Lake Lanier Fishing Report June 21 2019
Welcome to Summer!! The Solstice occurred Friday at 11:54 am, the ﬁrst day of Summer and the longest and brightest day of the year! Here in Northern Georgia will get between 14 and 14.5 hours of daylight, plenty of time to get out and go ﬁshing! The lake level has remained stable, at 1071.67, .67 feet above full pool. No change from last week. The surface temps were a slightly cooler than average 79 degrees.
Fishing has been good, and if you can ﬁnd the ﬁsh they will probably bite! The patterns are mostly unchanged, with the ﬁsh trending to open water and deep water patterns. There are ﬁsh still in the drains and pockets, as shallow as a 40 foot bottom, especially in the early am hours. Just start riding the drains until you see ﬁsh, it does not necessarily have to be a big school, then drop the baits. Herring on the down line will be the bait of choice, and if the ﬁsh are deep enough power reeling can add some bonus bites. Keep a pitch bait or two in the spread, particularly in the ﬁrst couple of hours of the day. I would also keep a casting bait tied on, we have quite a few schooling Stripers that are quick to bite if you can get a bait to them. Small heavy baits are good, Steelshad, small buck tails, top waters, or Flex-it spoons. I will pick the Flex-it as the best choice because they will take it on the cast, or ﬁshed vertically.
If you are down lining, and you see any groups of ﬁsh on the sonar try dropping the spoon, it is a good way to get a few extra ﬁsh in the boat. The deep water patterns are really starting to ramp up so the typical summer patterns are in play. Herring on the down line are still the primary technique, but trolling umbrellas, lead core line, and power reeling are also very viable tactics. Trolling remains an excellent way to locate these open water ﬁsh, and a 1 oz Chipmunk jig tipped with your favorite plastic or a Herring, on the lead core or behind a downriver will get the bite. This method allows you to search big open areas quickly while still catching ﬁsh.
Once you ﬁnd an area that is holding ﬁsh, deploy the down lines and power reelers. Drains, creek channels and the river channels are all likely places to look, and the ﬁsh may be anywhere in the water column, 25 down to 85 feet. In the last few days I have had good luck hanging the baits in 50 feet, but that is always a variable so stagger the baits to ﬁnd the best depth range.
Bass ﬁshing is very good and the topwater ﬁshing we have been waiting on has ﬁnally developed. Top waters cast over 20 to 25 foot brush is the ticket, use the bigger nosier baits in the wind, smaller baits if it is slick. The Chug Bugs, both the large and the smaller bug, depending on the wind, are producing well, as are Zara Spooks, Gunﬁsh, and Cane Walkers. Swim baits such as the Magic Swimmer, or a Fluke ﬁshed over the brush can be very effective if there is little or no wind. To maximize the number of bites, follow these lures up with a worm on the Shakey head or on the drop shot.
Remember, the drop shot does well on the cast in addition to ﬁshing it vertically. I think we have all gotten in our minds that the drop shot is for ﬁshing straight down, but it also is very good for casting. So when the ﬁsh are vary, or the water is slick, staying off the brush and casting the drop shot can be a very good strategy! We also have some schooling ﬁsh showing up, regularly enough that I would be prepared for such. Look for the schoolers around brush or points, or in the backs of the drains. The key to catching these ﬁsh is getting the bait to them quickly before they sound.
They will take a top water, but a small compact heavy bait allows for longer cast, and you can drop it down subsurface if the ﬁsh are no longer on the surface. As I mentioned in the Striper section, a Flexit will be hard to beat, for the previously stated reasons. This schooling ﬁsh thing is not limited to early am, and has been a pretty active pattern in the mid day hours as well.
The Crappie bite is still very good. Dock shooting is the primary pattern technique, and the only problem with Crappie ﬁshing now is the ﬁsh are getting deeper, which means you will need to be patient and let the jig get down to the strike zone. Fishing vertically can be a good strategy at this point in the year if the area you are ﬁshing will allow it. You be surprised how boat tolerate the Crappie can be, so try sitting on top of the deeper brush to make a vertical presentation. It makes keeping the jig in the strike zone much easier, and detecting those light bites is a little less challenging as well. Your favorite hair jigs should get the bite, as will a live minnow on the down line. Night ﬁshing under the bridges are also productive, so if you have a free evening taking a trip up the lake to tie off under one of the bridges could be time well spent. Live minnows on the down line will probably be the best method, but casting a jig around will keep you awake and probably catch a few extra ﬁsh as well!
Good Fishing! Capt. Mack