed bag of stripers and spots, along with an occasional catfish. A few walleye or large white bass are also being caught on the north end. This pattern should hold through most of June, though the fish will move out deeper on the points as the water continues to warm. During low-light conditions, a freelined blueback fished 70 to 100 feet back can still get you some fish. On cloudy and windy days the freeline bite will last longer — same locations — points.” Mike said he hasn’t pulled a U-rig lately, but he said the conditions are perfect for trolling an umbrella rig with multiple bucktail jigs.

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