Lanier: Level: 4.3 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 80s. Clarity: The water is stained in the backs of the creeks and clear on the main lake.
Spotted Bass: Fair. Tournament angler and guide Ryan Coleman reports, “The spotted bass are roaming around in deep water over the timber and are looking for good water out there. There are some bass holding around the brush, and they are your best bet right now. The roaming fish are very hard to concentrate on and will drive you crazy chasing them. For the bass on the brush—drop shot, drop shot, drop shot. I know a lot of people do not want to hear that, but it is our best technique right now for the tough-to-catch Lanier bass. You are going to have to work on these guys. You may catch a few fish right now early in the day either shallow or out over the brush on top, but for most of the day, you are going to be doodling a drop shot in deep brushpiles for whatever bites you can get. I am getting a few fish on an underspin worked slowly over the brush, but my best thing has been to drop shot a 6-inch SpotSticker Hand-poured worm around the brush until they give up. I am using a cinnamon pepper and cinnamon purple worm for the most part but throwing in a hot tomato once they have seen the other colors for a while will trigger one every now and then. Just using 8-lb. floro line and a No. 4 drop-shot hook with a 18- to 20-inch leader has been pretty standard. If you have a hard time getting them to eat it, try to pitch it away from the boat about 15 to 20 feet and slowly work it back. It helps at times. Look for the same in August. It’s the dog days here in Georgia, and it looks like a hot one. Things should turn around in September, but for now, you just have to grind for them.”
Stripers: Big Fish On Guide Service reports, “Striper fishing is good. Not much has changed this week. I have had a number of questions on summer lake stratification this week, and I thought it warranted a little more explanation. The lake is stratified, and the thermocline is at 25 to 27 feet. Summer lake stratification is the process of a lake separating into three layers: a top warm layer (currently at 86 degrees), a transition layer (approximately 2 feet in depth) and a deep cold water layer (currently in the mid 50 degrees). The transition layer is referred to as the thermocline. Because the striped bass is temperature sensitive and cannot survive in 80-degree water, getting your baits down below the thermocline is critical. You should ensure you are fishing your blueback herring at 30 to 80 feet deep. A lot of you have line counter reels which are a great tools. However, they will be off depending on how full you spool your line. To calibrate your line counter, zero your reel at surface level and drop it down to 30 feet. Use you electronics to verify the actual depth. Repeat this calibration at 50 and 80 feet. You now have a good feel for your line counter accuracy. This may sound trivial, but the difference of 4 or 5 feet can be the difference between getting bit and not getting bit. There are still some fish in pockets on the main lake and creek mouths, but more fish have been showing up over the river and creek channels. The mouths of the creeks from Chestatee Bay to Shoal Creek are all holding fish with Six Mile and Two Mile Creeks attracting the most fishermen.”