Lake Lanier Fishing Report September 6 2019
Sept has arrived with warmer than average temps, well into the 90’s, fortunately with low humidity. This July like weather is expected to last through the end of next week, which in turn will probably keep the patterns as they are for at least a couple more weeks or beyond. Of course with Dove season opening this weekend you have a tough call to make, hopefully you work a cast and blast into your schedule. The lake level as of Thursday was 1069.47, 1.53 feet below full and dropping .43 feet from last week. The surface temps are around 83, depending on where you are at and the time of day.
The Stripers are biting well, maybe slightly more ﬁnicky than we saw in most of August, but overall it is a very good bite. The ﬁsh are still adhering to their summer patterns, with the added pattern of having plenty of ﬁsh on the humps and points over a 25 to 40 bottom, more on that later. Otherwise, target the ﬁsh in the same areas that have been producing in recent weeks and you should do well. No surprises here, search over the river channel, major creek channels, and the large drains that empty into to either. Live bait ﬁshing continues to produce some nice catches, with no signiﬁcant changes in the methods. Keep the free lines in the spread, and power reeling is also very strong. As is generally the case, the power reeling gets better the deeper you ﬁsh. Also, the greater the density of the ﬁsh, the greater chance of getting hooked up, so if you see them ganged up ﬁre the jigs or spoons down to ‘em. When you are power reeling, bring your spoon or jig all the way back up into 20 to 15 feet, I have hooked several ﬁsh this week in that depth range.
One of the questions I received this week: what is the best retrieve when power reeling? I think fast is good, and I generally don’t do anything to alter the retrieve other than an occasional brief pause when reeling up. It is also important to remember that the bite is just as likely to occur while the spoon is dropping. Keep the rod low to the water while the spoon is falling, that way you will have plenty of room to lift the rod, get the line tight, and setting the hook. The trolling bite is very good and the baits that have produced well in recent weeks, Chipmunk Jigs, Mini Mack’s, Spoons, Capt. Mack’s Striper Spins, and umbrellas are still in full play. For the most part, anglers are trolling over the open water areas, and for good reason, those areas are producing well. For an additional pattern, let’s go back to that 25 to 40 foot thing. There are pretty good numbers of ﬁsh holding on points, humps, and on the banks in 25 to 40 feet. Contour trolling or pulling over humps in 35 to 40 feet has been very good, particularly after mid morning and into the afternoon.
You can pull the lead core for this application but I think a full size umbrella is much more effective, not because of the bait but simply because you have greater mobility. Pulling the big umbrellas equates to less line out and you can turn and follow the contours much better when you have 130 feet of line out as opposed to 300 feet. A down rigger is also good for trolling over the humps and along the banks, because that technique also allows for increased maneuverability and precision.
Bass ﬁshing is pretty good, and with the exception of some increased schooling activity, the basic patterns and techniques are unchanged. We are seeing increased surface activity, however the schooling/surfacing ﬁsh are still sporadic, and often the ﬁsh are over open water and hard to target making that very much a secondary pattern. I think we are a couple of good cold spells away from that pattern becoming stronger. The ﬁsh that were showing up in the backs of the creeks are still there, although the numbers are not as good as in recent weeks. Warming temps and falling water are probably responsible for that, and we’ll most likely need to drop the surface temps a few degrees to reenergize that pattern.
The worm on the shakey head is still going to be hard to beat, and will be effective in any depth range. Main lake structures in 25 to 45 feet, brush, humps, timber edges, long tapering points, and deep docks are all holding ﬁsh. As far as ﬁshing these long ﬂat points, you can approach them much as you would a hump, just ﬁnd the right depth range and they will generally hold ﬁsh. Most of these areas will have brush, or natural structures as that will congregate ﬁsh. As is the case with some of our many high spots, the points can be very good areas to target when the Corps is pulling water. On the deeper end of the aforementioned depth range, the spoons are also producing well. Keeping a Flex-it spoon tied on will be a great follow up to the worm, and it is nice to have ready if one of these occasional surfacing ﬁsh pops up within casting range.
Be sure and spend some time ﬁshing the main lake humps, especially the afternoon hours, when the Corps is pulling water. I think this will enhance any type of ﬁshing, but it seems to pull the ﬁsh onto the tops of the humps where they are generally very catchable. Worms, Spoons and jigs are good choice to cast at the humps. The water release is generally in the afternoon, to obtain a schedule call the Corps ofﬁce at 770.945.1466.
Good Fishing! Capt. Mack