Lake Lanier Fishing Report October 2011

GON Staff | September 28, 2011

Lanier: Level: 8.3 feet below full pool. Temp: Low to mid 70s. Clarity: Stained to clear.

Spotted Bass: Very Good. Ryan Coleman reports, “At the time of this report, there are very few signs of the fall turnover, but look for it to be in full swing by mid October. The cooler surface water will begin to sink, which pushes the warmer deep water to the surface. Thus the surface water changes place with the deeper water = Turnover. That’s a short sweet explanation but is what you see on most small lakes and reservoirs during the fall cool down. As this happens in October, look for the spotted bass to split. Some of the fish will go very shallow looking for runoff and good water entering the lake, and some of the spotted bass will go very deep looking for better water below the turnover. For the shallow fish, work finesse worms rigged on Spot Sticker jigheads around shallow docks and brush in the backs of creek-feed pockets. Also, a small spinnerbait or buzzbait early will work well on shallow-water fish. For the deep guys during the turnover, you are basically limited to drop-shot worms and jigs worked in 35 to 55 feet of water around timber edges and in creek channels in the main-lake creeks. When the water is moving, there will be some high-quality water out in the channels, and the bait and fish will find it. Using your electronics in the fall is a must. For now, fish are up on top eating Chug Bugs, Spooks and Sammys over 15- to 20-foot brush and schooling on a lot of the main-lake points. I have also been having good success on 3/8-oz. Fish Head Spins with a Super Fluke Jr. trailer and 5-inch Bull Shad swimbaits worked over long sloping points with brush. There is more bait out there than ever, so most places will have bait close by. Just keep moving and using your electronics looking for these big schools of spotted bass.”

Largemouths: Good. Billy Boothe reports, “The power fishing bite is really heating up, and as the water temperature continues to drop it’s only going to get better. Look for points and pockets that have the most bait activity, and throw a 3/8-oz. blue-chrome Yo-Zuri Rattlin’ Vibe. I’ve been using a very fast erratic retrieve, and it’s triggering some great reaction strikes. Another bite that is producing is swimming a 1/4-oz., white-and-silver War Eagle jig under dock floats back in the creeks. With the low water, any dock that has a ditch running near it is going to have a bass under it at some point during the day. Once you finish up on the docks, follow the ditches in farther and cast a natural pro blue Yo-Zuri 3D flat crank to pick off the fish that are roaming. As the month progresses, look for some bass to move extremely shallow to chase shad. When you start seeing bass swirl and shad skipping in shallow water, throw a bad-shad Reaction Innovations Trixie Shark right up on the bank and buzz it back to the boat.”

Stripers: Fair. Mike Maddalena reports, “The lake has started to turn over, and the fish have moved from the deep-water pattern to points and humps. Stick to points and humps 30 to 50 feet deep. The stripers are glued to the bottom and will bite, but you have to get down to them. The umbrella rig is a great tool to get deep and cover a lot of water. The only drawback is getting the rig hung up in the trees and brush. I always start out with two umbrella rigs, one with white 4-inch shad bodies and one with chartreuse shad bodies. One day they only wanted white trailers and the next day they only wanted chartreuse trailers even though the place, wind, temperature and cloud cover were the same. Your other option is to use herring on downrods after you have marked the fish with your Lowrance structure scan. It is also time to put out a couple of freelines. Weight one freeline with a split-shot, and let the other swim free. Keep a Red Fin and a bucktail tied on for those surfacing fish. The topwater bite should start to pick up over the next week or two. The south end of the lake has been best for me, but we continue to get reports of smaller fish from the mouth of the Chestatee River to Gainesville Creek. The mouth of Young Deer, Baldridge and Shoal creeks continue to be good places to start.” Shane Watson Guide Service reports “This trend toward fall has brought some good-size schools of stripers and big spots busting on the surface. We’ve caught these fish on Spro Dawgs, McSticks and Spooks. The smaller stripers have been up busting along with spots on humps and points. Leadcore has been up and down. U-rigs and downlined bluebacks are producing good numbers of smaller stripers over a 30- to 40-foot bottom. We are seeing our better-sized stripers on topwater lures when they are busting out over the channel or when you are graphing them down 90 to 120 feet deep on bluebacks. Over the next 60 days you are apt to see some great topwater fishing for the stripers and spots both mornings and late afternoons.”

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