Capt. Andrew Hammond
Lake Lanier Striper Fishing Report July 10, 2021
Happy belated Independence Day everyone! We are getting into the heat of summer with fairly mild temperatures compared to our previous years. July is consistently the most productive month of the year for putting Stripers in the boat in my opinion. To sum it up, the majority of the striped bass push to the southern reaches of the lake and shrink their zones in the water column making them easier to locate in numbers. The surface temps have been in the lower to mid 80’s. The lake level is at 1069.92’ MSL, 1.08’ below full pool and rising slightly from our recent rain.
For the most part I have now moved to the southern end of the lake and it will remain my fishing grounds throughout the rest of summer. Striper fishing has been great to excellent. The days when the seldom accurate weather-man calls for rain or storms have been huge producers. The Striper bite stays fired up with the cloud cover and falling barometer. We even had them pushing to the surface this week! I always stay very safe when it comes to lightning and heavy rain but if you just have some light pop-ups in the forecast I suggest you take full advantage. There are plenty of parks, marinas, restaurants, etc. to duck for a few minutes for a passing system. Usually it’s a great time to relax and grab a quick sandwich and a cold drink.
A strong pattern to target right now is the main lake pockets, ditches, and creek beds all the way back to about 35’. This bite has been very strong in the AM hours but has been producing all day as well. I have noticed when the sun gets high the fish are really hugging the bottoms and sounding deeper as the day continues. You may not see as thick of schools or any on your sonar like you have been seeing early. In this scenario, I’m only searching for a group of a few fish, especially over timber. Deploy your baits on your marks and if the fish are there the will come out of the timber or off the bottom and reveal themselves. If you don’t see the fish on the graph then it’s time to move on. Don’t spend too much time there if the school is not present.
Live herring on down lines has been the primary tactic. Try staggering them in the water column in the depth you are seeing fish on your sonar. For example, if I’m marking fish at 30’ on average I will put the front 2 lines 45’ and 35’ deep and the rear downlines at 30’ and 25’. The depth that gets the most attention is where you will readjust the depth accordingly. One trick that is usually not utilized by this time of year due to the hot surface temps is the unweighted pitch baits or freelines. I have found this a very strong producer in the mornings before the sun gets high. Often times it will button up more fish than the downlines right in the thick of the school. When I have the boat on spot lock pitch a couple lines out and let the herring swim down to the depth that it wants and get ready to hold on! You can’t beat fighting a Striper on a light freelined spin rod! There have been reports of the trolling bite being productive midday. Capt. Mack’s 4-arm U-rig 100-120’ back pulled over 30’ humps and points have been producing, as well as the mini’s on leadcore. The leadcore bite is coming into play and will get hotter within a couple/few weeks. I will get into leadcore trolling in my next report.
I only have a few open dates left in July and currently booking trips for August. Everyone stay safe this summer and I’m looking forward to going fishing with you or see you out on the pond soon!