Lake Lanier Fishing Report October 10 2019
Finally, we have some fall like weather, and it has energized the ﬁshing! We’ll see the full Hunters Moon on the 13th, and that will be the only night in the month the Moon will be in the sky all night. Visible at Sunset, and Setting around Sunrise the next am. If you are Striper ﬁshing, a little after Sunset or pre dawn bomber ﬁshing may be the ticket with those conditions! The lake level continues to trend down, 1067.23 as of Thursday am, down 3.77 feet below full pool. The surface temp is 76 degrees.
The Stripers have been biting well, although a little more scattered as we are seeing ﬁsh on top, in deeper water in pockets and drains, and of course plenty of ﬁsh on top chasing bait. On top of that, ﬁsh are showing up in the middle parts of the lake as well so your search area will be bigger than it has been in recent weeks. With that being said, we have several good techniques that should get you hooked up! The topwater bite is very good, with two components to this pattern. The ﬁrst, is chasing down the schoolers. They are showing up fairly consistently, and may be anywhere, but look for the greatest activity in the major creek arms or over the river channel. They are showing in big groups, pretty easy to see, but up and down quickly.
I think the best bait to cast at the schoolers is a buck tail or lead head tipped with a Fluke. Why? It cast well, even in the wind, it is easy to get the ﬁsh off the hook and the bait back in the water. Other baits that are effective are topwaters, swim baits Steelshads, and small spoons. You have to be pretty aggressive when you see these ﬁsh, they will occasionally stay up for extended periods, which should become more frequent as the water cools, but many are only on top for a short period of time. When you see them, assuming there are no other boats on them, run right up to the ﬁsh, within a cast, and get a bait to ‘em. If you get to them before them sound you should get the bite.
The second pattern is blind casting to humps and points. There are plenty of ﬁsh on this pattern so it is not necessary to see ﬁsh to catch them on the top waters. Target main lake humps and points 15 to 30 feet, if brush is present it is a plus. Many of your favorite baits will be effective, Zara Spooks, Chug Bugs, Surge Shad, etc. Go bigger and nosier in the wind, a little more subtle if it slicks off.
Live bait is producing some nice catches, on down lines, free lines and planers. I think the down line is still probably the biggest producer, but don’t rule out the free lines/planers, especially weighting the bait down with a split or small weight. You may have success in a variety of places, drains, pockets or in the backs of the major creeks. That creek back pattern seems to be especially strong in the am hours. If you only see a few ﬁsh drop the baits, they will come to that activity if there are numbers of ﬁsh in the area.
Trolling is still a very strong technique, with pulling Mini Mack’s on mono or lead core, depending on the depth you are targeting, or pulling the full size rigs over the humps. With plenty of ﬁsh on the shallower humps and points, contour trolling the Mini on mono(17 to 25 lb test)150 feet behind the boat has been a very good pattern, especially for numbers.
If you are targeting deeper ﬁsh, put the Mini on the lead core or the down rigger to get the needed depth. On the deeper humps, 20 to 35 feet, use the full size Capt Mack’s’ 9 bait buck tail rig 120 to 140 feet behind the boat to get the bite. Typical, on those deeper humps, that bite will not be effectively until later in the morning and improves as the day goes on.
The Bass really seemed to respond to the cooling water and they too have rolled into more fall like patterns. Top waters, Flukes, swim baits, and wake baits are all effective. We have schooling ﬁsh to cast at, or you can target pull them up to a bait by casting to humps points and other structures. You can catch some ﬁsh out of the main lake brush, but I think bait may be more of an attractant than the brush. Pull up to a point, or whatever structure you are ﬁshing, and start fan casting. A few cast to thoroughly cover the area, the bite will be quick if is going to happen, then move on. If you see schooling ﬁsh and can get to them they have been quick to take the bait, and even it you don’t get tot them before they sound try the fan casting technique where you saw the surface activity.
There is a huge variety of baits that are effective, so go with the bigger baits in the wind, smaller baits with slick conditions.
We also have a very good spinnerbait/swim bait bait bite on humps and shallow structures. As always, the wind will enhance this bite, and early or late may be the bast times. On the spinnerbaits, the Mini Me’s in the White and Lavender Shad have been productive colors, the 3/4 oz baits seem to best especially in the wind. Use the painted blades on the cloudy day’s nickel with the sun. The Sebile swim baits are very productive right now, if I had to pick a favorite color it would be Green Back Ghost. With the long term forecast indicating quite a bit of cloud cover and rain over the next seven to ten days, these baits and patterns should be strong and even improve. Venturing back into the creeks can also be productive and adding a buzz bait into the mix may be a plus as well.
If you are out and just can’t bring your self to quit ﬁshing at sundown, no worries! Some after hours ﬁshing can be very good, with pretty good numbers of ﬁsh showing top on the dock lights. Lights in the creek backs are probably best, and this can be a good way to catch some of Lanier’s Large Mouth Bass. Swim baits, Jerk baits or a Keitech on a lead head should all get the bite if the ﬁsh are there!
Good Fishing! Capt. Mack