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Fall foliage brings excellent fishing

POSTED: October 24, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Lake temperatures are in the upper 60s and the lake is slightly stained. The Lake Lanier level is around 1,053.4 feet and 17.6 feet below the normal full pool of 1,071 feet. The Chattahoochee River is stained.

Bass

You can catch fish from the shore or from a boat this week because bass fishing is excellent. The fish are moving around and feeding heavily as fall sets in. When the leaves start turning color you can bet the fishing will be good.

A variety of lures are producing bass, so I have been doing a good deal of “junk” fishing this week. Junk fishing is a phrase used when an angler fishes different areas with different lures and doesn’t stick to a specific pattern. The reason this is working so well is because the bass are in varying locations this week. Some bass are out on the main lake eating blueback herring, some are midway in the creeks eating threadfin shad, while others are feeding on brim or crawfish around rocks. You can catch bass of many different styles in the fall because bass and most of their forage are very active. Here are my top five lures for fishing for spotted bass this week on Lake Lanier:

  1. SPRO Dawg 100 or 125 — keep your favorite topwater plug tied on in case the bass or stripers start schooling.
  2. Tru Tungsten Ike Spike Jig Head or a drop shot rigged with a green Zoom Finesse worm dipped in JJ’s Magic — this finesse set up works well year round and is especially good for fishing the docks.
  3. Spinner Baits — I use a 1/2-ounce, in-line silver and white Rooster Tail, but you can also use a regular style Mini Me or Booyah Spinner Bait in shad colors around docks and on main lake windy banks.
  4. A subsurface bait like a SPRO Buck Tail, Fish Head Spin or a Hopkins Jigging Spoon — you can fish these lures in many ways from top to bottom.
  5. Swim Baits — I have been having great success on the new SPRO BBZ1 Shad that just came in to Hammond’s last week. Swim baits are very realistic and are awesome fish catchers that can be fished deep or shallow.

Use your Humminbird Fish Finders and look for the areas that hold the most bait fish because that is where the bass will be. Keep your options open because the bass are moving around and they will bite in an area one day and then be gone the next as they pursue the baitfish.

If you fish from the bank, try any of the above lures or try using live medium shiners or bluebacks beneath a slip bobber for bass and stripers. The night bite for spotted bass is very good with crank baits and spinner baits in darker colors. Please note that Hall County is moving forward with their ramp extension projects and there should be more access to the lake soon. This will also enable bass tournaments to keep going. Get out to the lake because bass fishing is great. Thanks for the info Smokey.

Stripers

I may sound like a broken record, but the fact is that striper fishing remains very good. Shane Watson reports that the stripers are coming up and schooling on the surface best early and later in the day. The topwater action can also occur at any time during the day so keep your SPRO Dawg 125 tied on just in case.

I continue to encounter many large schools in the creek mouths and out on main lake. The areas around Three Sisters Islands, Big Creek, Flat Creek, Balus Creek and Six Miles Creeks have all been holding schooling stripers, but this action can appear almost anywhere on the lake this week.

Live bait fishing with flat or downlined bluebacks is working well once you locate these large schools of stripers. If you don’t see them actively schooling on top, then you can utilize your Humminbird Electronics to give away the best areas.

The stripers will move around quickly so be prepared to move with them if you are live bait fishing. A lot of the guides are positioning anglers up front with a topwater plug to cast to the schoolers while dragging bluebacks behind the boat. This can be very productive and will almost insure some great action if you are on a fish.

I have received several calls and e-mails saying that the night bite is indeed happening.

Crappie

Crappie fishing remains good. Some decent schools of crappie are showing up around the bridges and towards the back of the creeks. If you fish from the shore, then find a bridge and cast crappie minnows or small jigs around the bridge pilings or rip rap for some decent catches.

If you are using a boat the same areas will work well, or you can head back in the creeks and Troll Micro Spoons and crappie jigs at 10 feet or downline small crappie minnows at the same level.

Trout on the Chattahoochee

Trout fishing is fair and the river is still stained. I spoke with several anglers that are fishing from the bank with live bait and catching their limit early in the morning. Get some night crawlers or earthworms and head out to the river for some decent action. Please remember to check local regulations because some parts of the river are restricted to artificial lures only. I have been catching trout during the day on the Rooster Tail and flies. Black ant is a great pattern for fly-fishing.

Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoor writer, bass fisherman and sponsored by Humminbird, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammonds Fishing and Boat Storage. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. He would love to hear from his readers so please email him at esaldrich@yahoo.com or visit his website at esaldrich.tripod.com.



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