Water Temperature: 82 degrees
Lake Level: Approx. 1064 and Falling
Stripers: Look for the summer downline fishing to continue to be strong until the middle of September. The fishing so far this summer has been excellent. Multiple hook-ups at one time are happening daily. Once the fall weather begins to arrive in late September look for the fishing to be a little more unpredictable. Some days will be very good and some will be difficult. Same as the last two months, the fish are grouped up into very large schools. The downline fishing has been very strong this year. If you have never been striper fishing now is the time to go. It is not going to get any better. The better fishing will continue to be on the south end of the lake mostly in sight of the dam, especially as we get into September. . Do not put out bait until you see some fish on the graph. This time of year good electronics are crucial. Any of the products made by Lowrance are the best on the market in my opinion. For the most part, the fish will be 30 to 40 feet deep over 60 to 100 feet of water. Some of the better fish will be as deep as 100 feet so do not be afraid to fish deep. If using live bait, drop your bait just above the schools of fish. Use a 7ft leader of 15lb Sunline fluorocarbon and a 3/0 Mustad octopus hook. Tie the 15lb leader under a 1 1/2 oz. swivel sinker. The trolling bite has been average so far this summer. If trolling, use the 27lb. lead core. Lead core is a color coated weighted line used to get a lure to a deeper depth. Use a 1 1/2oz. white chipmonk jig tipped with a 6 inch chartreuse trailer or a live herring. Put the jig out 7 to 9 colors and troll at 2.5 to 3 mph. In September you usually have to go 9 colors to get the bait deep enough. This type of set up does require specific rods and reels. Lastly, with the high water temperature remember to get the fish back in the water as soon as possible. The hot surface water holds very little oxygen. Drop the fish head first into the water like a torpedo.
Bass: The larger spotted bass on the lake are on the edges of the deeper structure. Once again, electronics are crucial to finding the brush piles and standing timber. Swimbaits are gaining a strong following on the lake for the big spots. This western trend has finally moved to the east coast. The list of productive swimbaits is long and expensive. Most of these baits are running from twenty to fifty dollars a piece. If you are looking for bigger fish give them a try. Many of these lures are very heavy so be sure to rig up with heavier line and tackle. Seven foot or longer heavy action rods are very common. The most productive technique will continue to be live spottail minnows on a dropshot rig. The dropshot rig consists of a size 2 or 4 light wire mosquito hook rigged 18 to 24 inches above a clip-on type sinker. Use a 7 or 8 ft radius 3/16” mesh net to catch the spottail minnows. The minnows will be on every sandy beach and boat ramp on the lake. Lure the minnows in with cracker crumbs or grits. If you want to use artificials, use the drop shot rig with a 4-inch Zoom watermelon seed meathead worm or similar 4-inch green plastic worm. Small shad colored worms are an excellent choice as well. In late September when the fall fronts begin to arrive be sure to keep the spinnerbaits on the boat. Cast the spinnerbaits to any point with deep water. The Mini-Me spinnerbaits by SOB lures are some of the best on the market. Variations of white spinnerbaits are the primary color to use on Lanier. Some days can be killer for big spots. With the lake levels dropping, expect to catch some fish on top water as well. The bigger baits like Super Spooks (bone color) and Sammy 128s (pearl white color) will pull the fish up out of the deeper brush. Once again, the people who know where the brush piles are located will be the most successful.