Lake Lanier Fishing Report – October 2017

GON Staff | September 28, 2017

Lanier: Level: 5.5 feet low. Temp: High 70s. Clarity: Clear.

Spotted Bass: Guide Ryan Coleman reports, “With the surface temps dropping right now, the lake has started its fall turnover. It is not in full swing yet, but it is coming in October. This process of the surface water sinking and the deep waters being pushed up to the surface usually takes about two months to complete. Different parts of the lake turnover at different times. Look for this process to finish at the end of November. Fishing has been decent, not great. With the water flipping, the fish are scattering out and are on the move every day. I am finding both surface fish and fish in 50 feet of water. Fish are schooling all over the south end of the lake, feeding on small threadfin and herring. These fish can be caught on a small popper or a swimbait tossed into the schools. They move very fast, so be prepared as soon as you see them. The lower fish are glued to the bottom and will eat a jig or a drop shot. I have been working a 3/8-oz. green craw or a pb&j jig on these fish, along with a hot-tomato worm rigged on a 3/8-oz. drop-shot rig. Look for these fish in 30 to 40 feet of water for the most part, but there are some as shallow as 20 and as deep as 50. Fish being scattered like this as a by-product of the turnover. As we roll into October, look for the fronts to push some big fish up on main-lake points. These fish will position just off the points looking for bait that is feeding on the plankton being washed up there.   A 1-oz. Mini Me spinnerbait, jerkbait or medium-diving crankbait will be your best tools for these fish.”

Stripers: Big Fish On Guide Service reports, “Striper fishing is good. The fish are on the move, and the pattern is all over the place. Load your boat with downrods, freelines, lead-core lines, downriggers, umbrella rigs, Ben Parker spoons, topwater baits and a spinning rod to pitch herring. Every day seems like a new day, and you need to be prepared. There are fish on points, main-lake pockets, creek channels and river channels from Browns Bridge to the dam. We have also had some reports of stripers north of Browns Bridge. We are seeing some stripers schooling on top early and moving to deep water as the sun rises. Downrods have been the most productive technique recently. However, we did see a day where weighted freelines outfished downrods. If the fish are not biting your downrod, try deploying a couple of freelines, and move at 0.5-0.8 mph. You can also try to get a reaction bite by trolling umbrella rigs or lead core. The key is to try something different. Do not waste a lot of time in any one spot or on any one technique. We are rigging our downrods with 6 to 8 feet of Seaguar fluorocarbon 12-lb. test for our leaders. We are using a 2-oz. weight and a No. 1 or 1/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. Our umbrella rigs consists of a 3-oz. frame and nine, 1-oz. Captain Mack’s Chipmunk Jigs with white or chartreuse 4-inch shad bodies. Set the umbrella rigs 130 to 150 feet back, and troll at a speed of 2.8 to 3.2 mph. We are also focusing on main lake and creek channels with lead-core line with a 1-oz. Captain Mack’s bucktail jig set at eight to nine colors and trolling at 3.0 to 3.8 mph. Most of the action has been from Vanns Tavern south to the dam. However, we have had some reports of fish north of Browns Bridge this week. The striper fishing on the upper portions of Lanier’s two feeder rivers typically starts to pick up at the beginning of the turnover. The flatline and planer boards should start working, and all the previously mention methods will continue to work. The nighttime Bomber bite should be starting, and it’s some of the most consistent fishing during this transitional time. Think shallow water when throwing the Bomber. You can fish the banks around any main-lake island. A few areas to try: the shallow water/points/humps around Vanns, the shallow areas around Old Federal Campground, the shallows on the north side of the mouths of Flowery Branch and Big Creek and the humps out around Marker 11. Any shallow water that is on the main lake or in the mouths of the southern creeks is a place to check. Thanks to the Lake Lanier Association, all you have to do is run-and-gun the flashing lights on top of the reef poles. For me, the best retrieve speed is when you feel the wobble of the bait. Throw it as close to land or on to land if it’s sandy, and start the retrieve.”

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