Lake Lanier Fishing Report – September 2006
Lanier: Level: 7.2 feet below full. Temps: 83-86 degrees. Clarity: Clear, but some green-colored water on the south end because of an algae bloom.
Spotted Bass: Poor, according to guide and tournament pro Ryan Coleman. “The water color from Browns Bridge south is pea-soup green. The fish are holding in the 25 to 30 foot depth, but are very slow to bite.” Ryan said it may stay tough until mid September when the turn-over begins. “Most of my fish are being caught on the south end with some type of green or brown hand-poured plastic worked on a drop-shot rig in 25 to 30 feet of water. Since the lake is down, most of the man-made brush is now too shallow, so look for natural structure. The upper end looks a good bit better, and you can get bit shallow on a brown jig or Mini-Me spinnerbait along the shore early, then shallow brush later. A white buzzbait worked around the steep banks will be pretty effective as September rolls along,” he said.
Largemouths: Fair. “The heat and low water have really done a number on the largemouth bite,” said tournament angler Billy Boothe. “The fish are pretty scattered right now, so you have to keep an open mind because you’re just as likely to catch ’em in three feet of water as you are in 20 feet. The upper Chestatee River above Thompson Creek is your best bet right now due to the cooler water temps and deeper water,” Billy said. First thing in the day, try topwater like a Pop-R mid-way back in main-river pockets where the small threadfins are stacked up early in the morning. “Once the sun gets up, it’s time to pick up a 3/8-oz. white Mann’s spinnerbait with dual willowleaf blades and slow-roll it on short, rock points with deep water near by. Throw the blade right up on the bank, but be sure to work it slowly all the way to the boat so you can cover as much depth as possible on each cast,” Billy said. “If it’s dead calm or the spinnerbait bite dies, I’m throwing a shad-pattern Mann’s 15 Plus crankbait and fishing main-river ledges in 12 to 20 feet of water. The crankbait bite is you best bet for numbers because the main river ledges are about the only place you can find any sort of concentration of fish. As the month progresses, look for the fish to move shallow and be extremely aggressive. I’ll only have two baits rigged up — a Mann’s 1 Minus in ghost minnow and a 3/8-oz. green pumpkin Stone Jig. The fish will be on shallow docks and flats in the backs of pockets.” Billy said that sometimes this move happens in early September. “When you find this bite, stick with it cause it will only get stronger and will work through October,” he said.
Stripers: Excellent, especially on the south end from Browns Bridge to the dam. The thermocline has been set up at 28 to 34 feet deep, and that’s where you need to be fishing. There have been some big stripers in the 30-lb. range caught recently. Troll along the river channels with 1-oz. jigs that are tipped with blueback herring.
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