Lanier: Level: 5.4 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 80s. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Guide and tournament pro Ryan Coleman reports, “Fishing has been pretty good lately. The topwater bite is not as strong as it has been, but there are still some schools of fish pulled up on brush that will come up. I have had my best success on poppers like a Chug Bug or large Pop-R, but they will still come up on walking baits either early in the morning or when there is some wind blowing. Some of the fish are schooling up on top, but for the most part I am bringing them up over the man-made brushpiles. As they go down, we have been doing very well on a albino SpotSticker Underspin pulled right over the brush and around the edges. I am just rigging it with a Super Fluke Jr., which allows it to get down deeper than a paddle tail. As the fish settle down, a 6-inch SpotSticker hand-poured drop-shot worm nose-hooked with a 3/8-oz. drop-shot weight is deadly right now. I am just using either an earthworm, hot tomato or cinnamon-purple colored worm around the brush or when I see the fish on my Lowrance. The cinnamon-purple worm has been my go-to color on Lanier for three years now and continues to produce. As we get into August, the drop shot and jig bite will be kings. Look for the topwater to slow even more, and the bottom baits to be your go-to techniques.”
Stripers: Big Fish On Guide Service reports, “Striper fishing is good. Blueback herring on downrods continues to be the most productive technique. Use your Lowrance HDS units to search for fish, and once you see them, drop downrods to them. We rig our downrods with 2-oz. egg weights with a 6- to 8-foot leader of 12-lb. test fluorocarbon. Vary your downrod depth from 30 feet to just above the trees or just off the bottom depending on the trees. It is not unusual to get a bite at deeper depths than where you are marking fish. If you are seeing fish come up off the bottom and look at your bait and then go back down, try moving your bait as you see then coming up. Sometimes a little movement in the bait is enough to trigger a strike. The critical factor in summertime live-bait fishing is lively bait. Never check a bait and then drop it back down. If it is time to check the bait, it is time to change it. The act of bringing the herring up through warm water is enough to stress it out and degrade its performance. Power reeling a Capt. Mack’s 2-oz. Chipmunk tipped with herring will get you some extra bites, as will working the Ben Parker spoons. Trolling umbrella rigs or lead-core trolling is also working. Set the umbrella rigs 120 to 140 feet back, and troll at a speed of 2.8 to 3.4 mph. Set the lead-core line at 7 to 8 colors and a speed of 2.8 to 3.5 mph. You need to be looking below Browns Bridge, from two-thirds of the way out of the creeks to the main river channel. The fish will and can be way back in the ditches and drains early in the day before they move out toward the main river channel as the day goes on. Every cove, pocket or finger on the lake has a ditch or drain that flows into the submerged creek channels, and then the creek channels flow to the river channel. All these are ‘highways’ the fish use to travel around looking for food. As we move into August, things should remain the same.” Guide Clay Cunningham reports, “The striper fishing has been great on Lanier. July and August tend to be some of the best months of the year, and this year has been no exception. The water temperature is in the low 80s, and the fish are deep. The only difference this year is the fish are biting better higher up in the water column. We are not catching as many fish super deep. The bulk of the bites have been 30 to 40 feet deep and seldom past 50 feet, even if over 100 feet of water. In August, look for the downline bite to continue to be strong. Stay with the Shakespeare Striper Rods spooled with 15-lb. Trilene Big Game line the Captain Mack swivel sinker, a 6-foot section of Trilene 100 percent Fluorocarbon and a 1/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. Add a live herring to the hook, and you are good to go. It is a very simple and effective setup that can be used year-round on Lanier. The trolling bite should also become stronger in August. Lead core tends to be best on Lanier for trolling. Tie up one rod with a Ben Parker spoon and one with a 1- to 2-oz. white Spro Prime bucktail. Tip the Spro bucktail with a 6-inch Capt. Mack chartreuse trailer. Let the first couple bites tell you which one is hot. It can vary from day to day. Also keep white Capt. Mack trailers, pink trailers and all size bucktails on hand. Variables will dictate which is best that day—barometer, wind, cloud cover and water temperature. Overall, look for August fishing to be as hot as the weather. Be sure to get the fish back in the water as quick as possible. Even a few extra seconds out of the water can be detrimental during the summer. Try to limit pictures.”