Lake Lanier Fishing Report September 7 2018 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive
I hope everyone had a great labor Day Holiday and you were able to enjoy some time on the water or in the Dove ﬁeld. Of course, next week will force you to make a big decision, go to the woods for opening day of archery season, or go to the lake. I say do both, the bite has been good in the afternoon, so a morning hunt, followed by a trip to the lake, and then some football maybe? I guess that’s pretty ambitious, but it sounds like a good day to me. Fishing has been fairly seasonal and the lake level has been fallen slightly to 1070.77 .23 feet below full pool. The surface temp is holding around 83 degrees.
The Striper bite has improved a little in recent days, and this week may turn out to be one of the best of the summer! The lead core bite that was really slow to develop earlier in the season has become much stronger. Maybe its because there are so many ﬁsh suspended now in 30 to 40 feet, or maybe they are just more concentrated? Regardless, that bite is much more proliﬁc and may be our most consistent overall pattern. The most effective baits will be no surprise. Spoons, Chipmunk Jigs in 1, 1.5, or 2 oz, or the Capt. Mack’s Bladed Jig with a 6 inch trailer have all been steady producers. Fish all of them about 8 colors behind the boat – 2.5 to 3 mph.
We also have a good umbrella rig bite going on, and the parameters of that are basically unchanged. You can pull the rig deep over open water, mostly the river channels or over creek channels, or over humps and points in the creek mouths. On the open water pattern, ﬁsh the rig deep, from 130 to 180 feet behind the boat. If you are pulling over the 30 to 35 humps and points, 130 feet back should get the bite. The Capt. Macks 4 arm 9 bait buck tail rig has been the most consistent producer.
Footnote: if these weather conditions persist with this low cloud cover and ﬁltered sunshine, try using the bubblegum colored trainers. I think they will be worth an extra bite or two in those conditions.
The live bait bite is also very good, but you may ﬁnd you have trouble keeping the bait alive on the hook. It is not unusual for this to occur during this time of year, so it is very important that take good care of the bait and change the Herring out frequently. It may cause you to use some extra baits, but it can be the difference between a marginal day or a great day. You can also use alternate baits such Shiners, they are easier to keep alive on the hook, but may not be as effective in getting the bite.
While you are bait ﬁshing, be sure and ﬁsh two free lines in addition to the downlines. The bait seems to live longer on the free line and this method has produced as many or more bites than the down rods. If the ﬁsh are bunched up well, power reeling is also a viable technique. Spoons, Jigs and Crystal Shad Lead heads with Shad bodies are all good choices for the power reeling.
Bass ﬁshing also perked up a little with an increase in the topwater activity. It’s not strong, but at least it appears to be ramping up. Look for the topwater bite to continue to improve when the water cools. Smaller, more subtle baits may be the most effective. If I had to pick I would choose the small Chug Bug, but that is a variable that changes frequently. Change up until you tweak the bite. If the ﬁsh don’t respond to the topwater, try slow reeling a Spybait or Steelshad over the brush to entice a bite. If that does not get their attention, go to the old reliable ﬁnesse worm.
A Drop shot rig ﬁshed vertically will work, but you may also ﬁnd that backing off and casting to the pile will increase the number of bites. Of course you can cast the drop shot, or you can rig the worm on a shakey head or a Texas Rig. There are a few schooling ﬁsh out there, sporadic still but enough to be prepared for. I think the schooling activity is best in the am, but you may see them at any point in the day. The key here is to get the bait to the ﬁsh before they sound, which is usually pretty quickly.
The usual favorites are worth a try, but here is a new twist to this pattern that may get you a few extra bites. Try casting the Nichols Flutter spoons or the Hawg spoons in the Junior or fat models. If you can get this bait to the ﬁsh while they are still thrashing around on the top, cast it past them and reel back through them. You will not need to work the spoon much. Either of the two aforementioned types of spoons will give plenty of motion and ﬂash as you reel. If the ﬁsh have already gone down, cast to where you saw the ﬁsh and then let the bait sink on tight line. Try a rip and drop retrieve and you may get a taker as the spoon sinks.
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.