Lake Lanier Fishing Report August 22 2019
The latter part of August ﬁnds the lake level at 1070.20, .80 feet down and falling only .31 feet from last week. The surface temp is 87 degrees, which is pretty close to normal for this point in the year. The extended weather forecast calls for a little break from the sweltering heat late in the weekend and into early next week, but with that comes a higher rain chance and and north easterly breeze. As a conversation starter, NWS said July was the warmest month ever recorded since weather data began to be recorded.
Striper ﬁshing has been very good, and the patterns have been consistent in the last three weeks. The Trolling bite has been very productive, Lead core, down riggers, and umbrellas are all working very well. The Capt Mack’s Super Spins, 3/4 or 1 oz sizes are racking up some big numbers, but trolling the Mini Mack(the bladed model seems to be the best) is right there with it. The old reliable Chipmunk jigs in the 1 and 1.5 oz models are also putting plenty of ﬁsh in the boat, and the Hawg spoon in the Fat model is also very strong.
The parameters for trolling change frequently, but here are some good starting guidelines. On the lead core, I have been starting out pulling the Chipmunks and Super Spins at 250 feet behind the boat, a little less on the Minis. The Mini Mack weighs just under 2 ounces, so it will ﬁsh about the same depth as a 2 oz Chipmunk. As the suns gets higher, I ﬁsh them back a little deeper, maybe 275 feet to 300, or adjust based on what the Sonar is showing. You can tip the jigs with a live Herring, one of the Capt. Mack’s 6 trailers, or a 4 inch shad body, all have been producing well.
On the Down Rigger, start out with the bait(and yes the Mini will be effective on the down riggers as well) 50 feet behind the ball, ball at 20 to 24 feet down. Adjust the ball to the depth where you see the ﬁsh, or the greatest number of ﬁsh. Live Herring on the down line has been a very good technique, and the bite may be anywhere from 25 to 100 feet. Watch the sonar to determine the best depth, and you notice that there is really good activity around 25 to 30 feet.
As in recent weeks, we have really good water(that translates to good oxygen levels) in that 25 foot range, and the Herring will live well on the hook. If you can see ﬁsh in the 60 to 90 foot range, and the trees will allow, send a bait down to ‘em. We have good O2 levels in that deep water as well, especially around 60 feet. Those deeper ﬁsh are very catch-able (even if you are marking greater numbers of ﬁsh in the 25 foot range, the deep ﬁsh may be quick to bite) both on bait or power reeling. when you are power reeling, if the bottom is clean let the spoon/or jig hit the bottom, then reel it up to at least 25 feet, probably 15. I have had several ﬁsh take the spoon between 15 and 25 feet as I reeled it up, and I have seen several others chase it up high enough in the water that I could see them following it up.
Power reeling is very strong, so dedicate at least one line/person to this technique. In most cases, downlines and power reeling will compliment one another. One last footnote, keep a free line in the mix, the ﬁsh that are n the 25 foot range I keep mentioning are quick to pounce on the pitch bait. No weight needed, just a swivel, leader, hook, and a Herring will be enough! Watch this line carefully, often the bite is light because with the Herring free swimming there is often little no pressure for the Striper to gauge what to pull against, so if the ﬁsh moves towards you, left ,or right, it is hard for him to get the line the line tight. If you see the line barely tighten up, grab the handle start cranking to get the slack out and set the hook.
Bass ﬁshing is ok, and as in often the case in late August and September, many of our Spotted bass are roaming around in open water under big bait schools. How do you catch those ﬁsh? I don’t really know of a good way. I guess you were not expected that answer. These ﬁsh are often singles or very small groups, hanging on isolated structure or simply swimming around.
So, basically that percentage of the ﬁsh are really not practical to target right now. Let it cool off in a few weeks and they will return to a pattern that’s makes them much easier to effectively ﬁnd and catch. Until then, the basic pattern is the drop shot and worm. The 4 inch Roboworms on the drop shot or shakey are hard to beat, and any color seems to be ﬁne as long as Morning Dawn is in the title. Ok, that color thing is a little facetious, but the Morning Dawn patterns always seem to produce well when the ﬁsh are deep. Bold Bluegill, Red Crawl, and Green Shiner are also good color options as well. Fish the worms on deep brush, humps, and timber edges, pay particular attention to the main lake high spots.
Vertically ﬁshing a spoon is a good technique on the timber edges or the deeper brush, try the Flex -it spoons in the .60 and 1.0 sizes The power generation schedule can make the bite stronger, so if your schedule allows some afternoon /evening ﬁshing may be productive. There are still some ﬁsh harassing the Bream that are still spawning, a Senko on the wacky rig, or 1/2oz Fish Head Spin with a Yamamato Swimbait should get the bite in this situation.
Good Fishing! Capt. Mack