Lake Lanier Fishing Report September 21 2018 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive
Summer 2018 does not want to go away. Some of the usual signs of the approaching season change are there, sightings of a few migratory species are reported on the lake and the days are growing shorter quickly! Although the calendar says fall begins as of 9:54 am this Saturday the 22nd, long term forecasts indicate that summer like temps and humidity will remain with us for into the middle of next week. Look for more seasonally appropriate weather to arrive right around right around the 1st of October. As of Thursday, the lake level has fallen slightly and is currently 1070.45, 0.55 below full pool. The surface temp was 83.5
Striper Fishing has been really good! Good Enough that I issued a “stop work order” through Sept. 28. I may extend that, but I am concerned that the ﬁrst projected cold front may really jump start the turnover process and erode the current patterns. On the ﬂip side of that scenario, I would love to see falling surface temps move us right out of the summer bite into a schooling ﬁsh/topwater bite! I know you all want that stop work order to stay in place, so I’ll extend it if practical! Who knows how that will play out, the lake has ﬁshed differently most of the year so time will tell. The Striper bite is revolving around traditional summer patterns, looking for ﬁsh over drains adjacent to the creek channels, over the major creek channels, or over the river channel proper.
The live bait bite has been excellent, with a mix of free lines and downlines both producing! While you have the live baits out, you need to be power reeling, or at least have someone in the boat using that technique. I think so many times the bait you are power reeling with , whether it is a spoon or a jig, draws ﬁsh to your boat and into your bait spread. As of lately, if the ﬁsh are bunched up in any kind of decent numbers, the power reeling will produce as well as the live baits.
Please note the embedded video clip of a ﬁsh I caught power reeling Tuesday. You can see the technique and get an idea of how fast to retrieve the bait. Watch carefully and you’ll notice that right before I hook the ﬁsh, I paused my retrieve for a second. Pauses and speed changes will often trigger the bite.
This does not happen often, but I am issuing a stop work order! What does that mean, well if you are not familiar with the Capt Mack's Striper Hunter Club protocal, a stop work order means fishing is really good and you need to stop work, or whatever else you are doing and go fishing! Live bait fishing is excellent, trolling both umbrellas and lead core is great, and of course my favorite, power reeling is putting the smack down on 'em!
Posted by Captain Mack's on Wednesday, September 19, 2018
The trolling bite has also been very good, Jigs and Spoons on the lead core, Umbrellas, Mini Macks, Chipmunks and spoons on the down riggers are all producing well. Here are some basic parameters that will get you started. On the lead core, the baits 6.5 to 8 colors behind the boat, ﬁsh The Capt. Mack’s 4 arm 9 bait buck tail rig 110 to 130 feet behind the bait, and on the down riggers, place the ball at 23 and the bait 50 to 70 feet behind the ball, all of the above a roughly 2.75 mph should keep the rods bent! You can catch ‘em all day, but early am and late even wings seem to be the peak times.
The Bass ﬁshing report, well, it’s not quite as optimistic as is the Striper report, and I know the bass Fishermen are eager to see the weather change I mentioned in the opening paragraph! Until then, I think the bite has improved some in recent days. The Topwater ﬁshing is fair, a few ﬁsh taking Chug Bugs, Zara Jrs. and Sammies, especially early and late. The schooling ﬁsh are showing up a little more frequently but they are generally up and down really quickly, if you can get a bait to them before they sound you can get the bite, but you need to be quick and the cast will have to be very accurate! The best bite trending in recent days is probably the spoon bite. No, not the traditional lead core vertical jigging spoons, although they have a place too, more on that in a minute.
I am referring to the Nichols Flutter spoons and the Hawg spoons that I mention here often. These baits are remarkably versatile, and right now are arguably the best bait going. Simple ease up to one of your favorite brush piles and cast this bait on either side of the brush and let it sink to the bottom, then rip it up off the bottom a couple of times and you can often pull a ﬁsh off of the brush to take the spoon. You may also want to try pulling right over the brush tops as well. Working this bait through timber tops is very tedious ﬁshing, but can pay off with a few bites from really big Spotted Bass. And on the “other spoon bite” Jigging spoons are coming into play, with for dropping on deep ﬁsh or casting to schoolers. For vertical jigging, drop them around timber edges in 25 to 35 feet, and casting them to schooling ﬁsh is very neglected. They cast extremely well and match up nicely size wise with the Threadﬁns in the lake. Keep one tied on and it will probably be worth a few bonus bites!
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.