Lake Lanier Fishing Report October 4 2018 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive
The bite and the weather remain hot. Here we are in early Oct and our daytime highs are still in the upper 80’s, even reaching 90 degrees. To give you an idea of how big a weather anomoly this is, consider this. The last time a high temp of 90 or greater was recorded in the month of October at Hartsﬁeld International Airport, was 1954, 64 years ago! Also, for the record, Sept 2018 was the 2nd hottest September ever recorded in Georgia. That data is courtesy of WSB TV And Radio.
Our surface temp is still right at 80 degrees as of Thursday AM. The ﬁshing patterns remain summer like as well, especially with the Stripers. The Bass are showing some signs of moving int their fall patterns, at least more so than their Striped Counterparts. The Weather forecast says that we can expect these warm temps to prevail well into next week and possibly beyond. The lake level continues to fall slowly to 1069.97 as of Oct. 4th, 1.03 feet below full pool.
Striper ﬁshing has been very good. Often at this point in October we are well into the turnover process and Striper ﬁshing is inconsistent with frequent changes, this year Sept offered up some of our best ﬁshing and that has continued into October. The patterns are still very summer like, with Live Bait, trolling and power reeling all providing good catches. Live Herring on the down lines and free lines are very strong. There are basically no changes in this pattern in the last few days. I think hanging the baits around 25 is a good starting point, but there are some ﬁsh in much deeper water so let the picture on the graph determine where the bait needs to be. Power reeling is still a viable option, but maybe losing stream as the ﬁsh appear to be more scattered out. I would keep a jig or spoon ready to go nonetheless, if they will bunch up a little the power reeling will get the bite.
Trolling has also been very good, both with lead core and with the down riggers. 1oz, 1.5 oz, or 2 oz Chipmunk Jigs or Capt. Mack’s Striper Spin Jigs with a 6 inch trailer or 4 inch shad body will get the bite. Troll between 6.5 and 8 colors on the lead core, if you are using a down rigger the same jigs ﬁshed 50 to 60 feet behind a 22 to 24 foot ball has been producing very well. Spoons are also a good choice, and you can apply the same parameters as listed above for trolling the spoons. Using the lead core and down riggers in conjunction is an excellent technique, using the above listed depth/distance combos allow for a 4 bait spread that will not really tangle and give you a very nice foot print.
There is also a trend to pull the lead core on a planer board, which really increases the coverage of your spread. The Perfect Planer 10” size will hold up any of the baits listed above at the standard trolling speeds of 2.5 to 3.25 mph. Umbrellas also deserve a mention, as they are accounting for some good catches. You can pull the rigs over the same open water areas where you are puling lead core and live bait, or you can pull them over 30-40 foot main lake humps. Once you ﬁnd them, The Capt Mack’s 4 arm 3 oz rig 100 to 140 behind the boat should get the bite.
The Bass bite is good, improving for sure, especially in the topwater department. Walking baits, Chug Bugs, And the Sebile Magic Swimmers are all good choices to cast at humps and long tapering points, brush is deﬁnitely an asset but not a must have. Concentrate your search around areas that are on the main lake or on the creek channels,18 to 30 foot is the target depth. Smaller baits may be a plus, especially on days where the sun is high and the wind is calm. In these conditions, you’ll probably ﬁnd subsurface baits like the Fish Head spins or Spybaits to be a good alternate.
The drop shot bite has been good, and light line is a big asset with this technique. I prefer the Sunline Sniper 7lb. test, and many anglers will drop down to 6. If your reel has a good drag, and you are diligent about checking your line, you’ll probably ﬁnd these smaller weight lines to increase your number of bites fairly substantially. Any of your favorite colors worm will produce, but some colors that have been productive recent days are the 6” ST Roboworm in the Green Neon Pumpkin, Watermelon Magic, Prizm Kraw, and any of the Morning Dawn patterns.
If you are looking for the bigger ﬁsh, and the topwater bite is not producing, try dragging your favorite jigs around the same 18 to 30 foot brush and while that pattern will not yield the number of bites that the worm will, the odds of getting a bigger ﬁsh should increase. You can catch ‘em all day, but I think the early AM hours offer the best ﬁshing!
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.