Fishing on 9-21-2012

Well guys, it looks like I was able to squeeze in another trolling trip this year. An old friend Bruce wanted to do a little u-rig and leadcore trolling so we set out early in the morning for a little bait fishing early with some trolling action once the sun came out. I’d already found fish from a scouting trip earlier in the week so it was just a matter of getting them to the boat.Earlier in the week I found good numbers of fish generally in the 40+ depth with a very distinct line at 38 ft. I could see the line on my graph and the big schools of fast moving stripers did not come above the line. They traveled along the line and were not interested in u-rigs. I didn’t have my trolling gear with me on the scouting trip but planned on having it in the boat for our fishing trip. I noticed the surface temps in the upper 70’s in late afternoon and I think the lake is beginning to turn over. I saw discolored water being released from the dam and lines of bubbles out on the main lake here and there. It looks to me like the thermocline is sinking and soon I think the fish will head north to get outof the unstable water of the south end of the lake.
When Bruce and I hit the water we looked for fish in shallow areas and in the back of pockets and creeks. We searched and dropped bluebacks on single fish near the bottomin 30-50 feet. Nothing more than a pull down or two but the live bait bite was slow in the morning. Once the sun came out I started working the u-rigs over the trees but not takers. Around lunch the fish started moving around and grouping up for the afternoon bite. We tried the u-rigs on the fish again but no takers. Finally I started seeing fish up in the column around 30 feet and knew those fish could be caught on leadcore. First we used the 2 ounce shad head jigs with big shad bodies but we only had 1 taker on the big jigs. I sized down the leadcore on my side of the boat with a little 3/4 ounce Cast Away Troller and almost immediately had a fish on. We quickly switched Bruce’s leadcore jig to the same set up and we boated 5 more within an hour. The size down made all the difference. Once the stripers started moving back down past the 40 ft depth, the bite dropped off and Bruce and I called it a day. We ended up with 6 nice stripers and lost 2 others on the way to the boat. I wished we would have switched to the smaller trollers earlier but we still had a great day of fish on a early fall day. Here’s a couple of videos from the trip. The first is some of the tackle we were using and the second is some of the fishing action.

Trolling Lanier on 9-5-2012

I’ve been winding down my trolling trips and doing a lot of work in the shop lately. I got out yesterday with Levi and Eric. Both guys help me around the shop and it was Eric’s Birthday so we took the afternoon off and hit the lake to see if we could get Eric a nice striper for his birthday. The water temps are starting to drop from all the cloud cover and shorted days. We saw plenty of fish both deep and shallow from 6 mile to the dam. We saw groups of smaller stripers up in shallower 35-40 ft water. We targeted a couple different shallower groups and we were able to get some smaller stripers by running the leadcore at 6-7 colors. We found some bigger fish on the south end and that’s where Eric’s biggest fish came from. It was a typical September pattern for trolling with lots of grouped up fish but not many takers on the leadcore. We didn’t have bait but I’m pretty sure we could have doubled the numbers with bait. It was a nice afternoon for trolling and I saw plenty of striper boats out and about. With a cool front on it’s way giving us cooler nights, I think the water may dip into the 70’s very soon. When that happens, I think we’ll see a little more topwater action both early and late in the day. Right now is a great time to get these Lanier stripers as soon well see the turnover and most of these fish will vanish for a period of time. There are a couple of fishing stories on my blog from fall and early winter that may help with the upcoming striper fishing season. Here’s a few pictures from yesterdays fishing.