Low fishing remained better than usual throughout the summer.
The higher than normal precipitation has helped keep the water temperature from rising much and the influx of water stirs up oxygen levels, allowing predatory fish to swim above the thermocline during bait hunting.
Surface fishing remained decent all summer.
This should only get better as we move from the heatwave to slightly milder temperatures.
Currently, we have worked on a few models.
The passage of brush on the main lake and in the streams always produces a good number and a good quality of fish.
Make sure your boat is running smoothly and your electronics are tuned.
The more you fish, the better your compilation of new offshore scrub will be.
My # 1 bait last week was casting a Lanier Baits Jerk Minnow, Big Bites Jerk Shad or the larger moat type lures.
Work these lures just below the surface and when you get a hit place the hook strong.
Make sure your main line is braided.
I am using Sunline16 lb Sx1 Hi-Vis Yellow Braid with a 28 inch swivel and leader from Sunline Fluorocarbon.
This line configuration has several advantages.
You can do longer casts and because the braid has almost zero stretch, you can adjust the hook easily.
I also started to become a fan of high visibility colors.
It allows me to see the light bites and it does not affect the fish.
Additionally, keep a SPRO Pop 80 attached in case the fish start to form.
This SPRO shatter plug will throw a mile and pull fish long distances to the surface.
Make sure the feathered treble on the back is in good condition.
Put it out with a new Gamakatsu Feathered treble hook if needed.
Most of our hits on the Popper have been on the back treble as a lot of bass targets the small shads that swim in large schools below the surface.
With your surface or subsurface rods and reels, always keep a Lanier Baits Fruity Worm on a dropshot rig ready to drop on any fish you see on your electronics.
The dropshot has saved the day on several occasions this summer as it will produce stings of inactive fish during those rough days when everything else seems to stop.
New forward scanning sonars like Lowrance Live Site allow you to see schools and even individual fish in the bow of the boat that you have never seen before with conventional systems that only scan directly below the boat. boat or on the sides with Structure Scan.
I haven’t joined the bandwagon yet, but after using it on other people’s boats, I realize that it will be on my rig soon.
We visit more and more coves as the days get shorter and we approach fall.
Daylight hours will drop to around 12 p.m. at the end of September.
I have noticed that the fish seem to understand that shorter days are ahead.
They begin to migrate more in streams even when the water temperatures are still very warm.
You should always keep staples, such as a surface decoy and a drop shot mount.
Other methods will produce as fall approaches.
You can almost pick your favorite method and perform a pattern of docks, brush and steep rocky shores or ledges.
Cast a buzzing bait or SPRO Little John 50 or Little John Â® or RkCrawler in light chartreuse or other natural colors or on board when the water is generally clear.
Try these same lures in brighter colors when the water is much more stained.
You can cut a five inch Big Bites stick, a Yamamoto Senko, or a four inch Lanier Baits Stix to mount it on a Ned Rig.
Or try pop those same thicker soft plastics on a Neko Nail Rig.
These techniques can be lethal on deeper docks in late summer.
Then there is the shallow water edge bite that occurs along the banks, behind streams or water flowing in rivers.
I love going for a run in productive shallow areas around the riverbanks with a buzzing bait.
Right now, you can catch bass, small stripers and panfish off the lighted boat docks starting to gain momentum.
When water temperatures drop in the 1970s, this action will continue to improve as the water cools.
Striper fishing is still very good for anglers who have spent some time on the water recently or for those who have the knowledge to use their electronics to their full potential.
Modern electronics are so advanced that standard factory settings are usually the best.
Things like learning how to adjust color palettes, adjust contrast, sensitivity, and zoom in or out for more information time.
If you’ve been on fish, check your best areas.
Travel, if necessary, to locate schools before setting up live bait lines.
If you can’t see anything, plan to troll or idle while paying close attention to your electronics.
The massive schools of shad that we see on the surface, at dawn and again at dusk, do not move as much as herring.
If you’ve seen shad on the surface and still see large schools of bait, the tracers shouldn’t be too far.
When you find an underwater feeding frenzy on your charts, you can keep trolling and still do well.
Some fishermen will say it is time to set up herring or big minnows on flat or downlines.
Check the mouths of the lower main lake, then back out halfway into the streams.
Fish also use the ditches around the main lake islands and stream channels where they meet deeper water.
Upstream of the lake you might find some shallower stripers, but they will likely need deeper water nearby.
Recently. Keep a 1oz Bucktail SPRO, Lanier Baits Jerk Shad, or maybe your favorite streamer on an 8weight fly rod as we recently saw an awesome school.
If you haven’t been on the fish for a while, start by trolling a Captain Mack’s Umbrella Rig as you search for the huge school of shad and herring that the stripers feed on.
Stripers are almost always tied to schools of baitfish all year round.
The only exception is in the spring when they go through the spawning ritual.
Even if they would share a rural breeding, it does not work on Lake Lanier.
Edge and Crappie: The edges are still shallow where they will eat just about anything a child or adult could offer.
Look around bushes or some of the trees that have fallen in recent years are great places that will hold a variety of fish.
Throw a cricket or worm under a float or small jig.
Crappie bite small crappie jigs worked around deep docks with a submerged brush.
After dark they were easy to catch if you go very light and fish a 4 pound test with a 1/16 or 1/32 Big Bite Baits Triple Tail Crappie jig.
You can email Eric Aldrich at [email protected] with comments or questions.