Lake Lanier Fishing Report September 2013

GON Staff | August 28, 2013

Lanier: Level: 2.6 feet above full pool. Temp: High 70s. Clarity: Clear.

Largemouth Bass: Fair. Tournament fisherman Billy Booth reports, “Locate the right piece of cover, and you can catch some great largemouth around the clouds of threadfins that are up. You catch a lot of small fish throwing at the balls of bait, but the main key is locating the isolated piece of cover. It may be a brushpile, stump or dock, but when you locate it, it’s game on. I’m using an innovative new bait from Mann’s called a Three For All. It’s designed to mimic a small school of baitfish swimming as one but without wires or multiple hooks. It’s three small swimbaits joined by Mann’s hardnose plastic rigged on a single weedless jig head. I’m slow-rolling the smokey-joe color, and the big fish are crushing it. If a fish misses the Three For All, have a blue-pearl Mann’s Free Fall worm rigged weightless as a follow-up bait. As the month progresses, look for a big push shallow as the bait starts to move back in the creeks. Shallow crankbaits like a sexy-shad Mann’s Baby X will be a great bait to throw, as well as a small white buzzbait.”

Spotted Bass: Good. Guide Ryan Coleman reports, “The high water as well as all the cloudy and rainy conditions have really scattered the fish all summer. There are fish from 1 foot to 40 feet deep and everywhere in between. I am catching fish on about 10 different techniques and baits, but a few are working better than others. There are some fish up very shallow, and they can be caught on buzzbaits and small topwater lures early. I am working around the steep banks with a buzzbait early in the morning as well as tossing a Pop-R and prop bait along the way at any shallow structure you can find. You can also catch a few of these shallow fish early on a medium-running crankbait. If the sun comes out, I am concentrating on man-made brushpiles with a drop-shot rig or a 3/8-oz. SpotSticker Casting jig. The bottom baits seem to be producing better right now. I can work a crankbait (Rapala DT10 or DT16) or a 1/2-oz. Fish Head Spin out over the brush, but most of the fish I am catching on the brush are smaller right now. The jig has been my mainstay lure for most of the summer. I am using either a green craw, cinnamon pepper or brown/olive jig with a 5-inch Yamamoto twin-tail trailer on 12-lb. fluorocarbon line. The topwater bite has pretty much been dead for a few weeks. You can pull one up every once in a while or throw at one feeding on top, but that’s about it during the day. This bite should start to come back to us as we get some cooler weather. There are thousands of schools of very small threadfin out there in 25 to 35 feet of water. Most of the fish you catch will be full of these shad, which is one of the reasons the fish are staying down. Look for the swimbait bite to really pick up in September, and if we get some more cool weather to roll in and drop the surface temps in the low 70s, the spinnerbait bite should also come around. Working windy points as small fronts pass is a very consistent bite for us every year on Lanier.”

Stripers: Guide Shane Watson reports, “Since my last report our boats have been out daily, and we’ve caught stripers up to 37 pounds on downlined bluebacks fished 40 to 80 feet deep in the mouths of creeks and out over the main channel. We are still catching a few on lead core with a live blueback-tipped jig in these same areas, but downlines have been best. Expect an early fall topwater bite if the weather continues to stay cooler than usual.” Guide Mike Maddalena reports, “The trolling bite with lead core and umbrella rigs is not working, and the fish are not very aggressive. Live herring on downrods continues to be your best technique. Most of the fish are being caught over an 80- to 120-foot bottom at 50 to 90 feet down. If you mark a few fish, stop and fish there. Set your downrods at various depths both above and below the fish you marked. If you have a clean bottom, do not hesitate to drop your bait to the bottom and crank it up a couple of turns. I am using 8 to 10 feet of 12-lb. test Seaguar fluorocarbon line as a leader and a 1/0 Gamakatsu octopus hook, depending on the size of the herring. Pick up some extra bait, and change your bait often. The herring are not living long, and the stripers will not eat a dead or half-dead bait. Shoal Creek, Bald Ridge Creek, Big Creek and Six Mile Creek are your best bets.”

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