Lake Lanier Fishing Report – September 2008

GON Staff | August 26, 2008

Lanier: Level: Down 17.7 feet below full pool and falling about an inch a day. Only three corps ramps were open at presstime — Tidwell, Shoal Creek and Charleston. Temp: 81-85 degrees. Clarity: A bit stained because of wave action on red-clay banks.

Spotted Bass: Good. “Your best bet lately for numbers has been drop-shotting or fishing a football jig on offshore structure from 20 to 25 feet of water,” said Ryan Coleman, who said he’s using a hand-poured, Spotsticker drop-shot worm in the hot-tomato color in the dirty water. “There is a lot of bait schooled up in the mouths of the major creeks on the lower end. You can fish the humps or points near the mouths or get out over the timber and work Fish Head Spins, spoons or topwater on fish you find with your electronics. This may be your best bet right now for bigger fish. They could be 5 feet deep or 35 feet deep chasing bait. Have something rigged that you can cast a mile. The fish are not staying up very long, so get a bait in them fast. The fish are using the timber more now that it is much closer to the surface. Look for the topwater and spinnerbait bite to pick up as the month rolls along. I have already caught a few big fish on Mini Me spinnerbaits on the main-lake, windy points this week. It will not take much of a water temp change to get these fish moving.”

Fair. “The bite is pretty tough right now and should stay that way until the end of the month,” said Billy Boothe. “Your best bet is to fish shallow and cover a lot of water with reaction baits. Target the mouths of pockets and flats with a ghost-minnow Mann’s C-4 crankbait. I’m fishing extremely fast and crashing it into rocks and stumps. I’ve caught some toads on this bait, but the majority are loners, so after you catch one, keep moving. There is still a decent dock bite, but most of the fish are just average keepers. Skip a green-pumpkin Mann’s Wonder Worm on a 1/8-oz. Bite Me jig head as far under the floats as you can, then watch your line as most of the bites will come on the fall. The deep fish are still pretty tough but are improving. Look for the most vertical ledges and breaks you can find. Watch your graph closely. Once you locate the bait, it’s just a matter of what lure the fish prefer. The best bait has been a 9/16-oz. watermelon-red TABU jig. Pop the jig off the bottom, then let it fall on a slack line down the break. If they won’t take the jig, slow-roll a 1/2-oz. blue-glimmer Nichols spinnerbait, allowing the blades to flutter every couple of feet. The morning bite is pretty hit or miss but will improve toward the end of the month. Work a 3/8-oz. white buzzbait or a baby-bass Pop-R around main-lake points that have balls of threadfins present,” Billy said.

Good. The fish are concentrated in the thermocline. According to the Aug. 13 WRD report, the thermocline is at around 33 feet at the dam, with low DO starting at 90 feet or so. “At the Hwy 369 bridge, the thermocline is at 30 feet with low DO starting at 36 feet, so they’re getting squeezed up,” said Mike Maddalena. “The fish have moved to deep water and the main river channel. Some days the downrods are best and others lead-core line is the ticket. The east side of the lake seems to be holding more fish. Start around the Vann’s Tavern/Orr Creek area and work your way to the dam along the river channel. Downrods are the primary method to get good numbers of fish, while trolling continues to be the best way to locate an area holding fish. Herring fished 35 to 80 feet deep over an 80- to 120-foot bottom is your best bet. If you’re marking a school of fish and not getting bit, try quickly dropping the herring below the fish and burning it back up through them. Change baits often, every 15 minutes or so. The fish are moving very fast, and it’s not easy to stay on them, so be ready to pick up and start searching again. Some days they seem to just not want a herring, so just keep trolling. The afternoon bite during generation has been best.” See the article on page 28 for details on Mike’s late-summer lead-core trolling techniques.

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