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Lake Lanier report: Anglers struggling to find consistent topwater action

POSTED: June 24, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Lake temperatures have fallen slightly into the lower 80s due to the milder weather.

The lake is down close to 14 feet low at 1,056.9.

Lake Lanier is mostly clear but it will get stained during times of heavy traffic.

The Chattahoochee River is clear.

Bass fishing is still good, but as the summer approaches things will start to change and fishing conditions will get tougher.

A lot of the spotted bass on Lake Lanier are suspended and these fish can be hard to catch. At active feeding times spotted bass will come up to hit a topwater plug.

The best topwater action has been during the middle of the day. SPRO Dawgs will attract the attention of these suspended fish. On windy days, work the larger SPRO Dawg 125 with a fast erratic retrieve. On calm days, use the smaller SPRO Dawg 100 and work this bait on a steady walk-the-dog type of retrieve.

A lot of anglers are struggling to find consistent topwater action. It takes a lot of running and gunning, but it is happening.

Other lures like a Fish Head Spin or Rooster Tail will catch suspended bass because you can work these baits at the same level that the bass appear on your Humminbird Fish Finders.

A good back up pattern has been to work a dropshot rig or a finesse worm on a Tru Tungsten Ikie Spike Jig Head around deeper docks or main lake brush piles at 20 to 30 feet deep. To get best results while bass fishing use live bait.

Try throwing a cast net around the beaches for the native spot tail minnows. Hook these bait fish through the lips on a dropshot rig with a small, sharp Gamakatsu hook and down line them at around 20 feet deep.

Striper fishing remains good. The stripers are moving deeper and are being caught on down-lined blueback herring, jumbo minnows or gizzard shad. Make sure to change your baits often to make sure that they are lively.

Whether you buy your bait or net your own you will need a good bait tank to keep them alive during the hotter summer months. Hammonds Bait and Tackle carries everything you need to keep your bait in great shape and they can give you valuable information on all aspects of striper fishing.

Most of the stripers are down around 50 feet this week, but they can be found at different depths. Pay close attention to your Humminbird Electronics to tell you how deep to fish.

The night bite is still your best bet for Crappie. It’s a great way to spend a weekend evening when you don’t have to get up to go to work the next day.

Start right at dark around the bridges. The creek bridges that have deep channels at over 20 feet are your best areas. Set out lights and fish your baits below them.

Here’s a secret tip that we have done to increase out catch: Take a few cans of cat food with you and chum up the area around your boat to attract more baitfish. The crappie are hanging out around 20 feet deep this week.

The morning trout bite is great on the Chattahoochee River. The trout will bite best before the tubers get out on the water.

Try a small Countdown Rapala in black and gold color and work it on 4-pound test fishing line.

Cast these minnow imitators into the deeper pools. Let it sink close to the bottom and reel it back very slowly.

You should be able to get a limit very quickly this way. The rest of the day use dry flies, inline spinners or live bait (where permitted).
 
Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoor writer, bass fisherman and is 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. I would love to hear from our readers so please email me at esaldrich@yahoo.com or visit my website at esaldrich.tripod.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!



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