Lake Lanier Fishing Report September 13 2019
We continue to have July in Sept and we have broken some very long standing high temperatures early in Sept. These warmer temps are forecast to continue into next week when we get a little break, it will still warm, but not as hot as we experienced the ﬁrst week of the month. Even though the temps say summer, the ﬁsh are changing their behavior and we are seeing some subtle changes that signal the coming season change. With Deer season piling onto Dove season, I know it is tough to decide whether to grab the gun or the rods on the way out the door. But with ﬁshing being pretty solid , plan your outdoor time carefully! The surface temps remain a little higher than normal at 86 degrees. Lake levels continue to fall and as of Friday afternoon Lanier was at 1068.99. 2.01 below full pool.
Striper ﬁshing is still good, and while the traditional summer techniques that have been producing well are still in place, we have some changes and new patterns that are applicable as well. One notable difference is the number of ﬁsh that are in 35 feet of water, whether it is over open water, in a drain or cove, or on humps or along the banks. Regardless of the technique, focusing on a roughly 35 bottom will keep you around plenty of ﬁsh. Fishing downlines or trolling over humps, points, or contour trolling along a main lake bank is a good strategy right now. There are also good numbers of ﬁsh, mostly smaller ﬁsh, that are pushing back into drains and pockets as far back as a 35 foot bottom.
The trolling techniques that have been so strong in recent weeks are still very effective. Lead core trolling with Mini Mack’s, Chipmunk Jigs, Hawg spoons, continues to produce very good catches. This bite is good throughout the day, just keep moving until you locate ﬁsh. The ﬁsh may be over creek channels, around the river channel, or in drains feeding into either. 7 or 8 colors has been the norm, or around 275 feet back if you prefer to use the line counter. Umbrella trolling has also been very effective, especially over the humps. Target humps that top out at 35 feet, and pulling the 4 arm 3 oz buck tail rigs 140 feet behind the boat has been the standard. For the most part, this pattern has been producing a very nice average size ﬁsh.
Footnote: to maximize this pattern, focus on pulling the rig directly over the crest of the hump. One pass is generally all you need as one of two things will happen. If the ﬁsh are present they are generally in tight compact, easy to detect schools, or there are a few singles or no ﬁsh at all. In either situation one, maybe two passes will be all you need. If there are no ﬁsh, you need to leave. If the ﬁsh are there, they will usually take the rig on the ﬁrst pass, you hook one or two, and the remainder of the school will spook off the hump so a second pass is often unproductive. The ﬁsh will almost return, it takes about 30 minutes or an hour, you can go back then and duplicate what you did on the ﬁrst visit.
Live Herring on the down lines are a very strong pattern, with the aforementioned 28 to 35 foot level being a good depth to hang the baits. That is where the water is best, concentrating the bait and ﬁsh, and the place where your Herring will live the best on the hook. Now if you see ﬁsh deeper, and we still have ﬁsh holding in really deep water, drop the bait as deep as you see them. Power feeling is also a very viable technique, especially in deep water. Spoons or jigs are both applicable for the power reeling.
The Bass bite is pretty good, and like the Stripers they are also really focusing on the 25 to 35 foot depth range. I have mentioned contour trolling several times in the Striper report, and while trolling is not really applicable to Bass Fisherman, contour ﬁshing is. Because the water is really good(from the standpoint of O2 levels)around 30 feet, many of the bass are roaming in that depth range. If you put your bait in 30 feet, and follow that contour around a hump, point, or even down a bank, you are keeping your bait in the area that holds the greatest numbers of ﬁsh. Of course this technique is most effective with a vertical presentation, so the bait choice is limited.
You will most probably ﬁnd a worm on the Weedless Wonder is hard to beat. Basically drag the worm around that contour with the trolling motor, keeping in constant touch with the bottom. Smaller baits, (ﬁnesse worms on a 1/4 oz Jig head) have been a constant, and green pumpkin or the morning dawn Roboworm patterns have been producing well.
We still have plenty of ﬁsh in the brush, 25 to 35 feet, and while the numbers are there, these are mostly average size ﬁsh. Finesse worms are the bait of choice, and you can ﬁsh them on the Weedless Wonder or the Drop Shot Rig. A spy bait is also a good choice, just be patient enough to let it get the necessary depth to get the bite. Plenty of questions about schooling ﬁsh, and they are showing up sporadically, but in greater numbers than in past weeks. They are up and down quickly, trying to get back to that good water in 30 feet, but if you can get a bait to them they are catchable.
Smaller baits may be best, spoons are always a good choice, as are small buck tails. If you are really trying to catch some ﬁsh on top waters, it is not very strong right now but you can catch a few. Cast the plugs over 25 foot brush, the early am hours, a good breeze, or a little help from the Corps pulling some water will all enhance this bite!
Good Fishing! Capt. Mack