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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Aug. 10
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Lake temperatures are in the mid to upper 80s. The lake level is 1,062.83 feet, which is 8.17 feet below full pool of 1,071 feet. The main lake is clear, and the creeks are clear to stained. The Chattahoochee River is clear.
Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Note: The FLW Forrest Wood Cup is being held on Lake Lanier through Sunday. Stop by the Gwinnett Convention Center to see a wide variety of fishing products and the daily weigh-ins at 5 p.m. each day.

Bass fishing has been pretty good, especially for August. The bass are eating a variety of lures, so keep an open mind when hitting the water this week. There are a lot of bass relating to the 10- to 25-foot zone, but most of these fish are small- to medium-sized. The larger fish are relating to cover in deeper water or they are roaming around in schools offshore.

We caught some good numbers of bass around offshore humps that had deep water close this past week. These bass have hit a variety of lures, but we got most of our bites by working a drop-shot-rigged worm through brush in the 15- to 25-foot zone around submerged brush piles or rocks.

I have been using a 1/8- to 3/16-ounce tungsten drop shot weight on 5- to 7-pound fluorocarbon. I like to use a finesse worm or four-inch Cane Stick in natural colors like green pumpkin, pearl or sand colors. Many anglers position their boat directly above the brush piles and drop down to them. I like to cast my drop shot out like a Texas rig and work it through the brush pile before moving in for a closer look. A lot of my bites come as my drop-shot-rigged plastics fall on the initial drop.

There has been a fairly good topwater bite in the mornings and around dusk, but don’t be afraid to throw a surface lure during the day. Many of Lake Lanier’s better spotted bass are relating to the schools of blueback herring, and these fish can appear out of nowhere to crush a large topwater plug. Cast a Super Spook or six-inch BBZ1 around the ends of long points or humps or out on main-lake humps or just inside the mouths of the creeks.

We have some very nice spotted and largemouth bass shallow in the mornings, but as the sun rises these shallow bass seem to disappear. Most of the bigger spotted bass I have found during the day have been out relating to open water, or in deep brush and timber away from the banks. Look for brush piles in 30- to 40-feet of water or target the submerged timber that tops out in 25 to 35 feet. Fishing submerged timber takes a lot of patience and time, but it can pay off by producing trophy spotted bass.

Spot tail minnows have been working extremely well rigged on a drop-shot rig fished around brush. These native bait fish can be caught easily with a cast net in shallow water. Throw some bread crumbs or grits out around any sandy areas, then wait for the spot tails to show up. Usually it only takes a couple of throws to net enough for a day of fishing.

After sunset or before sunrise, continue to cast deep-diving crankbaits from 7 to 20 feet around rocky bottoms with deep water close by. Work these deep-diving crankbaits with a slow-and-steady retrieve, and keep the lure in contact with the bottom. I caught three bass over 3 pounds on consecutive casts this week fishing this way.
Stripers: The striper report remains the same as in past weeks; the fish are still deep in the creek mouths and out near the river channels on the main lake from 35 feet down to 100 feet. These deep stripers can move around a lot, and you may find them in one area one day and gone the next.

To consistently find and catch these fish you will need quality electronics. My Humminbird graph with Side Imaging makes this task a lot easier. It can be difficult to disseminate fish from timber with the standard 2D mode. With Side Imaging, I can actually see the oval-shaped returns that indicate fish.

I can also see photo-like images of the timber. Before Side Imaging, I had a hard time seeing fish in the timber because the sonar returns of timber and fish looked the same. Trolling has been working well all summer long, and this week is no different. Trolling also allows you to cover water which can help you to locate fish. Nothing tells us that the fish are present better than actually catching one.

Troll a little deeper with a two-ounce SPRO Buck tail behind your down riggers set at 35 feet deep. Other lures can work well, so don’t be afraid to try a swimbait or spoon while trolling. Umbrella rigs can also be productive in summer, even though most anglers think they are a winter method.

When you locate a big school of fish, down-lined bluebacks are hard to beat. As summer moves along, it sometimes seems like the stripers grow wary of your down lines. Often you will see a large school on the graph without catching many fish. We call these window shoppers. When this happens, you can try a couple of things to increase your odds.

First, make sure you are using a long leader of fluorocarbon line with a lively blueback. Fluorocarbon is almost invisible in water, plus it is very abrasion resistant which helps to prevent breaking. Second, try power reeling your baits up through the school.

Power reeling simply means to drop your live bait below where you mark fish them reel it as fast as possible up through the school. This often triggers a reaction bite and can make the difference between catching a few and going home skunked.

Crappie fishing is just fair. Target brush at 10- to 20-feet deep and fish a crappie jig tipped with a live spot tail or crappie minnow. Work these offerings slowly through the brush for your best results.

Trout fishing is good in the mornings but a little tougher when the sun gets high in the sky. Hit the water early and cast small inline spinners or Rapalas around the rapids and deeper pools. Live earth worms will also work well, where permitted by law. Dry flies cast on the calm stretches of the river have been working well.

Bank fishing: Few lures work as well for bank fishing as the old reliable Rooster Tail. No matter if you fish from the banks of Lake Lanier, a farm pond or your favorite trout stream, this one lure can work well in all locations. Try to use the smaller versions from 1/6 ounce or lighter. You can simply cast them out and reel them back to catch a variety of species.

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
esaldrich@yahoo.com or visit his website at aldrichfishing.com.

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