Lake Lanier Fishing Reports – September 2020

GON Staff | August 29, 2020

Lanier: Level: Full pool. Temp: Low to mid 80s. Clarity: The water on the lower end is clear and slightly stained in the backs of the creeks.

Bass: Guide and tournament pro Ryan Coleman reports, “There are still some fish coming up on top, which is day to day. The best bite has been working jigs in brush on the lower end for the bigger fish. If you get a day where they will cooperate and come to the surface, a walking bait or chugger will get some great strikes. For the fish attached to the bottom, I have been working in between the brush and the timber in 30 to 35 feet of water. I am casting a SpotSticker Casting Jig in 3/8-oz. with a twin-tail trailer and then dropping a 6-inch drop-shot worm on them as I mark them on my electronics.  It’s not rocket science out there right now. Just get around the humps and points that have brush in 25 to 35 feet of water, start casting and keep an eye on your electronics. If you bring fish back to the boat as you cast, keep working them. If you don’t, move on to another spot. Once September rolls in and the water starts to cool, look for the fish to split. Some of them will come back shallow, and some of them will go very deep. For the deep fish, look in 45 to 50 feet of water around the timber edges and the shallow fish. Try to draw them up to the surface with topwater or swim a soft swimbait over them, and they will come up and eat it. September is a very odd month for us here and the water being so high means there will be more shallow fish than deep ones this year.”

Stripers: Capt. Ron Mullins reports, “The rains in the middle of August have kept it full and cooled it down, as well. September fishing will be best if you will get out there and pull lead core. Lead core is a braided line that has a lead strip running the entirety of the line making the line heavy so that you can get a jig or spoon down to the depths that the stripers will be at. This can also be done with Cannon downriggers. The 8- to 10-lb. ball will get that lure down to a targeted depth even easier and with much less line out. Your best lure choice will be any of Captain Mack’s jigs and trailers when trolling lead core or using downriggers. The standard 1.5- or 2-oz. Chipmunk in white/silver, white/chartreuse or chartreuse/blue will be the go-to sizes and colors. Four-inch shad bodies or 6-inch u-tail trailers in white, chartreuse or pink are the trailer colors and sizes that we all have in the box. The Captain Mack’s Mini Mack with blades will continue to catch fish as a trolled lure in September. Also try the new bladed shad head with a 5-inch glow-shad body in 1- or 1.5-oz. sizes that are available at Oakwood Bait and Tackle. This will be the new lure to have tied on. All three of these baits should be pulled behind the boat at 2.5 to 3 mph and seven to nine colors back, depending on the depth that you are marking fish on your Humminbird graph, or 50 to 75 feet behind the Canon downrigger ball. Each color represents approximately 2.5 to 3.5 feet of depth when pulling on lead core and 3 to 5 feet of additional depth below the downrigger ball. The stripers will be scattered over the trees and in the middle of creek channels like Big, Six Mile, Two Mile, Young Deer, Bald Ridge and Shoal in 60 to 130 feet of water from the mouth to halfway back in the creek. They will also be on the river channel from 100 to 150 feet later in the day. The bait bite will still be good, and the only changes from August will be to concentrate in 90 to 140 feet of water and to increase leader length to 9 to 11 feet of 10-lb. fluorocarbon leader. The herring are not living well on the hook below 27 feet, so take lots of bait if you are going to only rely on bait to catch fish.”

Crappie: Capt. Josh Thornton reports, “Crappie fishing is still fair. The early morning bite is good, 7-10 a.m. seems to be the most productive time period. The fish are deep and holding tight to the brushpiles to the point that if you don’t lose a hook or two, your bait is not getting to the fish. Livescope is a great tool to use. You can watch your jig on the screen going down, and you’ll see when your jig or minnow is just above the fish. You will see crappie on your graph in 15 to 18 feet of water, but they are not very active. The fish we are catching are suspended 18 to 24 feet deep over a 25- to 40-foot bottom. The bite is slow, but most everything we are catching are keepers over 10 inches. Look for bait, and the crappie are more likely to be active. Deeper docks with structure are producing decent fish. Because the fish are deep, you need to be focused on your line. When you feel even slight movement or see your line moving around, set the hook. Minnows are producing well. Be sure to use the smallest crappie minnows that you can get. Try not to spend more than 10 to 15 minutes at a spot if it’s not producing. You’ll notice the bigger fish react early. The best bet is to fish early morning. I like the ATX Lure Baby Shad and Wicked Shad, and good colors are milk/green tail and bluegrass. They are good for clear and stained water. I use these 90% of the time.”


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