Happy 4th of July! The lake will be crowded, so everyone be safe, get out and enjoy the water! We also have a full moon this week, on Sunday the 5th, the full Buck Moon. This will be followed by a partial lunar eclipse beginning at 11:07 pm, ending at 1:52 am. This will be a subtle eclipse, but should be visible here in North Georgia. The lake looks great with the water level at 1071.38, .38 feet above full pool. The weather looks very good for the holiday weekend, with a slight chance of an afternoon thundershower Sunday, evolving into a greater chance for storms mid week. The water temp is a slightly below average 81 degrees.
The summer bite is on, and although the Stripers may have gotten a little more persnickety in the last few days, fishing is still pretty good. The patterns are typical, with fish being found over the creek channels, and drains dumping into the channels. Some of the fish are pushing further back in the drains than you may be expecting, as far back as a 35 to 40 foot bottom. There are also some decent numbers of fish showing up over the river channel, or where the creeks drain into the river, so that should give plenty of places to search. There are also several techniques you will need to be prepared to use: on the fish that are 35 to 40 feet deep and on or near the bottom, live Herring on the down line all probably be the best option. Keeping a lightly weighted free line, use a # 5 or #7 split shot, is also viable technique. Moving the boat slowly as opposed to being on Spot Lock may also help tweak a few bites. You may be able to get some of these fish in the backs of the drains to respond to power reeling, but generally that technique is best on fish in deeper water. The fish in these pockets will respond to an umbrella if there is enough area to allow you to maneuver and pull the rig that deep into the drain or cove. FYI, our next power reeling segment is scheduled to post Sunday afternoon.
For the fish out over the creek channels, Live Herring on the down line are a good choice, as is power reeling spoons and jigs. I have done pretty well power reeling a 2 oz Chipmunk with a Herring trailer, so keep that rig tied on and ready to go. Trolling has also been very good, with fish being taken on full size umbrellas, Mini Macks on the lead core, and spoons and jigs on the lead core. Is one better than the other? It really varies from day to day, and all have been producing, if I had to pick I would choose the full size rigs, 120 to 140 feet behind the boat, at the standard 2.5 to 3.0 mph. Go with your confidence bait or don’t hesitate to switch baits until you tweak the bite. Trolling is also a really good way to search for these fish over the creek channels/open water.
Bass fishing is good, and the fish are right where they should be, holding up in 20 to 30 foot brush or over the humps. Finesse worms on the drop shot, shakey head, or Texas rig have been producing well, and the Roboworms in any of the Morning Dawn color patterns being consistent producers. A topwater over the humps is still producing some fish, so starting out with a walking bait for your first few casts will be a good choice. Follow the topwater up with a subsurface bait like a Spy bait or a weighted fluke. If you are really in tune with the brush you are fishing, count down the subsurface baits to try and get them right on the top of the tree, to the point where it just ticks the limbs!
Watch for bass chasing bait to the surface, this is happening often enough that if you are prepared it will get you some extra bites. These are not big schools of fish, often small groups or just a fish, but they are catchable if you make a good cast and get the bait to them before they sound. A small, compact bait that cast well will get the bite, a Flex-it spoon or Steelshad will be good choices for this application.
Another pattern that you may want to utilize right now is fishing the main lake humps in the afternoon and evening. Target humps in the 15 to 30 foot range, with the shallow end being most prominent in low light or after dark. Brush is always an asset on this pattern, however, the fish may be on a clean bottom, especially if the Corp is generating power. Worms are the standard on this pattern with deep diving crank baits or spinnerbaits(the latter two options most productive in low light or after sunset) can also be effective. This pattern will often produce well through out the night The generation schedule has been mostly 2 pm until 6 pm, and to find the tentative schedule call 770.945.1466