Level: 2.4 feet below full pool. Temps: 68 to 72 degrees. Clarity: The main lake is clear; slight stain in the backs of some creeks.
Spotted Bass: Good, although the odd weather pattern slowed the bass fishing a bit. “Things are starting to get more stable,” said guide and tournament pro Ryan Coleman. “Most of the big fish have moved offshore to the 20- to 28-foot man-made brushpiles. Some of the fish are still in a postspawn mode, and some are starting to feed up on the summer locations,” Ryan said. “Schooling fish are coming up all over the south end early, then fading as the day goes on.” He prefers a Super Spook Jr on calmer days and the big Super Spook on the choppy water. “Fan cast your Spook over the deep points and humps on the main lake, concentrating on 20 to 30 feet of water. After making repeated casts with the Spook, pick up a 3/8-oz. Sworming Hornet Fish Head Spin and slow-roll this bait over the deep points or humps. During the summer, I always have a drop shot or YUM Finesse worm rigged on a 3/16-oz. SpotSticker jighead laying on my deck. Keep a close eye on your Lowrance for schools of fish. Once you see them, drop down on them. This technique is critical for offshore fishing on Lake Lanier.” Ryan said the schooling bite should get better this month. “This is our best schooling month on the lower end. Have a white or Arkansas shiner colored soft jerkbait ready for the schooling fish. Make long casts to these busting fish, and move your bait along pretty fast to keep the fish from getting too good of a look at your offering. Tournament angler Billy Boothe said it was hit or miss with the cooler weather last week and the steady wind, but as the weather stabilizes look for the spot bite to bust wide open. “Most of the fish are relating to long, main-lake points and humps in 15 to 20 feet of water. Right now a 3/8-oz. white Fishhead Spin with a Mann’s Pearl Hard Nose Fluke will draw the most bites, but if you’re after a magnum spot, burn a Lavender Shad Mann’s Tail Dragger or a 100 Series Sammy in Ghost Shad. The brushpile bite is starting to pick up, but most of the fish are running around two pounds. Doodle a Mann’s Finesse Worm in green pumpkin on a 1/8-oz. jighead on the main-lake brush in 15 to 20 feet of water. The bigger spots aren’t hard on the brush just yet and seem to be roaming with the schools of bluebacks, so cover a lot of water.
Largemouth Bass: Good. “For numbers, crank main-river points and channel swings in 10 to 12 feet of water with a Mann’s 15 Plus in chartreuse/white. Then get out the flipping stick and flip main-river docks and lay downs with a Mann’s 1/2-oz. green-pumpkin Stone Jig with a matching twin tail trailer. Focus on the six- to 10-foot range with the jig. Wahoo is your best bet for a big fish, while up the rivers is still best for numbers.” See page 68 for a detailed look at Billy’s patterns for summertime largemouths on Lanier.
Stripers: Good, especially on the south end of the lake and up the Chestatee River, but it’s been hit and miss. The bite up the Chattahoochee has generally slowed. On the right day, there’s a big topwater bite going on right now, especially over main-lake, submerged humps. Throw Redfins, Chug Bugs, or Super Flukes. Also try freelining bluebacks over the humps and also main-lake points while watching for surface activity you can cast to. Once the sun gets up, go to downlines 18- to 23-feet deep, or watch your electronics for indications of where the fish are. A bite on u-rigs has also started, so troll these over the same types of areas.