Lake Lanier Fishing Report September 2015
Lanier: Level: 3.2 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 80s. Clarity: The water is heavily stained in the backs of the creeks and lightly stained on the main lake.
Stripers: Excellent. Capt. Ken and Mike from Big Fish On guide service report, “Striper fishing has been ranging from very good to beyond excellent. The striper fishing has been great all summer, and we are confident September will be another very good month. The fish are showing up in deeper water from Browns Bridge to the dam and just off the creek channels. Six Mile Creek, Four Mile Creek, Flowery Branch, Flat Creek, Shoal Creek and main lake, deep-water pockets (Cocktail Cove and the cove between Shady Grove and the mouth of Young Deer are examples) are all good places to start your search. Your electronics are critical in locating these deep-water fish. Turn your sensitivity up to ensure you can see a fish at 100-plus feet. The stripers are getting very stressed from being hauled up through the hot water layer. Eighty-degree water to a striper is like poison. They cannot tolerate this warm water and need to get back down below the thermocline as quickly as possible. When you catch a striper in the summer, get him to the boat and released as quickly as possible. Do not take him out of the water, or use a net. Take the hook out with the fish in the water and pick him up and torpedo him head first back into the water. Do not try to revive him by sloshing him around in the hot surface water; you are only adding to the stress. The faster we get the fish released and down into the cold water, the better our chances are of catching him again; hopefully years from now. All the typical summertime techniques are now working. Downrod fishing with blueback herring 30 to 90 feet deep is a great way to get numbers once you find a big school while trolling. You can run across mega schools like the good ol’ days! Downrods with 2-oz. weights and 6- to 8-foot, 12-lb. test fluorocarbon leaders are your best approach. The critical factor with summertime, live-bait fishing is lively bait. Bait that is alive and lively bait are not the same thing! We are starting our day with 7- to 9-dozen blueback herring and changing them every five minutes on a rotating basis. Never ‘check’ the bait, and then drop it back down. If it is time to check the bait, it is time to change it. The act of bringing the herring up through warm water is enough to stress it out and degrade its performance. Never grab a net full from your bait tank. Net a couple, leave the net in water and grab a bait. Don’t knock off the scales of the baits you’re not using. Keep bait tank water temp at 70 or below. If you drop one on the floor, don’t use it. Save your dead baits in a small cooler. Cut them up in very tiny pieces for chum. Buy a pair scissors just for that. Get the most out of your bait. Use these cut baits when over a school to keep the school with your boat, or you can tip a jig with cut bait when trolling or power reeling. Trolling with lead core line eight to nine colors back with a 1-oz. bucktail jig, curly tail or a 4-inch shad body (tipped with a herring) has been very productive. Fish umbrella rigs with a 3-oz. jig frame and nine, 1-oz. bucktail jigs 150 feet back. One technique to try when the fishing is slow is to power reel. Power reeling is simply an approach used to try to trigger a reaction bite by dropping a bait down past the fish and reeling it up through the fish. An example would be if the fish are at 35 feet, then drop your bait to 50 feet, and reel it up to 20. Vary the speed you reel up from lightning fast to a standard retrieve. If you are using a downrod with a herring to power reel, shorten your leader to no more than 2 feet to avoid knots in your leader. You can also use a 2-oz. Capt. Mack’s bucktail jig with a herring or shad body for power reeling. The big Ben Park spoon bite is also picking up. Things should remain pretty much the same throughout the month of September with fish moving slightly farther south toward the dam and just a bit farther out of the creeks mouths and toward the main river channel. Some fish will start moving to the rivers in mid to late September.”
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