“The Southern Tackle Box”
More Hot Action in August
This season is going to be one for the books. It’s been a few years since we’ve seen our area lakes at or above full pool. I strain to remember fishing during the summer with the lake levels this high. I try and think back to successful areas and patterns I may have used during the summer months. One thing that I have established is that the fish are harder to find with more water filled acreage to search. So far it’s gone well this year and we’ve been fortunate in finding fish. I’m seeing more and more fish suspending over deep water and the groups of fish are getting larger as the water continues to warm. Trolling for stripers is in full swing on Lake Lanier and finding the fish is the biggest obstacle right now. A lot of fish are moving around and finding fish for any length of time can be another obstacle. I have been finding the majority of my fish scattered across deep water, and suspended from 30 feet to the bottom. I haven’t really targeted a few specific areas but I’ve been doing some driving around to find a good bunch of fish to target.
Stripers are like Nomads on the south end of the lake right now. They move and drift through deeper areas and when the dinner bell rings they seem to appear from everywhere in numbers. Early in the morning I’ve been able to see several stripers deep in the standing timber below the surface. As the sun rises and the day progresses, the stripers are slowly rising from the underwater forest. By midday they are above most of the tree tops and starting to target the massive schools of bait drifting through the top of the thermocline. When these stripers go into a feeding mode, the action under the surface can be pandemonium with frenzied baits running everywhere. That scenario is why single bait deep water trolling works so well. The 3 mph artificial bait looks like a fleeing bait to a striper and there is a quick reaction to that bait. I’ve been using heavier jigs in order to target the deeper fish. For the past 2 weeks we have been using 1.5 ounce and 2 ounce jig heads with big shad bodies on leadcore line and running 8-9 colors or 240 feet to 270 feet behind the boat. I’ve also been using my downrigger with minimal success.
One other tactic I found useful in August is power reeling inactive fish. By August the groups of stripers can become rather large but sometimes getting a big school of striper to eat can be a task. Sometimes you can running your live bait over a school of stripers and never get a sniff. This is a time when I try and make my own luck by power reeling fish into hitting a bait. The term “Power Reeling” by definition means dropping your bait below the school of fish and then swiftly reeling the bait through the school. I like to make frequent stops with my bait while reeling it through and above the school. Sometimes that’s all it takes to coax a striper into hitting a bait. This tactic works with live bait and artificials. I use this tactic with 2 ounce bucktails and a good paddle tail shad body. The weather is hot in August but fishing for stripers couldn’t be better whether you’re using live bait or artificials. If you find a school and loose them on the graph, give the general area a good look, sometimes they leave but they don’t go far. Good luck in August!