Water conditions: Lake Lanier water level is .72 feet (1,071.72) over the normal full pool of 1,071. Lake Lanier’s water is clear on main lake and clear to stained in the creeks and rivers. Lake water temperatures are holding steady in the mid 80’s. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. Please check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Bass: The bass are biting very well this week. The consistent water temperatures are keeping some fish shallow while the bigger spotted bass are out on main lake points and humps. You can just about pick your favorite method and go catching. We have been targeting both largemouth and spotted bass this week.
There is a lot of flooded brush in the creeks and the brim have been bedding. This sets up as the perfect storm for catching largemouth bass. In the morning cast buzz baits or prop baits like a Devil’s Horse to areas where you either see brim bedding or around the flooded shoreline brush. Keep a Senko, jig n’ pig or Texas rigged worm ready to cast to any fish that short strike your top water lures. Shallow running square billed crank baits like a SPRO Fat John crank bait in chartreuse/black back mimic brim and allow an angler to cover a lot of water. Pay attention to where you get you bites as the largemouth tend to be concentrated in certain areas. Channel swings, brim beds and lay downs are all worth casting to.
The bigger spotted bass are biting out on the main lake and you can catch some lunker spots from four pounds or bigger by running and gunning many areas during the day. You may run several areas before finding the active schools of spotted bass.
During major feeding periods power fishing has been awesome. Cast large top water plugs and swim baits around humps that come up to 10-15 within the surface or long main lake points. A Super Spook or BBZ1 6-inch slow sink have been the best lures n my boat but Pop Rs, Sebile Magic Swimmers and other surface lures will work well too.
If the fish are in a negative mood and you see them on your electronics suspended or down in the brush try other methods like a drop shot with a Big Bites Shakin’ Squirrel, Cane Stick or even nose hook a live spot tail minnow for almost guaranteed success. Also try casting a Little John DD or Fat Papa 70 and make contact with the bottom or at least swim these crank baits through the suspended fish. These same crank baits are producing some good fish after dark.
Stripers: The stripers are shallower than normal for this time of year but they have started to move deeper than in previous weeks. Now is the time to get out your down line rods and trolling equipment and get busy.
I can’t stress how important your electronics are for summer striper fishing. The stripers can be 10 to 100 feet deep and if you can’t see the actual depth they are relating to it makes them much harder to catch. I have two units on my boat but my 998C with Side Imaging is my go-to tool for determining the best areas and proper depth to set out lines. It pays to be able to find the best areas quickly and Side Imaging allows anglers to see fish way out to the left or right of your boat.
Trolling is a great method to use while searching for stripers. You can use Cannon Down Riggers or lead core line to get your trolled lures down to the proper level. Twenty to 25 feet is a good depth to start with. Use a 1-2 ounce SPRO Bucktail tipped with a live herring and run your boat between 1.5 to 2 miles an hour. Once you get a bite you can circle back over and troll that area some more or cut off the big motor and drop live bait lines down to where you mark the fish schools.
Buy and keep your bait lively for the best results when down-lining. Hook a blue back herring through the lips and drop it down quickly through the warmer surface layers of water to the thermocline. Use a pretty heavy main line and attach a 1-ounce sinker above a swivel with a 2-3 foot, 12- to 14-pound fluorocarbon leader. Switch out your baits often and be prepared to move as stripers can cover a lot of water throughout the day.
Crappie: There are some crappie biting during the day in the cooler water up in the rivers but night fishing has been best. Shoot small crappie jigs up under docks, both day and night. You can also use crappie minnows purchased from local tackle stores but if you can catch the live native spot tails you will have an advantage. Hook these minnows through the back and use light line with a light split shot sinker and drop them down to where you mark fish on your graph.
Trout: Fishing remains very good for trout in North Georgia. We live within an hour and a half of some of the best trout waters in the south. If you drive up to the mountain Wildlife Management Areas, just fish below Buford Dam. You should be able to connect with some hungry trout. Live bait (where permitted by law), fly fishing or casting small Rooster Tails on finesse spinning rods will work well this week.
Bank fishing: A lot of species are biting close to the banks right now both on Lake Lanier and smaller lakes and ponds. You can use a standard Zebco 33 or light spinning outfit and cast worms under bobbers, Rooster Tails and other lures and catch a variety of species like brim, crappie, bass and others.
Eric Aldrich is an outdoor writer, marketing specialist and bass angler. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or aldrichfishing.com.