Water Temp. 84 degrees
Lake Level: Same as last month and the month before and the month before, the lake level continues to be a great concern. The lake level is approximately 1055 and falling. A few more ramps have closed. At this time, the boat ramps at Charleston, War Hill, East Bank, Tidwell, and a few others are open. The fishing really has been some of the best ever this summer with the lack of boat traffic. Spoke to one of the marinas the other day and they said gas sales on the lake were only about 50 percent. The lake is still safe just be sure to use extra caution and stay in the main channel.
Stripers: The striper fishing is on fire. The stripers are in very large schools all over the south end of the lake. Some of these schools have several hundred stripers in them. Some popular areas include Vanns Tavern, Bald Ridge, and Shoal Creek. Be sure to stay in the main channel of these creeks. Most of the fish will be 30 to 50 feet deep over 80 to 100 feet of water. Starting to catch a few fish as deep as 70 feet deep as well. The best tactic to catch these fish is to downline herring straight under the boat. The downline is basically a Carolina rig used in bass fishing. You need a 1/0 or 2/0 Mustad octopus hook tied to a seven or eight foot 15lb. P-line fluorocarbon leader. Tie the leader to a 1 1/2oz. swivel sinker and you are ready to go. During the summer months, herring are the preferred bait to the stripers. It is very crucial to take good care of the herring during the summer months. A good quality bait tank is very important. If you do not have a bait tank trolling is also a good tactic. For trolling you will need a reel with lead core line. Lead core is a fabric type line with a lead center to help it get down to the appropriate depth. The lead line is color-coded and with every color you let out it will get your bucktail jig or lure down approximately four feet. This line does require a fairly large reel like a Penn 320. An Abu Garcia 6500 size reel is not sufficient. With the water temperature being in the mid-eighties be sure to get the stripers back in the water as fast as possible. The hot surface has very little oxygen. Drop the fish head first in the water. This will give the fish the best chance of survival.
Bass: The topwater bite has diminished for the spotted bass except for a few schooling fish early in the morning. With the hot water, the bass have moved to the deeper brush. Once the bass move to the brush, the graph and GPS coordinates are crucial to catching good numbers of fish. Now that the bass have moved to the brush, live bait fishing with spottail minnows has become an excellent tactic especially if you have kids. Rig up a dropshot rig with a small light wire live bait hook on eight-pound P-line flouroclear line. For details on the dropshot rig visit your local tackle shop. They will save you a ton of time and you will catch many more fish. To catch the spottails you will need a cast net. Use a 7 or 8 ft radius 3/16” mesh net to catch the spottail minnows. The minnows will be on every sandy beach on the lake. The boat ramps are usually a good place as well but most of them are dry. Lure the minnows in with cracker crumbs or grits and throw the net. Be sure to practice throwing the net ahead of time in the yard. It is much easier to learn to throw the net at home on dry land. 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. With artificials, bass fishing this time of year can be some of the most challenging bass fishing of the year but with the spottails it is some of the best.