Lake temperatures remain in the mid to upper 80s and Lake Lanier is a little more than foot below full pool at 1,069.6 feet. Lake Lanier is clear on the main lake and stained in the creeks. The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Bass: Fishing has been up and down this week, but one thing is for sure — Lake Lanier’s spotted bass are eating plenty right now. The few good fish we have caught this week are very fat ands healthy. In the summer a bass’ metabolism goes up because they are cold-blooded creatures and they are more active because of the warmer water temperatures. That being said, the dog days of summer can be one of the hardest time to pattern bass because they tend to be either deep or suspended in the water column. The rule of thumb is to find the bait and the bass should be close by. I have been sticking with the drop shot for the deeper fish and a topwater plug for the actively feeding fish.
We seem to have one good day in three and we have been struggling to just catch a few on other days. There are some good reports coming from some other anglers, but they are pretty tight lipped on how they are catching them. I have had a couple of friends with me this week and they both caught nice spots on lures I haven’t been using, so maybe I need to change tactics and lures. One friend caught a large spotted bass on a K-Finesse Jig and Curly tail and the other friend caught a nice spot while using a Deep Diving Little John and digging it into the bottom. Both of the lures can mimic a crawfish and we have found some crawfish in the throats of some of the bass we have caught. I also heard from another friend that he was catching spotted bass very shallow.
This all tells me to keep our options open and try some different techniques and let the bass tell us what they want.
Spot tail minnows continue to be the best way to catch them this week but other live bait may also produce. Try turning over some rocks to find crawfish and use those as bait. Also try a large night crawler on a jig head just like you would with a plastic worm.
Stripers: Fishing is very good and the stripers are schooled in the deeper water out toward the flats just off the river and creek channels. There are many good areas to try, but target the mouths of Baldridge, Youngdeer, Six Mile, Two mile and the areas out in front of Flat and Balus just to mane a few. Two methods continue to work very well, including trolling, which has been on fire this week and is a great way to cover water and locate fish. I witnessed one guide trolling large buck tails on lead core line and they were catching a striper every time they made a pass. Larger SPRO Buck tails tipped with a live blueback herring trolled out to eight colors was their setup. Most of the guides also keep a tank full of blueback herring to down line the deeper schools once they are located. The stripers are anywhere from 30- to 60-feet deep depending on where the bluebacks are located. Night fishing under Hydro Glow lights has been working just fair.
Crappie: Fishing has been a little better this week and anglers that are adept at targeting deeper fish can fill up a cooler if they are in the right area at the right time. The bridges have been holding good numbers of fish after dark. Make sure to set out a Hydro Glow or at least floating lights to draw in the baitfish. You can also target lighted boat docks that have brush planted at around 20- to 25-feet deep. Most of the crappie will be found from 18- to 25-feet deep this week.
Trout: Fishing has been very good most of the summer. If you float down the river during the middle of the day and are wearing quality polarized glasses, then you will be amazed at just how many trout are actually in the river. Equally as amazing is the fact that they can be so finicky when the sun is high. I was always thought when we see the fish, they can see us, and that is partially true. For your best success, try fishing first thing in the morning with a small Rooster Tail or a Countdown Rapala in silver and black pattern. Cast these lures around any lay down trees, rapids or in the deeper pools.
Bank Fishing: Fishing can be a bunch of fun this time of year and the kids will enjoy an outing to Lake Lanier. Remember when taking youngsters out to the lake to pack a large dose of patience and know that when kids are involved it’s our job as parents to make sure they have fun.
One of the biggest mistakes I made with my son was to assume he wanted to go hardcore bass fishing like his father. Starting out fishing from the banks will make it easier for the kids because they can roam around and do other things if they get bored with fishing.
Allow your kids to skip stones and play with the worms or minnows if the get tired of casting. Most young kids have a very short attention span, so if they quit fishing and start playing it is quite all right. Most kids will be just as happy to catch small bream as they would to get a catch a keeper bass, so keep in mind that the catching is only a bonus and not a necessity.
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. He would love to hear from his readers so please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!