Lake Lanier Fishing Report – October 2009

GON Staff | September 29, 2009

Lanier: Level: 2.1 feet below full pool. Temp: 78-79 degrees. Clarity: Clear except for some color in the creeks and up the rivers.

Spotted Bass: Improving, according to guide Ryan Coleman. “The lake is turning just a little right now, but the fishing is good. The lake has come up 3 1/2 feet with all the rain we had, and the fish are moving up with it. There are a lot of fish suspended in the 10- to 15-foot range that will come all the way up to the surface to eat. You can see bait and fish all over the lower end cruising around in the upper water column. Now is a great time to get these guys to eat a big or medium swimbait. I am having my best luck with a 6- or 7-inch Triple Trout and a Sebile Majic Swimmer in the 5-inch size. Get these baits rigged on a rod you can get long casts with. A very important part of swimbait fishing is getting a long cast. I am also having good success on windy points and over humps with a white spinnerbait and lipless crankbait. Work these baits on a steady retrieve to draw up these suspended fish. Last but not least, the topwater is getting cranked back up. A big chugger or Spook has been calling up some giants the last week or so. Look for this to improve as October rolls along and the surface completely clears from the new water.”

Good. Guide Billy Boothe reports, “The shallow-water bite is going to be unreal this month with all the newly flooded cover. The shad and bass have already started moving to the backs of the creeks, and it will only get better later in the month. Start out in the morning with an American Shad Mann’s Baby Waker or a bone Pop-R fished around rock and bushes. When the sun gets up, it’s time to hunt for big fish. The docks that have been sitting on the ground in the backs of the creeks are now floating, and that’s what you want to target. Most of those docks are surrounded by weeds and bushes but have open water under the floats. Wake a 1/4-oz. pearl spinnerbait with a single Colorado blade just under the surface by the floats — and hang on. If the fish won’t commit to the blade, throw a wacky-rigged Senko, and let it freefall under the docks. Another great option this month is to flip the cover that’s on the edge of the creek channel using a 7/16-oz. black-and-blue TABU jig with a black twin-tail grub.”

Stripers: Very good. Guide Mike Maddalena reports, “The massive rains did little to no damage to the lower end, and it is still very clear and debris free. Not much has changed. The striper bite is very good and should remain so until turnover starts sometime in late October or early November. Start looking in the Orr Creek/Vann Tavern area, and work your way down to the Six Mile/Flowery Branch area. You will mark fish at around 30 to 40 feet and again down deep at 70 to 80 feet. The shallower fish are responding much better to trolling, either lead core or heavy U-rigs. The deeper fish are larger and will aggressively eat a herring on a downrod or power-reel. There is some limited surfacing action occurring, and these fish will take a Spook, Red Fin, Sammy, chrome Sebile or small Capt. Mack’s jig with a fluke trailer. Most of the surface activity is occurring the first two hours and the last two hours of daylight, though on cloudy days, any time is possible. These patterns will continue until the lake starts to turn over. Once that starts, fishing will be tough for a few weeks, and then it will be flatline and planer-board time. The whole lake does not turn over at the same time, so keep in touch with friends and online reports to help determine which areas of the lake have good water and which do not. The fish will scatter quickly from the lower end once turn over starts.” Guide Clay Cunningham reports, “Fishing on Lanier has continued to be strong even with all the rain. The lake looks better than it has for years. Look for the cooler nights to bring the stripers to the top. I’m starting to see schools of small stripers on the surface already. Be sure to always keep a 7-inch chrome-and-blue Red Fin tied on for the surfacing fish. The south end of the lake near the main channel will be the key area.”

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