Lanier: Level: 4.5 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid to high 80s. Clarity: The water is stained in the backs of the creeks and clear on the main lake.
Spotted Bass: Improving. Guide Ryan Coleman reports, “Fishing has improved a little over the last few weeks, and the lake is showing signs of finally moving into our early fall bite. We are seeing some fish school all over the lake on the lower end and starting to feed up. All we need is a little cooler nights, and things should start to transition. The schooling fish are eating Underspins with fluke-type trailers and topwater baits thrown right in on top of them. You need to be on them fast, and if you get it around them, they will come up and eat. On a better note, the fish that are high tailing it back to the bottom are doing a little better job at eating baits dropped on them. A drop shot, jig or worm rigged on a jig heads is your best bet here. My drop shot is very standard. I use a No. 4 drop-shot hook rigged with a 6-inch Hand Poured worm and a 3/8-oz. drop-shot weight. Fishing from 26 to 35 feet of water and watching your Lowrance electronics is the key. Last month these fish were tough to make bite, but they are a little more willing as of late. For topwater, poppers are always great in the fall. Try a small Chug Bug on calm days and the bigger version on windy days. Just keep it moving, and make them chase it. For walking baits, it is very hard to beat a Vixen on Lake Lanier. It has the perfect size and sound for the fish, and it having three treble hooks is a huge plus for spots anywhere. Look for some of the fish to start to moving out very deep in September. As the water starts to turn over, a good portion of the big fish will start to transition deep to find some ‘good’ water. As the water level continues to drop, that will also help them position out deep for us. They are much easier to catch out there. You just have to stick with it until you find a good school of feeding fish.”
Stripers: Very good. Big Fish On Guide Service reports, “The fishing so far this summer may be one of the best summers we have had in years. All of the primary summer techniques are working. Blueback herring on downrods, jigging with Ben Parker Magnum spoons, and various types of trolling are all working. Your trolling options are u-rigs, lead-core line or with downriggers. While all of these techniques are working, that does not mean they are working everywhere. Lead core is probably the least expensive way to striper fish. Deploy your lead-core line eight to nine colors, and troll at a speed of 3 to 3.5 mph. Remember to speed up to 5 to 6 mph when making turns to avoid getting hung up in the trees. Umbrella rigs can also be trolled at 3 to 3.5 mph at 130 to 150 feet behind the boat. As always, downrod fishing with blueback herring is the primary technique used to catch stripers. We are using a 6- to 8-foot, 12-lb. test fluorocarbon leader connected to 20-lb. test main line with a 2-oz. egg sinker. If you are sitting on fish, you can also jig a Ben Parker Magnum spoon. You can also drop the spoon as deep as the structure will allow and power reel it up as fast as you can. Your Lowrance Structure Scan is a huge help in finding these deep fish, especially those traveling through the submerged timber. You should be able to see your Parker spoon on the broadband sonar. The cone angle is pretty large at the depths we are fishing the spoons. If you aren’t seeing them, try turning up your sensitivity. You will most likely have to lower your sensitivity back down when you start searching or trolling for fish. The fish are showing up in deeper water from Browns Bridge to the dam either on or near the river channel. The mouths of all the south-end creeks are also holding fish. Keep moving until you find the fish, and then hold on. The fish will move even closer to the river channel and dam during September as the good quality water shrinks. This pulling out of the fish happens every year around this time.”