I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July holiday, ate some good food, saw some awesome ﬁreworks and got out and enjoyed the lake, and continue to do so into this weekend! The lake level dropped very slightly to 1072.13, 1.13 feet above full pool.
The Striper bite is ok. The ﬁsh are still scattered out all over the lake. Pretty good numbers of ﬁsh are still showing up in both rivers, mostly the Chattahoochee side. Because of that we’ll break this down to a north and south end report.
In the rivers, look for the ﬁsh over the creek channels, around humps, or big major points. Live Herring on the down line will probably be the best producer, but if the ﬁsh are deep enough power reeling is viable option. Check/change the live beats frequently, it is becoming difﬁcult to keep them alive on the hook in certain areas once you go up lake. Pulling umbrella rigs are working fairly well. Pull the rig over the same areas, 120 to 150 feet behind the boat.
If you are staying on the lower end, there are several areas or patterns that will produce. We still have ﬁsh pushing into the backs into the drains and pockets. The ﬁsh may be located anywhere along the length of these drains, as far back as a 35 or 40 foot bottom, so searching them out can be time consuming. Trolling is a really good search tool in this circumstance, they will allow you to assess an area quickly, and if the ﬁsh are spiked up in the water column less than 40 feet they will normally respond very quickly. If the ﬁsh are on the deep side of 40, clear the trolling rigs and start down lining and power reeling.
We also have some ﬁsh showing up over some of the main lake points, expect them too be anywhere between 30 and 60 feet. You may only see the scattered singles on this pattern, but you can catch a few of them and often you may hook ﬁsh when nothing is showing on the screen. These ﬁsh may be up on the crest of the point, or in a very loose orientation around the perimeter of the point.
Bass ﬁshing is pretty good, it may be a little tougher to catch the bigger Spots, but the numbers have been good. As for the Bigger Spots, I think some of them are already suspending over deep timber. As a footnote, I had a Spot eat a down lined Herring-with the bait hanging at 55feet. and I caught one today Striper ﬁshing, Brush piles are the target structure, concentrate on depths of 22 to 30 feet. Brush on humps and long points have been very good, but any brush in that depth range may hold ﬁsh. The top water bite has slowed, and it is harder to call the ﬁsh up out of the brush than in recent weeks.
If you want to give your favorite surface lure a try, this technique will probably be the most effective in low light conditions. Ditto on the Schooling ﬁsh, there are a few sporadic surfacing ﬁsh showing up early, so it may be good to keep something tied on to cover that circumstance.
Casting Subsurface baits such as a Steelshad, Fish Head Spin, or the Spy Bait over the brush remains a good pattern. The key to maximizing this is to be able to cast over the brush without riding over it to mark it. Use your chart to pull up within casting distance of the brush, cast the lure past the obstruction and retrieve back over the brush. Count the lure down so that is just above the brush during the retrieve, if the ﬁsh are going to eat the bait it generally happens on one of the ﬁrst few casts. For numbers and consistency, the number one producer is the worm on the drop shot. If the wind is calm, especially on the shallower piles, cast the drop shot to the
brush. If you have a little wind, or the brush is deeper, pull the boat directly over the pile and show them a vertical presentation.
I am going to suspend the Crappie portion of the report until it cools off in the fall, based on feedback I have gotten from our readers.