Lake temperatures are from the upper 80’s to around lower 90’s and Lake Lanier is less than a foot below full pool at 1,070.3 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.
The FLW Cup will be held on Lake Lanier from Aug. 5-8. Make sure to read your newspapers for more information on this National Bass Fishing Championship. Come out to Laurel Park or the Gwinnett Arena and say hello. Check with the newspaper or visit www.flwoutdoors.com for more information.
Bass: Fishing has been good for anglers adept at targeting off shore cover. The hot weather seems to be more of an issue to anglers than the fish. We have been out all week and the best bite seems to be during the hottest part of the day.
Three methods are working best for Lake Lanier’s spotted bass. Continue to look for topwater plugs and swim baits to get your biggest fish. Work walking surface lures with a rhythmic “walk-the-dog” cadence or v-wake a BBZ1 4-inch shad on the surface for some explosive strikes. Make sure not to set the hook too quickly when you get a strike, but allow the fish to load up on your rod. The spots have been blowing up on our lures several times before finally eating them. This topwater bite has slowed a little but it is still accounting for our better fish and it is happening when the sun is high.
The next method is the same as in recent weeks and that is to vertically fish over brush and timber with a drop shot, wacky rig or jig head finesse worm. In all three instances, I use a 4-inch Big Bite Finesse worm dipped in Chartreuse JJ’s Magic. The bass have been a little deeper in the 25-to 35-foot range. Texas or Carolina rigged curly tail worm have been productive up river for the spotted and large mouth bass.
The last and most productive method is to fish with live spot tail minnows. Hook the native baitfish through the lips on a drop shot rig and fish them vertically over brush piles. You can also purchase medium shiners, if you are not experienced with catching spot tails, but the native minnows will out produce store bought ones 2-to-1.
My reports have been very similar this past month but these are the most productive methods for us. Other anglers I have spoken with are catching fish on deep diving crank baits, Fish Head Spins and other lures that they can work in the 20-to 35-foot zone where the bass seem to be most prominent.
Stripers: Fishing is very good and the hot summer weather will force these hard-fighting game fish to set up at reliable depths and locations during the dog days of August. The guides have been reporting consistent fishing both up and down the lake. The stripers are transitioning more toward the creek and main river channels. Watch your electronics closely and when you see a bunch or arcs or wavy lines, then you should be right over the fish. Drop down lined blueback herring to the depth at which the stripers and bait appear on you finder. The best depths to position your baits have been from 35-to 55-feet deep over a 40-to 90-foot bottom. Most of the best locations are way off the banks so a good GPS will help you to stay in the proper area.
If the stripers are not eating your baits, try power reeling them up through the schools to trigger reaction bites. You can use a large buck tail rigged with a blueback, or just a regular blueback on a down line.
Drop these offerings all the way to the bottom and reel them quickly up through the school. If you get your bait back up to 20 feet without getting bit, then drop it down and repeat this process. When you get a strike power reeling, it will feel like the fish is trying to rip the rod out of your hand.
The top water action is still happening for the stripers, but it has slowed a little with the warmer top layer of water. Cast SPRO Dawg 125s and Redfins over any areas where stripers are present. A lot of the locations are way off the banks.
Crappie: Fishing is slower, but the deeper brush around bridge pilings has been holding a few fish. Get out after dark and place floating lights out to attract the bait and crappie. Down line a live crappie minnow or smaller spot tail to around 20-feet deep.
Trout on the Chattahoochee: Fishing is good in the mornings and the river below Buford Dam provides a natural air conditioning, which is always welcome on a hot August day. Cast inline spinners and dry flies to the quicker rapids and the deep holes directly below the faster current. The white water stirs up the oxygen and that makes the trout more comfortable. Trout fishing in the mountains has also been very good.
Bank Fishing: When the weather is hot, many people prefer swimming over fishing. One of the most comfortable ways to fish from the bank this week is after dark. Most parks are closed after dark but some of the areas bridges offer parking.
You can sit on the shore under the bridges and cast out deeper with a crappie minnow below a slip bobber set to 15-to 20-feet deep. A slip bobber allows you to be able to cast while still fishing deep. A floating light will increase your catching. Check in with you local tackle shops for minnows and information on how to use slip bobbers.
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 our readers so please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!