June 23, 2023 Lake Lanier Striper Fishing Report
We are just a few days past the Summer Solstice which was the longest day of the year and my favorite time to Striper fish. The bite has been excellent and should get even better as we get into July and August.
Lake Lanier is currently 1069.28’ MSL, 1.72’ below full pool. Surface temp is about 76 degrees in the morning and pushing about 79 midday. This is about 5 to 7 degrees cooler than our surface temps last year due to the late cool fronts and recent rains.
A lot of changes have happened since my last report. We are pretty much full swing into our typical summertime patters. Since the water temp is still a little behind there is fish being caught further north but they are on the move south to their cool deeper water haunts for the summer. I have been starting the mornings off scanning with my sonar in the backs of creek beds, ditches, pockets, ledges, and points. What else is left?? Well, don’t rule out the creek and river channels or humps. Ha! I’ve been catching fish everywhere. My suggestion would be to shrink your area. Work the part of the lake you know best. You don’t need to mark big schools to make the decision to stop and deploy your lines. These fish like to hug the bottom or suspend in timber making them difficult to find sometimes. If you scan an area and mark a few it may indicate there are a lot more fish present. I have a 5-10 minute rule. When I stop to fish, I give it 5-10 minutes. If I don’t see fish on the sonar coming off the bottom or out of the timber, I reel em’ up and move on. I will repeat this process the whole day. Recently, my primary target zone has been 40-60’ bottom on average. I’m still catching fish both shallower and deeper. The dominate pattern is live blueback herring on downlines and should produce through the summer months. Stagger your downlines at different depths and adjust accordingly to the fish you are graphing and where they are biting. I would say a good starting depth is about 30’. You can fish the down lines a couple ways. Slowly trolling them under .5 mph or anchored with your trolling motor on spot-lock. If spot-locked, I like to kick out a freeline pitch bait or two. Try belly hooking the herring to get them kicking hard down and away to keep you lines down and tight away from the boat. On our recent trips with low light and low atmospheric pressure the pitch baits hands down outperformed the downlines. In my opinion they are so much more of a battle on light spin tackle and the way I like to stick em! Lastly, artificials such as spoons, and Captain Mack’s Chipmunk jigs fished in a vertical presentation (power reeling) has been accounting for some good catches and also helps attract the fish to your spread. I try to keep one angler on the bow working a jig or spoon and rotate them out when that arm gets tired. This will help increase your catches throughout the summer.
It has been a very busy Spring and Summer for me and I’m going to keep hammering down on em’ while this summer bite has been producing some great catches! If you are interested in getting a trip in the books, I would suggest trying to work one in the schedule as soon as you can. Or even two! I’ve had quite a few repeat clients within a two-week period taking advantage of the summertime action. So, thank y’all very much for booking with me. I always look forward to the return clients turn friends every season! I have some dates still open in July and August, let’s go catch em’.
-Capt. Andrew Hammond