Water Temperature: 74 degrees and falling
Lake Level: Approx. 1054 and Falling
The lake continues to struggle. We are still behind last year on the lake level. I have been amazed that there has not been any talk that the lake could become lower than last year and reach a new record low. Last year at this time it was around 1059. On a more positive note, the lack of boat traffic on the lake makes it feel like we have went back twenty years on the lake.
Stripers: The fall topwater pattern for the stripers has started earlier than normal. With the changes in weather, some days have been excellent and some days have been tough. The cool nights have dropped the surface temperature down into the low 70s which is perfect for the topwater bite. The most consistent topwater baits every year are the chrome and blue 7” Redfin by Cotton Cordell and the Houston Bleeding Shad Super Spook by Heddon. Do not hesitate to try any other brand of topwater bait. Finding one that the fish have not seen very much will sometimes increase your bites. A personal favorite the last few years has been the Vixen made by Reaction Innovations. Later in the month when stripers are a little more finicky, try a smaller presentation with lighter line. Try a 1/4oz. white bucktail jig or white lumaflex Georgia jig tipped with a white fluke. Clear casting bubbles tipped with a 12 lb. fluorocarbon leader and a live herring work as well. The great thing about the clear casting bubble is that you can add water to it to increase the weight. With the increased weight you can cast the live herring a much farther distance. The fish will be very easy to spot. Some of the schools will have fifty to a hundred fish or more. Sometimes the fish will stay up for hours and some days for 5 seconds. A good pair of binoculars is handy this time of year. If you do not want to chase the schooling fish, pull free lines with herring across main lake points on the south end of the lake. Be sure to put the free lines out at least 100 feet behind the boat. A free line is simply a hook and live bait dropped out behind the boat and allowed to run free using the trolling motor to slowly move across the point. The status of the night bite using large Bomber plugs up shallow has been unknown. Very few people are venturing out at night on the lake for the obvious reason.
Bass: October is usually a good month for the bass fishermen. The largest spotted bass I have ever caught out of the lake came in October. A variety of techniques will catch the fish depending on the weather. Some of the better days will be the windy days out on the main lake points. A white or dull gray Mini-Me spinnerbait will work great in these windy conditions. Jerkbaits like the MegaBass Vision 110 will catch their share of fish as well. Be sure to use a jerk-pause-jerk retrieve with the jerkbait. Do not be afraid to get out in the windiest part of the lake. Swimbaits continue to gain popularity as well. The Triple Trout swimbaits continue to sell as fast as they arrive. If the water is calmer, go to the plastics. The dropshot rig will continue to work as it did in September. Look for the fish on the graph and drop it right to them. A good worm to try is a Zoom watermelon meathead or a baitfish meathead. If you do not like the dropshot, be sure to keep a spoon tied on the line. A .6 white foil Flex-it spoon is the standard spoon on Lanier. It is a soft lead spoon that you can bend to change the action. It is fairly cheap and will work on any species of fish in the lake. Most of your bites will be on the fall. This pattern will get stronger as the water temperature drops. Overall, be versatile this time of year and try different things until you hit a good pattern. Be sure to pay attention to the wind. With the changes in weather, the pattern can change quickly. If you want to learn more about the bass fishing on the lake a great guide and teacher is Ryan Coleman of Lanier Spots Guide Service at 770-356-4136. Lastly, be safe with the falling lake levels. The Corps. Of Engineers do a great job marking obstructions but still take care.