Lanier Bass and Striper Report w/pics

Thread starter #1
I really didn't get out much this week, maybe a couple hours of scouting on Wednesday morning and from dawn till 11am yesterday. The topwater pattern is strong and it's just about back to "all the stripers you can catch" after that last cold front came through. Water temps are back into the mid 70's and the winds are pretty calm in the mornings. The biggest ticket item for us right now is the topwater bite. You need to get on the water early, like right before dawn and start watching the surface around places like points, shallow reef markers and main lake humps. If the bluebacks and fish are there, they'll show themselves within a few minutes. Then it's just a matter of going to the areas of surfacing fish and start casting topwater baits. This year is a little different than last year. For you guys that follow my videos, if you look at this time last year you'll see we were killing them with the bone Vixen but this year is a little different. It seems the fish prefer a more silent bait than the big clunky ball bearing in the vixen. Silent baits or baits with smaller bearings or bb's have worked best for us this year. The bone color or pearl colored topwater baits have been working best for us, the most popular being a Sammy knock-off that I make, a real Sammy or a Spook type bait.
Really, there is a variety of topwater baits that can work right now, the ones I mentioned are some of the ones were having good success on. I am still catching stripers on the Emerald Popper but it's only working in low light conditions right now. The striper I'm holding up in the picture below was caught on the popper yesterday morning.

Once the topwater bite slows around 9am or so (if it's overcast it lasts longer), then it's been junk fishing for suspended fish in the same areas as the topwater action or over brush piles with baits like a chrome rattle trap, a Shadow Rap jerkbait in a blueback herring pattern (thanks for the tip Jocko), flukes, swimbaits and under-spins. We came off the water yesterday at 11am or so and right before we came off the water I could see the fish starting to load up on the brush piles in 20-30 feet of water and the last keeper bass I caught was on a drop shot rig around brush. That got me excited for dropping so I'm headed out later today to do a little more of that.

Basically the game plan for us is to hit them early on the surface, after that dies down hit them suspended over brush and in the same areas of surface activity with the moving baits and after then sun gets up, hit them with the drop shot.

Here's a few pics from yesterday with my friend Mark. Mark wanted to check out a little topwater action from my perspective. We had a good time and it didn't take long for Mark to get his topwater on.
Be safe this weekend and good luck with the fishing!!
 

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That's good stuff, Jim. Thanks for the water temp update. When I got on them two weeks ago today on the top they wanted it violently burned across the top. They'd swirl on it, I'd stop, count to 3 and start burning again and that's when they'd go full bore and really get it.

I was using a clear super spook that day that caught all of the fish compared with the white on my FiL was throwing. Ended up with 7 that day, all around 4-6 lbs. But man were they fun.
 
Thread starter #3
That's good stuff, Jim. Thanks for the water temp update. When I got on them two weeks ago today on the top they wanted it violently burned across the top. They'd swirl on it, I'd stop, count to 3 and start burning again and that's when they'd go full bore and really get it.

I was using a clear super spook that day that caught all of the fish compared with the white on my FiL was throwing. Ended up with 7 that day, all around 4-6 lbs. But man were they fun.
We haven't had to do anything special with the topwater baits lately. We haven't had to go to the "violently burned" level with any baits yet but I know what you're saying. The bluebacks are violently skipping over the top of the water, swimming for their lives from the bass and stripers so I can see how that tactic would cause a little attention. The whole act of the fish chasing down a bait on the surface is violent. Mainly we've just been walking the dog with a normal retrieve or just being close enough to make a good cast in the area they came up within 30 seconds to a minute or so and walking the bait back. The key is the quicker you can get it into the area they came up in the better the change you have of the fish coming back up to hit your bait. Sometimes that window of opportunity is very large and sometimes that window is very small....sometimes they won't come back up at all. In the case of stripers, very early in the morning you can get them just blind casting a point and making a little wake or noise.
 
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Cletus T.

Senior Member
This really helps Jim…….thanks for sharing!

I’m going out early-30 in the morning for a little while and I SOOOOOOOO hope that topwater you are talking about is there! I really want some topwater action. I really NEED some topwater action!!!!
 
We haven't had to do anything special with the topwater baits lately. We haven't had to go to the "violently burned" level with any baits yet but I know what you're saying. The bluebacks are violently skipping over the top of the water, swimming for their lives from the bass and stripers so I can see how that tactic would cause a little attention. The whole act of the fish chasing down a bait on the surface is violent. Mainly we've just been walking the dog with a normal retrieve or just being close enough to make a good cast in the area they came up within 30 seconds to a minute or so and walking the bait back. The key is the quicker you can get it into the area they came up in the better the change you have of the fish coming back up to hit your bait. Sometimes that window of opportunity is very large and sometimes that window is very small....sometimes they won't come back up at all. In the case of stripers, very early in the morning you can get them just blind casting a point and making a little wake or noise.
Yep, we had quite a few blind hits as well. No activity spotted, but burning it across the surface and they'd all light up. It was an amazing day that I needed after a rough week.
 
Thread starter #6
This really helps Jim…….thanks for sharing!

I’m going out early-30 in the morning for a little while and I SOOOOOOOO hope that topwater you are talking about is there! I really want some topwater action. I really NEED some topwater action!!!!
Man Cletus, I hope ya'll load the boat tomorrow. I hope this report helps ya'll some too. I saw that you were looking to go out tomorrow but I'd already booked a trip with my wife or I would have jumped on it and offered to take you. She's looking forward to a little topwater action and promised me she can get out of bed before 6am. We'll see....
If you're on the south end and see a White Ranger Z20 with fishing stickers all over the windshield and a little rat terrier acting all bad and barking on the bow, that will be us.
 

jocko755

Senior Member
Headed out in the morning. Two topwater rods (vixen and gunfish) wish I would have seen this before regarding the vixen - but we'll see. Fish head spin, shakey head worm, and two jerk bait rods all rigged and at the ready. Oh - I also have a magic swimmer tied on. 7 rods isn't too much, right?

Work has been killing me. This is only my second time out in the boat this year! Should be a law or something about being overworked and underpaid!

Nice report as always, glad the shadow rap worked.
 

Worley

Senior Member
Fish

Daggum that ranger looks like a fish catching machine. And obviously it is :bounce: Jim great
Job a catching my friend.
 
Thread starter #9
Headed out in the morning. Two topwater rods (vixen and gunfish) wish I would have seen this before regarding the vixen - but we'll see. Fish head spin, shakey head worm, and two jerk bait rods all rigged and at the ready. Oh - I also have a magic swimmer tied on. 7 rods isn't too much, right?

Work has been killing me. This is only my second time out in the boat this year! Should be a law or something about being overworked and underpaid!

Nice report as always, glad the shadow rap worked.
Thanks Jocko. We've been getting a few big ones on the Shadow Rap. It accounted for our biggest in the tourney last weekend.

Daggum that ranger looks like a fish catching machine. And obviously it is :bounce: Jim great
Job a catching my friend.
Thanks Worley. Let me know if you can get out next week.
 
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