Lake Lanier Fishing Report September 2011

GON Staff | August 31, 2011

Lanier: Level: 6.1 feet below full pool. Temp: 85 to 88 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Spotted Bass: Decent, according to guide Ryan Coleman. “The fishing is pretty typical for August with most of the fish staying pretty deep the entire day. There are a few shallow fish that are looking around for some good water, but with the lack of rain we have had in the Lanier area over the past month, there is just not much there,” Ryan said. “I am seeing most of the bigger fish laying around in the 30 to 35 feet of water on sharper points. Most of these fish are literally glued to the bottom and are hard to see with your electronics at first. I am pulling up on these points, getting the boat over 30 feet of water and starting to drop my drop-shot rig down on them. As you work the bottom, they will start to move around and you can mark them on your electronics. If you get a bite and hook a fish, you will see the bottom light up with fish as you pull your’s up. If I don’t get bit in 10 minutes or so, I move on to another point. There are some fish still on brush, but that seems to go day to day. Some days I cannot buy a decent fish on brush and others I will get keepers there. We still have a abundance of small threadfins and herring around the brush and around the top of the timber. Fortunately we also have tons of small spotted bass all over the place this year. This is the first time in the last seven or eight years that I have seen as many small 8- to 12-inch spotted bass in schools as I have this year. Great outlook for our future. I am also getting a few fish on a 1/2-oz. football-head jig dragging it on these points. Slow is the key here. Work that thing one rock at a time. Look for the jig bite along with the topwater and swimbait bite to pick up as September rolls along and we get some cooler weather. The lake usually does not start to turn over until late in September. When this starts to happen, some fish with come very shallow and some could go very deep. Keep your options open for either.”

Largemouths: Fair. Billy Boothe reports, “The largemouth bite has been off but is improving with the cooler nights we’ve had lately. The topwater bite is just getting started up the rivers and will continue through September. Run-and-gun the main-river flats, and target any isolated cover that’s near the visible clouds of threadfins. Due to the small size of the shad, matching the hatch is critical. I’m throwing a 1/8-oz. white War Eagle buzzbait, and the fish are absolutely killing it. Most of the fish are running around 2 pounds with an occasional big fish mixed in. When the bite on top slows down, you can pick up some additional fish by slow-rolling a 5/16-oz. War Eagle finesse spinnerbait in the shimmer-blue color. There is still a decent ledge bite in 15 to 20 feet of water on football-head jigs and big crankbaits, but look for that bite to fade as the month progresses and more fish head shallow. The dock bite has been pretty slow, but if you hit the right dock you can catch multiple fish off of it. The docks that have been holding the most fish have at least 8 feet of water under them and a sudden depth change near by. If the dock is brushed up, it’s a bonus, and if there are visible bluegill around the floats it’s even better. I’m pitching a green-pumpkin Berkley Havoc Pit Boss to pick off the bigger fish first, and then following that up with watermelon-seed Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm on a 1/8-oz. War Eagle shaky head.”

Good. Shane Watson reports, “Nothing much has changed on the stripers on our boats. This morning they were on lead core out over the channel early, and our biggest striper was 20 pounds. A 1-oz. white jig with a Shadalicious trailer nine colors out is working best on my boat. We are also catching stripers on downlines in the mouths of creeks and over the main channel down 40 to 100 feet. Keep moving until you find active fish. Overall, the striper fishing has been up and down for most of us. We’ve had days in the last couple weeks when we’ve caught 20 to 30 and the next day work to catch a few. When it’s been good, it’s been really good.”

Good, according to Wes Carlton. “The Lanier walleye population seems to be thriving well. We are catching some good-sized fish this summer, and the bite should continue to get better as we head toward fall. We are catching walleye on blueback herring and nightcrawlers early in the morning. After 10 a.m. or so, we are switching to trolling chartreuse crankbaits on leadcore line 8 colors or 26 feet back and downriggers 28 feet. Be patient and keep the trolling speed to a minimum 2.5 mph. The best spots to fish seem to be southern lake points and humps close to deep-water timber.”

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