Lake Lanier Fishing Report September 28 2018 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive
More signs of fall are showing up all around, expect maybe on the thermometer! Air temps and the humidity levels remain a little higher than average relative to the calendar. For instance, the average daytime high for Sept. 27 in Gainesville Ga is 76.3, the average low temperature for the 27th is 57.1, Our long term forecast calls for the highs to be in the mid 80’s and lows in the mid 60’s all the way through Oct 6th.
I don’t know how much surface cooling we will see in the next 10 days. However, it has cooled enough to drop the surface temps down to 81, which really jump started the Bass ﬁshing! The Striper bite remains very good, and there are some new patterns in play as opposed to the middle of last week as the ﬁsh are transitioning into fall. The lake level continues to fall slowly, and we are now at 1071.19 .81 feet below full pool with surface temps around 81 degrees.
The Stripers are still on a good bite, and the things you were doing during the ﬁrst part of September will still work, we just have a couple of patterns to add to the mix. The most notable is the topwater bite, which has really ramped up. This is not so much as casting to schooling ﬁsh as it is simply casting your baits over humps in the 18 to 30 foot range. Zara Spooks and Chug Bugs are a couple of good choices to cast, but any of your favorites should get the bite. This is a run and gun pattern, so move fast to maximize the bite. The same ﬁsh that are on the previously mentioned humps will also respond to trolling, both umbrellas or single jigs, I have had some success in the past few days pulling a Chipmunk Jig on the down riggers over these areas. Placing the bait 50 feet behind the down rigger ball, with the ball at 20 to 23 feet has been a good place to start. If you are pulling the umbrellas, 100 to 130 feet behind the boat has been a good combo.
The open water patterns that have been so strong the last 4 weeks are still effective in the typical summer areas. Creek Channels, The River Channel Proper(look in the bends and conﬂuence of the creek channels) are likely places to search. Live Herring on the down lines and free lines, power reeling(at least when the ﬁsh are bunched up well) and trolling with lead core, down riggers, or umbrellas are all still productive techniques. Make sire you keep the free lines out while you are bait ﬁshing, that has been a really productive method as of late.
On the trolling, the parameters are still the same, although you may ﬁnd ﬁshing a little bit shallower to be a plus. If you are pulling the land core line, most anglers are pulling 6.5 to 8 colors behind the boat, Chipmunks in the 1, 1.5, and 2 oz sizes are all effective. The Chartreuse Blue Chipmunk Jigs may be worth an extra bite or two if you have cloudy, overcast conditions.
The Bass ﬁshing, which quite honestly has been sluggish, really ramped up in the last few days….most notably the return of our topwater ﬁshing! Although the temperature drop was very slight, 2 or 3 degrees, it was enough to energize the bite. Casting your favorite topwater over points and humps over a 12 to 25 bottom has been very productive pattern throughout the day. If I had to pick a number one choice in baits it would be the Chug Bug, the small one when it is calm, the bigger size with the wind. There are plenty of other baits that will work as well, so have your favorite one tied on and ready to go. If the ﬁsh will not respond to your top water offering, try reeling a Fish Head Spin, SteelShad, or Spybait over the same areas.
I have had several inquiries about the schooling Bass? They are showing up sporadically, often over deep open water. The are still up and down quickly, and I would certainly cast to any within reach, but I consider this a secondary pattern, at least at this point in the fall. Most of the ﬁsh that you seeing over deep water are moving, and if you don’t hit him in the head when he surfaces it will be hard to pull him to your bait. Generally, they will push the bait to the surface, grab a few, and turn straight back down to 30 feet. Once he sounds it is hard to pull the ﬁsh back to the surface. It is also hard to divert his attention from the bait he is chasing to your bait, unless you make it really easy for him, so an accurate cast is very important.
Fish that are over brush or other tangible structures(Usually a brush pile) are more stationary, and your bait is the “school “ they chase to the surface. Fish over structure are often in groups, and that creates completion which is greatly to your advantage. So in a nutshell, if you see ‘em and can reach them, give them a cast, otherwise target the structures and remember that you can pull a ﬁsh up to the bait even if he is not actively chasing bait to the surface.
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.