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  • Writer's pictureCapt. Andrew Hammond

August 1, 2023 Lake Lanier Striper Fishing Report

I have to apologize, I missed last month's fishing report. It has been a super busy summer which is a great problem to have! It means the fish have been chewing and cooperating. We have been seeing some studs being caught on a daily basis this summer and this pattern should continue. Summer is certainly my favorite time of year to target Stripers!

Lake Lanier is at 1068.98’ MSL which is 2.02’ below full pool. Surface temps are pushing 88 degrees. The full moon is on August 1st so we should be and have been seeing great midday fishing. I still recommend the morning full day trips simply to beat the heat, beat the pleasure boat traffic, and beat any potential afternoon pop-ups. On the full day (6 hours) typically if you don’t get em’ out of the gates strong you’ll end up whacking them later on. There is no beach season diets for these fish, they have to eat!

Striper fishing has been off the charts. I predict this trend will continue throughout the hot months. The summertime pattern has been very consistent. Downlines 30’ to the bottom and freeline pitch baits while anchored with live blueback herring has been the primary pattern. We are almost always working a spoon or Captain Mack’s Super Spin bucktail jig while we have the live baits deployed. Work these artificials by power reeling them back to the boat. Power reeling is dropping your bait vertically down past the fish and/or all the way to clean bottom, then burning it back up reeling it as fast as you can. This triggers a reaction strike and can also attract the attention to your bait spread. A good tip on power reeling, stripers can swim faster than you can ever crank that lure. Don’t give them time to think. It’s a reaction bite. If you have a high gear ratio reel that’s what you want to use or purchase one. If not, crank that thing like you are angry at it! If you get worn out take turns with the other anglers on the boat. It’s a lot of fun when you get bit on these. I like to use 1.5-2 oz. Captain Mack’s bucktails tipped with a soft plastic paddle tail or a blueback herring. For the spoon, a 6.5” herring or white pattern seems to do the trick depending on the daylight conditions. Trolling has been a big player right now and will continue to produce this summer if you choose to do so. I haven’t been trolling…yet. Y’all that know me know it’s not my favorite, but it sure does catch em’. For the leadcore 8-10 colors out with a 1-1.5 oz Captain Mack’s bucktail tipped with a soft plastic or herring has been the sweet spot. Also, Captain Mack’s full 9 bait U-rigs 160’ out.

Lastly, this time of year is the most stressful time for a cold-water saltwater fish to thrive in a hot-water freshwater lake. Their mortality rate is very high if you do not take special care in releasing the Stripers. I have been seeing a lot of floaters out there. During the summer months a few extra steps and an extra minute or two will greatly increase the “let go n’ grow” process. One method is using a Seaqualizer. It’s a very simple tool similar to small boga grips. It’s clamps on the fish's mouth and with another rod you lower it down to the release depth you set. The grips open automatically when your set depth is reached getting the fish down to the cool oxygenated water. The second and what I use more often is a vent tool parlayed with my 50-gallon livewell. I keep my bait tank on average 55-65 degrees by adding ice through the day. Also, I diffuse pure O2 into it. After the fish is caught, I put them in what I call the recovery tank for a few minutes. It’s just like a football player in September taking the bench with an AC fan and oxygen mask to get their wind back. Then I fizz their air bladder with the vent tool. After that process they are good to go and get back down to that cool water quickly. I recently found a little time during and after a trip to video this process. I will put this video out this week so you can see how it’s done. If all else fails, and your fish is belly up, by all means please don’t waste the resource. This goes for all critters we love to hunt and fish for. Throw it on ice, take it home and have a taco Tuesday. If you don’t care to eat them, everyone knows a neighbor or folks back at the ramp that would love to take one home for dinner. More than anything, it’s really discouraging to see any of our resources go to waste like that. Ya’ll enjoy the summer and this great bite! Hope to see you out on the water soon.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Andrew Hammond


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