From Captain Mack Farr
Last week I stated “lake
conditions had been pretty
stable” which has not been
the case this past week.
With the remnants of
Hurricane Delta creating a
big rain dump in the Lanier
watershed, we saw the lake
level rise over 3 feet in less
than 48 hours! We are
currently 1073.30, 2.30 feet
over full pool. That is up
2.50 feet from last week.
Fyi, the Corps is planning
to pull the lake down to
1069 by the end of
November to complete a
maintenance project on the dam. That means they will have to be releasing a lot of water to
reach that number, which could be a big plus to fishing! Check the generation schedule to use
this circumstance to your advantage.
The lake temperature is still right at 72 degrees, that’s
been pretty constant for almost 4 weeks now. That will likely fall as the weather forecast
indicates some cooler temps, lows into the 40’s for the weekend!
The Striper bite has been ok. The fish are scattered, vertically and horizontally, with a wide
range of applicable techniques and methods. Overall, I think the down line bite is still the best overall pattern, with many fish being taken in 30 to 50 feet over a 35 to 90 foot bottom.
may orient to the areas adjacent to the river channel or back up in the creeks. Flats, points and
humps near the channels are likely areas to look for fish. You do not have to see a ton of fish to
warrant dropping a bait, a few fish will often turn into a bunch once you start dropping the baits.
Blue backs have been the baits of choice, with a few anglers reporting taking some fish down
lining small Gizzard Shad. If you get them really piled up under the bait, try dropping a spoon to
them, a Flex-it or Super Spoon, or Jig n Shad will be effective if the fish are grouped up Densely
Casting top waters or swim baits to points and humps will account for a few fish, the key here is
to move fast and cover plenty of water, it’s very much a numbers game. This pattern varies in
intensity from day to day, and can be very weather influenced. This bite is also often good in the
middle of the day or into the afternoon, so don’t give up on this technique after the first part of
the day. As a general guideline, keep your boat positioned in 30 feet and cast to the point or top
of the high spot, expecting the bite to occur over a 15 to 25 foot bottom.
These parameters may
change on any given day so watch the sonar to see where the greatest activity is, take note of
what depth the boat is positioned in, and where the fish was on the strike. Sometimes you’ll be
able to establish a pattern that will increase your efficiency.
The Bomber bite has been somewhat slow to ramp up, not sure why that is, perhaps as the
water cools that will become stronger. While there have been a few anglers taking some fish
casting Bombers and Jerk baits to the points and saddles, the dock lights are probably a more
productive pattern. Small buck tails, jerk baits, Keitech’s on the lead head, or live baits on the
pitch rod are all likely choices for the lights. Lights in a variety of depths in the creek backs or
towards the main lake may produce.
While the schooling fish are sporadic at best, they may show up so be prepared when they do.
Many anglers have reported being in some nice schools of fish that were really hard to catch?
Often at this point in the year they will key on very small baits and it your bait does not match
the size of what they are feeding on they will often totally ignore your offering. Small buck tails
or Flies under a casting bubble, 1/2 Flex -its or Jig N Shads, and the 95 Sebiles will give you
some options that are size appropriate.
Down sizing your line will be a plus allowing you to fish
these smaller baits effectively and increasing casting distance.
The bass bite has been pretty good, with many applicable baits and patterns. Top waters have
been producing well, the type of bait varies with the weather, but the small Chug Bug and the
Magic Swimmers have been consistent producers. The fish are locking in to smaller baits so the
smaller Sebiles, 110 and 95’s may also be good choices to “match the hatch”, as is the 1/2 Flex
it or Nichols Mojo Spoon.
Another good pattern is to fish small secondary points with a Weedless Wonder with either a
finesse worm, trick worm or Senko, The fish may be anywhere from 10 to 20 feet deep, in cover
of roaming around a clean bottom. While you are soaking the worm, watch for schooling fish to
show up. If there is bait around chances are the fish will push the bait to the top so have a bait
ready to cast.
Tim Hawkins from Hammonds recommends casting the 72 Duo Spybait to the
schoolers. It is small enough to match up with the small Shad but weighs in at 1/2 oz., allowing
that little bit of extra distance on the cast to reach the fish that like to appear about 10 feet
further than you can cast.
Casting subsurface baits over the brush is also a good tactic, a lightly weighted fluke and the
Keitech 3.3 or 3.8 inch baits on a 1/4 head are very good choices for this pattern. After you have
throughly worked the brush with the moving baits, cast a drop shot to the brush to get a couple
of add on bites. Rig the drop shot with your favorite finesse worm or the Roboworm Alive Shad!