Fishing Report for 11-22 and 11-23

I managed to get out with an old friend on Friday, the 22nd. We had no problem locating stripers and we were rigged up with trout and bluebacks on an assortment of downlines, planer boards and a free line. We pulled baits through striper schools all day and had a couple stripers and 3-4 big spotted bass to show for the day. It was that way a week earlier when I had found plenty of fish but getting takers was tough. I had been using some Sunline fluorocarbon for leader material and finally made a trip to Bass Pro for some decent fluorocarbon. I picked up my favorite, Bass Pro XPS in 17lb test. That’s what I’ve used for a few years now and I really trust it for all of my fishing. Once I made the switch, fishing got a lot better. We had margarita’s on Friday night with some old friends and Saturday morning I was feeling rough. I could see that the lake was windy, looking out the living room window at our bay. I still had a dozen trout in the tank and I also had about a dozen blueback I netted off the dock after we got back from dinner. The blueback were only about 2 inches long but I figured they would make a good small bait offering on downlines. Much to my surprise, when I checked the tank right before going out, all the bluebacks had been eaten by a dozen fat trout. I jumped in the boat and told Lisa I was going to the marina to get gas. After I got gas I cruised over to an area that we saw stripers the day before but it was very windy and no stripers were in the area. I drove the boat back to a little cove that was out of the howling NW wind and started marking fish. I saw a few nice fish come to the surface and I thought it might be a good place to fish out of the wind for a couple hours. I went back to the house and convinced Lisa that there was a good chance of getting a couple stripers if she wanted to get out. She agreed and we were off with the dog on an afternoon run with our 12 big fat trout. We ran 2 planer boards and a freeline trout straight out the back 100 feet. We spent the next 2 hours catching fish before we left them biting because we ran out of bait. Out of 12 trout we had landed 8 stripers and 2 catfish. It was a lot of fun on a Saturday afternoon. Here’s a few pictures and a video of our short trip.

Friday 15 November and Saturday 16 November

It was overcast on Saturday morning as I left the dock and headed to the mouth of the creek. It was shortly after 7 am and just as I left the Marina area I saw a small school of bass busting the surface on a point within casting distance. I made about 4 casts with my little bucktail and then moved on without incident. It was good to see some surface activity right away. As I headed for the mouth of the creek I watched pockets and the main channel for surfacing fish. I saw a few inactive loons and gulls in the channel as passes a large bay around mid creek. When I got to the mouth I pulled back to idle and started scanning the area for activity. The wind was swirling from north to northeast and then harder out of the east. To me, the east wind is a buzz kill when it comes to surface activity. There was a good chop building on the water and I wasn’t really feeling it for the area so I decided to head back into the creek and look around. As I got back to mid creek I saw the same birds and loons I had seen earlier working the water intently and I immediately saw some big splashes that were the tell tales sign of striped bass. The loons were going nuts and the gulls were squawking and diving on the surface as the stripers popped up, sometimes jumping completely out of the water chasing the bait. I spent the next hour chasing these fish, throwing artificial after artificial at them to no avail. I finally ran to the Bait Shack and picked up a few trout to try. I put the trout on planer boards and ran through the fish a few times with the trout but I believe the fish were being very bait specific and trout just wasn’t on the menu. I had to go do some work so I headed back to the house with my tail between my legs. The stripers had won this round. Here’s a short video of the surface activity.   On Saturday morning I got a late start. I followed the same course as the day before but I saw no activity at all. The surface temps were down to 59-60 degrees and the wind was light and out of the east again. I looked in the same area where the fish were earlier but there was no fish and no bait to be seen. I thought maybe the fish had moved to deeper water over night so I went into search mode, pulling trout on planer boards and free lines. I was just about to give up when I started marking fast moving stripers over deep water, just off a long flat. I followed the stripers and found that they were cruising up and down the flat feeding on threadfin in 10-20 feet of water. When the fish reached the flat they would stack up and go into feeding mode. They were not feeding on the surface and I could see that the were not coming up. I figured a downlined bait would work fine so I went and got Lisa and we returned to the flat to see if we could catch one. I put out 2 downlines with 6-8 inch trout on them and we started slow trolling the flat. Every time we would go over a group of stripers, one would pick up the trout and run with it but rarely would they take it all the way down. The weather was building and the rain was starting to come down so we knew our time was limited. Finally we got a striper to take a trout and we got hooked up before calling it a day. Here’s a video of Lisa’s fish. 

Early November Fishing Report

Fishing has been hot and cold for us over the past few weeks. We’ve been getting out early in the morning and then again in the evening, but we’ve not been out a lot. I haven’t been on the north end of the lake for some time now but I’m finding a striper or two just inside the mouths of some of our south end creeks. Getting them to bite is the biggest obstacle right now. From what I can tell they are feeding on small stuff but even a small bucktail doesn’t work at times with these fish. The water temps are in the mid to lower 60’s as I write this and fully expect more and more stripers to show up in our south end creeks as the water temps get down in the 50’s. I’ve only used live bait once in the past few months and I’m finding it quite a challenge to catch stripers with any regularity on artificials. Late last week I had big stripers crashing bait all around my boat off and on for over an hour but the only thing I got them to hit was a small bucktail. The big striper smoked my little spinning reel with 6 lb test. The striper tore off with the jig so fast my drag couldn’t keep up with the fish and the line snapped after 100 feet. After that, they wouldn’t hit anything I threw and I threw the kitchen sink at them.

Lisa and I are still catching bass by trolling crankbaits. On Monday evening we caught 6 nice bass trolling in the back of Bald Ridge. We’ve been using deep diving lipped crankbaits that dive down about 20 feet at 2.5 mph and running 75-100 feet behind the boat.

Other than that, right now there’s not much more to report but I will be out this weekend again and I’ll post my progress and another report.


From the November Angler Magazine

Cold nights and hot striper action

Well folks, since the Atlanta Braves didn’t make the World Series again this year, there’s only one thing left for me to do for excitement on these cold late fall evenings. I’ve been looking forward to November for a while now, and I believe this year will be a banner time for striper fishing in the dark. Every November, generally early in November our lake stripers tend to cruise the shorelines just after dark in search a quick shallow meal.  These stripers can be very big and very very aggressive when feeding at night. This year will be just a bit different than past years because we’ve been able to maintain full lake levels and there will be plenty of bait foraging the shore after dark. This has been a great year for spawning baitfish and the numbers are great. I’ve been turning on my dock lights to check the bait situation in our creek and the threadfin shad and blueback herring under the lights after dark are very plentiful. This can create a great night time Bomber Bite on Lake Lanier. Ok, I’m sure you’re asking “what the heck is a night time Bomber Bite”? Well, let me explain just a bit.

 First, I don’t think there would be a late fall Bomber Bite if it wasn’t for our Blueback Herring population on Lanier. The Bluebacks create the catalyst for the Bomber bite. The Bluebacks spend their evenings cruising the shoreline looking for an evening meal of small insects, microscopic aquatic plants and plankton. Most of the time they are cruising the surface or just below the surface and often times they create wake on the water’s surface which is a telltale sign for stripers to come to dinner. With that being said, as a fisherman, I’m always trying to re-create that scenario in order to catch a striper or two. One of the best artificial baits I’ve found that works exceptionally to create that wake is the Long A Bomber. The Bomber and I go back several years and I’ve found a few colors that work for me. I would have to say my favorite color over the years has been the bubblegum color, but several colors have worked for me over the years. The secret sauce to the Bomber bite is to create that wake. That’s what the stripers often react to and if you can find the right areas, a nighttime trip can be an experience that will last a lifetime. As for my advice for finding the right locations, I’ve always fished the same areas the stripers frequent during the days. If the stripers are holding at the mouths of the creeks, that’s where you want to be in the evening. They won’t stray far from their daylight feeding grounds.

If I could make a suggestion for the first timers at running your boat at night in search of the Bomber bite, I would suggest that if you have a GPS with the capabilities to lay down tracks, I would lay down a few tracks during the day in the areas you plan to fish after dark. By doing this, you will be somewhat familiar with the area and if you stay on your tracks, you can be fairly confident you won’t hit any unexpected obstacles with your boat on a dark night. Another way to get used to fishing at night is to fish near lights and docks that are lit up. There are plenty of stripers hanging around lights at night and throwing the Bombers around lights can product a few fish also. Other areas include long points and mud banks as well as some of our main lake humps.

Guys, this should be a banner fall for nighttime fishing because of our high lake levels and the amount of edibles for the Bluebacks along the shoreline. Be patient when fishing at night and remember to work your baits slowly to create that wake. Oh, and if I can make one more suggestion while making that wake with your surface baits; Hold onto your rod very tight because these big stripers will appear from nowhere and if you’re not ready, you’ll be needing to replace a rod and reel. Remember to dress warm and stay safe on these cold fall evenings on the water.