Lake Lanier Fishing Report October 24 2019
For weeks we could not get a drop of rain, hardly a cloud for that matter, now as we end up October and follow a long term forecast into early November, we have a fairly substantial rain chance every day until the 7th. It is actually a good forecast for ﬁshing, so take some time and get on the lake! As I mentioned last week, pre frontal conditions seem to be a big plus for all species. The lake level continues to fall, perhaps at a slower rate, and is currently 4.28 below full at 1066.72 That is down .17 feet from last week and the surface temps are trending down as well to 70 degrees.
Striper ﬁshing is overall good, but they will keep you guessing. With mild water temps the ﬁsh can occupy almost any part of the lake vertically or horizontally. Anglers are reporting good catches on all parts of the lake, and while the average size may be a little smaller up in the rivers, the ﬁsh are showing up there in good numbers. There are several patterns that are producing, both day and night, so here are some options for you.
Fishing over long, main lake points over a 50 to 70 foot bottom has been pretty consistent, especially on the lower end, This same pattern will hold true on the upper end of the lake, although the ﬁsh will be a little shallower than on the lower end. Drains and ditches, or if you go far enough back into the creeks where the channel is 70 to 30 feet is also a good place to search for ﬁsh.
These patterns are mostly a live bait bite because of the depth, but jigging a spoon may also be a good choice. Keep a frequent check on the Herring, in certain areas it is still difﬁcult to keep the Herring alive. Schooling ﬁsh are still a viable technique, but that pattern is very inconsistent. They are fairly catchable if you can get to them, Sebiles, bucktails, and Mini Mack’s are all great options to cast at these surfacing ﬁsh, but in most cases they are up and down pretty quickly. Occasionally you will ﬁnd a school that will stay up long enough for you to make multiple cast, but assume that you’ll only get one shot to get hooked up. If there are no other boats on them, you need to be pretty aggressive and run right up to the school and launch a bait into the frenzy.
Trolling is good and there are a couple of good techniques here as well. Pulling the big umbrellas over humps has been solid, especially later in the day. Target humps that top out between 20 and 35 feet, pull the rigs 100 to 130 feet behind the boat depending on the depth of the hump. Trolling Mini Mack’s over these same areas is also a good approach, pull the Mini’s about 150 feet behind the boat on 25 lb mono, 2.5 mph.
After all of this, don’t quit just because you can’t see? Just put your headlamp on and start casting the Bombers to the usual saddles and points and you should be able to pound out a few more! Target the previously mentioned areas in 2 to 10 feet, main lake areas are generally the best. Dock lights are also starting to hold some decent numbers of ﬁsh, jerk baits, ﬂukes, Keitechs on a lead head, and the Mini Mack’s all good choices to cast to the lights.
Bass ﬁshing has been very good, although they like the Stripers are using the entire lake. We have some of the Bass holding in deeper water, some in shallow water, typical for October. Overall, I think the top waters and swim baits are the most productive baits/patterns. They are effective on a wide variety of structures, humps, points, rock, and brush. You may ﬁnd ﬁsh on main lake brush, or brush that is up in the creek arms.
A good brush pile is a plus for holding ﬁsh, but a good wind blown point or hump may hold ﬁsh even if the bottom is fairly clean. Bigger baits are the norm in the wind, downsizing if the water is slick, If the ﬁsh seem to be reluctant to
taking the moving baits, switching to a Spybait or worm would be a good backup. The worms are effective on the drop shot, shakeys or Texas Rig. Spinnerbaits, jigs, and jerk baits remain effective, especially in the early am, on shallow structures on the main lake or in the creeks. Long points, shallow humps, shallow brush, and shallow docks are all likely targets.
The typical pattern of sending a worm into a brush pile on a hump or point is still producing well. 18 to 30 foot depths are holding good numbers of ﬁsh, and this pattern is hard to beat in terms of consistency. Some favorite worm colors have been Red Kraw, Morning Dawn, Prizm Kraw, and if it is really bright try Sxe Shad, Baby Bluegill or Aarons Pro Shad patterns.
The Roboworm Alive Shads have been a good choice for this pattern. This technique is also producing well in the middle and upper parts of the lake targeting drains and channels in the same depth range. Spoons are a great follow up on this pattern if the ﬁsh are grouped up. I had a couple of inquiries about the Spot Tail Minnows and there effectiveness and availability?
They are still pretty catch-able typically as long as the water stays into the upper 60’s. The biggest difference between catching the Spot Tails now and the summer months is you’ll probably ﬁnd that they tend to stay deeper most of the day, coming up on the sand and ramps mid day when the sun is straight up overhead. The same places and methods will work for catching them, it is just often a smaller window of opportunity. Once you catch them they are still very effective bait, and if you are on some shallow ﬁsh try pulling them on ﬂat lines as well as the drop shot/down line!
Good Fishing! Capt. Mack