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Lake level approaches record low levels

Bass fishing so-so, stripers biting

POSTED: August 15, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Lake temperatures are in the mid 80s. The lake is down 16 feet at 1054.7, and we need some rain!

Last year, at this same date, we were only down nine feet. So this low water level is a big deal. We will probably break the record low levels of last year pretty soon unless we get some heavy rains.

Lake Lanier is mostly clear but it will get stained during times of heavy traffic. The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass

Bass fishing is up and down this week, but they are biting. We went out and tested some new SPRO lure recently, and to my surprise we caught many fish on topwater lures during the heat of the day. You have to be in the right place at the right time to encounter surface feeding fish in the summer. Get way off the banks, and find main lake humps and standing timber with both shallow and deep water close by.

The spotted bass are feeding on blueback herring, so they will be aggressive when they hit. The Larger SPRO Dawg 125 was the bait of choice. Because of the larger profile, this lure will draw bass up from the depths. Other lures like a Fish Head Spin or Rooster Tail will work on the schooling bass.

A more consistent pattern has been to work a drop shot rig or a finesse worm on a Tru Tungsten Ikie Spike Jig Head around main lake brush piles at 25 to 35 feet deep. Of course, the spot tail minnow bite has been great all day long.

Chum out some grits, and use a small mesh cast net around any beach area to fill your bait well with these native minnows. If you don’t have a cast net, you can purchase medium minnows from Hammond’s Bait and Tackle.

Fish these minnows at 20 to 30 feet around main lake brush and timber. Use a Gamakatsu Circle Hook so that you can release these bass unharmed.

Stripers  

Striper fishing is great! The stripers are deep and are being caught on down-lined large blueback herring. Make sure to change your baits often to make sure that they are lively.

This is the time of year that you have to rely on your electronics. I set my Humminbird 787c unit on 90 percent sensitivity and look around the deeper flats that are near the main river or creek channels. Stripers will appear as small, banana-shaped arcs if you are moving at around 2-3 miles per hour, or they may show up as constant lines if you are barely moving.

Drop your down-lined herring to just above where you see these fish on your screen. You will want a heavy weight to make sure that your baits get down through the warmer surface water quickly. Keeping lively bait is the secret to catching more striper in summer.

Crappie

The night bite is still your best bet for crappie, but Keith Pace says he is still finding some smaller to medium crappie on shallower flats up in the rivers at around 10 to 15 feet deep. 

These fish on the flats will bite crappie jigs and micro spoons trolled at around 1-2 mph. The night fish are biting on the bridges and deeper dock with lights.

Trout on the
Chattahoochee

The morning bite remains great on the river. The trout will bite best before the sun gets up and recreation floaters get out.

Try small, brightly colored 1/8- or 1/16-ounce Rooster Tails and work these lures on light four-pound test fishing line. Cast these inline spinners just about anywhere on the river and reel them slowly and consistently for your best action. Fly-fishing has also been decent all day long with dry flies.

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. He would love to hear from his readers so please email him at esaldrich@yahoo.com or visit his website at esaldrich.tripod.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!



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