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Lake low but is sure to be busy

POSTED: July 8, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Lake Temperatures are in the lower 80s. The lake is down around 15 feet and it’s dropping about an inch a day.

Look for another record low this year if we don’t get some really significant rain.

The water is clear during the week and stained from the boat traffic on weekends.

Lake Lanier will be very busy this holiday week so please be safe and have fun on July 4th.

Make sure the kids wear their personal floatation devises. The Chattahoochee River is clear.

Here is a great way for kids to catch big fish during the hot and busy 4th of July weekend. I mention this every year. My daughter’s favorite fish to catch are carp.

They are naturally drawn to human activity on Lake Lanier, they fight hard and are relatively easy to catch.

Find an area like a beach, campground or marina and throw out half a can of corn to chum up the fish.

Save the other half for fish bait.

Use small hooks and thread two to four pieces of corn onto the hook. Add a medium-sized split shot weight about two feet up your line and cast it out to where you chummed up the water.

Make sure to secure the rods and wait for the fish to bite.

Carp will show up in numbers to eat the corn and they are a bunch of fun to catch.

The topwater action is still good during sunny days and I keep my SPRO Dawg tied on 100 percent of the time.

This weekend the boat traffic will be heavy but, believe it or not, Lake Lanier’s spotted bass are used to it and they will continue to bite.

All of this boat activity can actually stir up the baitfish, and some times this will trigger some decent schooling action.

The best technique right now, and for the rest of the summer, will be to down-line spot tail minnows.

Spot tail minnows are native forage on Lake Lanier, and other southern impoundments, and the bass cannot resist them.

To catch spot tails you will need a cast net or a minnow trap.

Spot Tails hang around beach or sandy areas.

To call in these baitfish, throw out a handful of grits or breadcrumbs, wait about a minute and throw your cast net out over the same area.

You can also buy a minnow trap and put grits inside. It takes a lot longer to get a bunch of spot tails in a trap but it is an alternative for people who can’t throw a cast net.

Once you have a bunch of spot tails, head out to main lake. Hook the spot tail minnow through the mouth with a small No. 1 Gamakatsu drop shot hook.

I like to use a dropshot rig when fishing spot tails because it will keep these minnows suspended off the bottom.

Position these baits at around 15 to 25 feet around main lake brush piles, and place the rods in a good sturdy rod holder.

If you don’t catch a bass within 10 minutes move because they will bite these minnows quickly if they are in the area.

My Humminbird 787c unit really helps me to locate the brush and fish.

If you prefer to fish with artificial lures then work a finesse worm on a drop shot rig or Tru Tungsten Ikie Spike Jig Head. Fish these in the same areas as the spot tails.

Knight fishing is a great way to beat the crowds.

Large black spinner baits or a Black and Blue SPRO K-Finesse Wide Bite Jig will get you some action after dark.

Striper fishing remains good and Hammonds Bait and Tackle reports that a few of Shane Watson’s boats have caught 20 or more stripers in a single day this past week.

My Humminbird electronics show the stripers down around 30 feet and deeper this week in the creek mouths and up in the rivers.

Fish down lined blueback herring and watch your electronics closely.

Start out over river channels and move into the creek mouths until you see bluebacks, bait fish or stripers on your finder.

Trolling one- or two-ounce SPRO Buck tail jigs on lead core line at around seven to eight colors , two and a half miles per hour has been producing a few fish for anglers that prefer to troll.

Night fishing below Hydra-Glow lights with down lines in the creek mouths is producing a few fish after dark.

The area in front of Holiday Marina in Big Creek has been productive at night.

Keith Pace, owner of Micro Spoons is doing well catching crappie day and night around deeper docks with brush at 15 to 20 feet.

The bridges are holding fish, but they can be crowded on weekends and holidays so try to find the deeper docks with brush and lights.

Live crappie minnows or, better yet, a Micro Spoon tipped with small spot tail minnow and down lined at around 15 to 20 feet will work both day and night.

The morning bite of the trout remains consistent on the river and these fish will continue to bite all day long. Your best action is definitely early before the sun rises over the trees.

There will be a lot raft and kayak traffic on the river this weekend and the fishing seems to be better before the crowds get out. Fish a small ¬- or 1/16- ounce Rooster Tail on light line for consistent action or use live worms, where permitted, and fish them on the bottom below and rapids.

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. Email him at esaldrich@yahoo.com or visit esaldrich.tripod.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!



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