Lake Lanier Fishing Report October 2014

GON Staff | October 1, 2014

Lanier: Level: 2.8 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 70s. Clarity: The water is lightly stained in the backs of the creeks and clear on the main lake both north and south. There are areas on the lower end that are already turning over.

Spotted Bass:
Guide Ryan Coleman reports, “There are still a good many fish that are on man-made brush in 20 to 25 feet of water and are eating like they should. Topwater baits are doing well, along with Fish Head Spins and swimbaits out over the brush. There are also some fall patterns starting out there, and these patterns will get stronger as October rolls on through. I have been doing very well on a 1/2- and 3/4-oz. Mini-Me spinnerbait on big rock points early in the day, as well as later in the day when the wind is blowing. This is one of our best fall patterns on Lanier. I typically use a white- or shad-colored Mini-Me with the painted blades. The painted blades are by far best in the clear water on Lanier. We are also getting a great bite over the brush swimming a 3/8- and 1/2-oz. green-pearl SpotSticker jig. I am putting a small swimbait body like a Little Dipper on the back of the jig and just swimming it slowly over the brush 10 to 15 feet below the surface. This is a big-fish deal, and I have had some hammers caught on it the past few weeks. This bite should get better as we go into October. Early in the mornings, there is a decent bite on a 1/4-oz. buzzbait on steep rock banks. This usually lasts about a hour or so but can last a little longer if there are clouds present. After the sun comes up, work a Zoom Swamp Crawler on a 3/16-oz. jig head in 5 to 15 feet of water on the same banks. The fish are still there, but you just have to pull out and slow down to get them.”

Capt. Clay Cunningham reports, “If the weather continues to stay warm, continue with the downline using live herring down near the dam. The water quality is better down near the dam. Once the first couple of cold fronts arrive in the first few weeks of October, look for the fish to start schooling on topwater. The best words to describe Lanier striper fishing in October is explosive and exciting. The stripers will be pushing the live bait to the surface, and most of the fish will be caught on artificial lures like the Sebile Magic Swimmer and the Cordell Redfin. These two lures act very differently, so be prepared with both. One day they will eat the Magic Swimmer, and the next they may eat the Redfin, depending on weather, barometer, cloud cover and a multitude of other factors. These fish will be very noticeable on the surface. Many times they will be schooling in large schools like in the ocean and look like cannonballs falling out of the sky hitting the surface. Most people will be casting artificials like the ones mentioned, but live herring will work during this time as well. Hook up the herring on a freeline, which is no more than a hook weightless, and troll them around the schools of surfacing fish.” Guide Mike Maddalena reports, “The mouth of the creeks from Orr Creek to the dam are your best bet. Blueback herring on downrods at 50 to 80 feet down over a 90- to 130-foot bottom is the top producer. I am rigging my downrods with a 2-oz. weight and a 7-foot, 12-lb. test Seaguar fluorocarbon leader with a Gamakatsu Octopus hook No. 1 or 1/0, depending on the size of the herring. Captain Mack’s bucktail jig with a 4-inch shad body with lead-core line at eight to nine colors is improving and almost as effective as bait. White has been the preferred color for the shad bodies on both lead core and umbrella rigs. I have had great results this week with umbrella rigs at 170 to 190 feet back. I tie a four-arm, 3-oz. umbrella with nine 1-oz. Captain Mack’s Chipmunk jigs. This is a heavy rig, which lets you get down to the fish when pulled at 2.8 to 3.0 mph. Flowery Branch, Big Creek, Two Mile Creek and Baldridge Creek are good places to start. Fish are starting to surface, so the fall topwater bite is just around the corner.”

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