Level: 6.3 feet low. Temps: 84-90 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Fair. The dog days are here, said guide and tournament pro Ryan Coleman. “Fish are moving deeper now and off the man-made brushpiles. Some fish are cruising in between the brushpiles, which are usually in 25 feet of water, and the natural timber, which is now in 35 feet,” Ryan said. “The fish up the lake are holding on brush and docks. You can still catch fish ‘shallow’ up lake or in the Chestatee, but the fish below Browns Bridge have gone deep. Try using a drop-shot rig with a five-inch SpotSticker hand-poured worm in SS Magic or Melon Murder around the edges of the timber. Also, natural ledges and ditches are starting to hold some good fish. You may catch a big fish off the man-made brush, but most will be smaller fish. We had a huge threadfin hatch a month or so ago, and there are tons of 1/2-inch threadfin all over the south end of the lake.” Ryan said the bass are feeding on these small shad, and there is so much bait that it makes it hard to get the bass to hit. “They are all very fat right now and usually will spit up tons of these little shad when you catch them,” he said. “The topwater bite has all but died for now except for a few spurts of action during the morning. As August rolls along, start working a jig or YUM Gonzo grub along the edges of the timber during the heat of the day for the bigger fish. It’s a slow bite, but it may be your best bet for the good fish during August if things do not cool off.”
Largemouths: Fair. The dropping lake level and high water temps is really hurting the largemouth bite, said tournament angler Billy Boothe. “The big clouds of threadfins are just starting to show up on the surface up the rivers, and it’s causing a decent topwater bite first thing in the morning. Start off early throwing a white 1/4-oz. buzzbait right on the bank where the channels swing in. When that bite starts to fade, back out over the channel and throw a Mann’s 15 Plus in a shad pattern to pick off the suspended fish. Work the crankbait with a stop-and-go retrive. After that get out the finesse gear and make multiple casts to the same areas, with a six-inch junebug Mann’s finesse worm on 10-lb. test with a 1/8-oz. slip sinker. Work the worm with short hops. If you’re after big fish flip laydowns all day with a watermelon candy Reaction Innovations sweet beaver. These fish are up shallow feeding on three- to four-inch bluegills and are pretty aggressive. The bites per hour are few and far between, but it’s your best bet for a fish over five pounds.
Stripers: Good. Usually trolling umbrella rigs or single bucktails on lead-core lines would be the summer report for Lanier, but lately downlines have producing better for some anglers. Use your electronics to pinpoint depths in the middle of creeks on the south end of the lake, looking for baitfish and potential stripers below the bait. Most downlining action last week was in the 36 to 54 feet depth over a bottom ranging from 55 to 80 feet deep. Try trolling white bucktail jigs with chartreuse curly-tail trailers over the same types of areas.