Water Temperature: 89 degrees
Lake Level: Approx. 1062.5 and Falling
Stripers: This summer the weather has been extremely hot and the striper fishing has been the same. This has been the best summer for numbers in six or seven years. Look for the summer downline fishing to continue to be strong until the middle of September. Once the fall weather begins to arrive in late September look for the fishing to be a little more unpredictable. For the most part, the days before fronts will be good and the days after fronts will be more difficult. Some of the best fishing days of my life have been in early October and some of my worst have been in early October. I am hoping for a better than normal topwater bite this October for several reasons. Fishing has been better than normal all year due to a great year class of fish in the 8 to 10lb range, which is also the size to most likely to school on top. Also, we have had a hotter than normal summer so maybe fall will come early. Same as the last two months, the fish are grouped up into very large schools. The better fishing will continue to be on the south end of the lake mostly in sight of the dam. Do not put out bait until you see some fish on the graph. This time of year good electronics are crucial. Any of the Lowrance products are a great. Be sure to turn off the Fish I.D. on your graph. 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. If using live bait, drop your bait just above the schools of fish. Use a 7ft leader of 15lb Sunline fluorocarbon and a 2/0 Mustad octopus hook. Tie the 15lb leader under a 2 oz. swivel sinker. If trolling, use the 27lb. lead core. Overall, the trolling bite has been fair so far this year. Lead core is a color coated weighted line used to get a lure to a deeper depth. Use a 2oz. white chipmonk jig tipped with a 6 inch chartreuse trailer or a live herring. Tipping the jigs with live herring has been the best day in and day out. Pulling white swimbaits and 600 Series Cisco Kids have been producing some bigger fish as well. Put the jig out 8 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. 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. If the fish is out of the water for more than 30 seconds it will most likely die.
Bass: Not much good to report on the spotted bass. From what I have been hearing the hot days have been making the spotted bass a little slower than normal for this time of year. The larger spotted bass on the lake are heading to the edges of the deeper structure. Once again, electronics are crucial to finding the brush piles and standing timber. The most productive technique will be to use 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. The spottail minnows can sometimes be purchased at the tackle store but most of the time you will have to catch them yourself. 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 Aaron’s magic Roboworm or similar 4-inch green plastic worm. Do not overlook a .6 white foil Flex-it spoon for these spots on the deeper brush this time of year. Just be careful and try to drop the spoon to the edges of the brush. You can also replace the factory treble hook with a light wire treble so you can straighten out the hooks when you snag the brush. In late September when the fall fronts begin to arrive be sure to keep the spinnerbaits and jerkbaits in the boat. Cast the spinnerbaits to any point with deep water. Variations of white spinnerbaits are the standby on Lanier due to the clear water. Some days can be killer for big spots. With the lake levels dropping, expect to catch some fish on top water as well. The reason being the brush will be closer to the surface. The bigger baits like Super Spooks (nickel color) and Sammy 128s (salty chrome color) will pull the fish up out of the deeper brush. For some reason, nickel has been the better color this year overall. Once again, the people who know where the deep brush is located will be the most successful.