Lanier Spots and Stripes

Thread starter #1

Wheeler2

Senior Member
I haven’t posted in a while so here you go.

How, When and Where: I don’t know about you guys but I really don’t care about looking at pictures of fish that other people caught. I really only want to know the skinny on the methods and thought process behind the catch. In the fishing world this information can be hard to come by. However, I’ve been able to specifically target fish by using tactics learned here on the GON forum by people that were willing to share. So before we get to the meat of it I would like to give a big shout out to Jersey Cat and Ronald Milner for sharing wisdom and insight.

Over the past two weekends we were able to boat around 15 Stripes, 10 Spots, and 1 really nice Largemouth. The majority of the spots were caught during the daytime, all but two of the Strips were caught at night. The Largemouth was caught at night and all were caught on Lanier North of Gainesville Marina. Water visibility was anywhere from 1 to 2 feet and the water temp varied from 45 to 52.

The gear used for bass fishing was 6’6 medium action Veritas with a BPS Tourney Qualifier reel spooled with 12 pound Seaguar FC. The primary lure was a ¼ or 3/8 ounce Strike King Fish Head Spin with a Pear Zoom paddle tail fluke. The lure was a little heavy for that rig but I was too lazy to change over to another rig. For the Stripes I used a 7' Omen with the BPS Tourney Qualifier spooled with 20 pound test Suffix mono. Periodically I would pick up a 7' medium heavy GLoomis spinning rig spooled with 20 pound Power Pro Braid and a 6' floro leader (also 20 pound) tied together with an overhand Uni Knot.

Just FYI, anyone that wants to fish spinning tackle can use the braid to floro or mono leader and fish virtually any lure for any species. Just wanted to throw that in there because I’m over that debate all together. Use the rig you feel confident in and let Bass marketing sell to someone else. I really like the 9 casting rigs that I have but I will not say that they help me catch fish better than my spinning rigs. Just wouldn’t be honest. The 7’ GLoomis will get it done in virtually any situation. Anyway…..

I have really been targeting the spots in the river channel north of Thompson Bridge. The location or focus for my search was the inside and outside channel swings of the river. I started by checking the inside swing and would move to the outside swing trying to find fish. The majority of the fish were caught with a 3/8 ounce fish head spin and a pearl zoom paddle tail fluke. This bite was painfully slow and I didn't get to spend as much time in the channel as I wanted. Due to heavy rains the channel would go from heavy stain to mud. At best I would average a fish every two hours and that was infrequent at best. Navionics was the key to fishing the channel for me. I would spend hours on my Iphone locating structure or cover near the swings that I wanted to target. By the time I actually got on the water I could turn the Lowrance Elite 7 to the DI/2d screen because I already knew the contour I was focused on.

About half of the Stripes were picked up around lighted boat docks and the other half were caught in the very back of creeks with two coming off of a deep water point near the creek. The Striper fishing was slow because I have yet to find a school of them. We would pick up a fish at one location and then move to another location and pick up one more. The most productive spot was a nice flat in the back of a creek that had a deep channel close by. We caught two back to back and I think that might have been the school…..

Out of all of this there was one pattern that emerged with all of the fish that I caught. I picked up a few of both species on a Duo Realis 120 SP jerkbait (black and chrome), but the rest were on the fish head spin with a pearl, zoom paddle tail fluke. The fish head spin is my new go to bait. Any time there is a lull in activity, you can bet I will be throwing the fhs. I have been using the Strike King 3/8 ounce. You can get a two pack at BP for around nine bucks. I really don't think the brand matters. I believe having a blade on the jig gives it just enough vibration (noise) to trigger a strike. One night I skunked my buddy with the fish head spin and he was throwing the same zoom fluke on a 3/8 ounce JWill jig head! What was missing? The little spinner on the bottom of the jig. I would like to think that I was that much better than him but I really believe it was the spinner.

FYI, you can pick up an Abu Garcia Veritas rod at ManVentureOutpost online for $57 to $59 or BP will price match from there. They retail at BP for $99 so that’s a pretty good deal. Also, the BP Tourney Qualifier went on sale for $79. Could be the best $100 reel on the market.

Here are a few pics...
 

Attachments

Great report! This was helpful. I put strike king spins and flukes on my list for tackle warehouse before reading this ironically. I think I'll replace them with the swimming flukes or KVD swim baits
 
Thread starter #4

Wheeler2

Senior Member
I've had a lot of luck with the 5.5 Sexy Shad from Strike King. Never tried it with the fish head spin but I'd bet good money that they would get it done! Only thing I don't like about the Shadalicious Swimbait is that you have to glue them to the jig head. Just a couple of drops of super glue gel will do the trick. Have to keep a couple rigged up in the tackle box. Also, they are a little pricey. However, I've caught Spots, Stripes, LM, and even monster Bream and Crappie with the Sexy Shad. I'll bet the blue back and some of the lighter colors would turn em on as well....
 
A lot of good info and some nice fish Wheeler. Thanks for taking the time to share the knowledge with us.:cheers:
 

Coenen

Senior Member
Great info!

That Largemouth actually looks pretty healthy; usually, even the big ones look like they haven't eaten in a month!
 
Thread starter #7

Wheeler2

Senior Member
Thanks Coenen. The old scale we had weighed the LM at 6 pounds. Out of all of them that was the trophy for me.
 
Excellent write-up Wheeler. Night stripes are like that. The closest I've ever caught one back to back, either in time or distance, was 2 Saturdays ago on that warm night, but they were all 6-8lbers. Tons of fun but not the screamers we were looking for. We went from 1-5 fish in the boat in about 20 minutes and about 100ft of bank.

This past Friday was considerably slower and we only managed 5 in 7 hours with the best one coming right before dark. After that we were in those 6-8s again.

They may be schooling, but the disruption of catching one scatters or turns off those that remain for a while. You can either slow way down and wait for them to regroup, or mosey on to another spot and come back. I prefer waiting since you've already located them once and going to another spot is just more noise and commotion, for no guarantee that you'll find them there.

That LM is awesome.

Congrats.
 

spots

Senior Member
Great report and thank you... Can you give us some info on the depth of water the fish were in?? Can also give us some tips on boat position..... Thanks, Spots...
 

jocko755

Senior Member
I've used the FHS in the day time. I cast into a gut, feed it line so that it sinks all the way to the bottom and then slow roll it back. A nice spot will almost take the rod from your hands.

But how about at night around Dock Lights? How are you fishing it? I would imagine it wouldn't have to be as deep, maybe just deep enough you can't see it? Maybe 4-5 ft on a slow roll?
 
Thread starter #13

Wheeler2

Senior Member
Thanks guys. Like StripRr HunteRR said, you pick up 1 or 2 and then move. Fishing docks is hit or miss just like all ither types of fishing. Some nights you need to fish the bottom, some nights the top or somewhere inbetween. Ive seen schools of Stripes on lights that wouldnt hit a live trout with fresh blood on it. Ive seen schools that I could have caught with a piece of rope with a coke can for a lure. Just got to figure out what works. The fish will also pull off the lights altogether and move to a flat, point, hump,
or ditch. I believe the real key is finding the bait. And if the bait is high in the water column that is probably going to be a good spot. If you mark a couple of good fish, turn any bright lights off, get quiet and plan on staying a while. If you are fishing blind or in the dark you need to keep the boat just far enough out that you cant cast to the bank or your gonna be squirrl fishing all night. If you are fishing docks or lights position the boat so that you can cast past the light and drag the bait through the light. Citation needed (jerseycat). Youve only got about a month or two at the most for good striper fishing at night. Last year i think we were done in mid may.

Most important. If you are not an experienced boater do yourself a favor and stay home. You will live longer!!! Night fishing with water temps in the 40's gives you a low survival rate for a man overboard. I hit a piece of black dock foam recently during a full moon. It was as big as a car hood and i never saw it until i turned around. Ive hit reef markers and buoys and i know north lanier like my living room. Not to mention the idiots that run with their lights off.
 
Thanks guys. Like StripRr HunteRR said, you pick up 1 or 2 and then move. Fishing docks is hit or miss just like all ither types of fishing. Some nights you need to fish the bottom, some nights the top or somewhere inbetween. Ive seen schools of Stripes on lights that wouldnt hit a live trout with fresh blood on it. Ive seen schools that I could have caught with a piece of rope with a coke can for a lure. Just got to figure out what works. The fish will also pull off the lights altogether and move to a flat, point, hump,
or ditch. I believe the real key is finding the bait. And if the bait is high in the water column that is probably going to be a good spot. If you mark a couple of good fish, turn any bright lights off, get quiet and plan on staying a while. If you are fishing blind or in the dark you need to keep the boat just far enough out that you cant cast to the bank or your gonna be squirrl fishing all night. If you are fishing docks or lights position the boat so that you can cast past the light and drag the bait through the light. Citation needed (jerseycat). Youve only got about a month or two at the most for good striper fishing at night. Last year i think we were done in mid may.

Most important. If you are not an experienced boater do yourself a favor and stay home. You will live longer!!! Night fishing with water temps in the 40's gives you a low survival rate for a man overboard. I hit a piece of black dock foam recently during a full moon. It was as big as a car hood and i never saw it until i turned around. Ive hit reef markers and buoys and i know north lanier like my living room. Not to mention the idiots that run with their lights off.
Safety is paramount in winter conditions. I recommend never fishing alone, and leaving a plan with someone. If you don't hear or see me by 1AM send out a missing persons report, for example.

And wheeler is right here, just like any other type of fishing there is no silver bullet for night striper. Sometimes they want it slow and bouncing off the bottom, others they want it "ripping" through the water column. Some nights they want the twitch to pick it up on the fall. Others they want a redfin at sunset.

I don't know about night all the way to May, I stop doing it once the weather gets warm enough in the daytime to start looking for the bigger girls. I like night fishing, but due to the risks I prefer daytime.

The key is to vary what you're doing every few casts and trust the sage advice of a member here:

The best advice on what works comes from the fish's mouth.

Pay attention to what you are doing on every cast, and when you hookup, despite the adrenaline, try to do the same thing on the next cast, and the next. If you don't hookup in a few casts, vary it again but just a little. Otherwise you'll spend all night chasing your own tail.

Oh, and on locations, there is no silver bullet location either, so don't get caught up on coordinates or trying to deduce location from pictures. Pay attention to the areas and look for your own that match and you'll likely produce.
 

Ahab

Senior Member
Great report, this is the type of post which brought many of us here in the first place. Kudos, Wheeler!
 

Bucky T

GONetwork Member
Awesome Catch and a Great Report! I caught a couple of stripes at Lanier that went over 20lbs throwing 1/16th oz bucktail jigs on 6lb test. Ultra Light spinning tackle. Talk about fun!!!!! This was back in the late 90's.

Early March too.
 
Thread starter #17

Wheeler2

Senior Member
I think the lake record was caught on a 6 pound test. Talk about a heart attack. I dont think i can take that kind of anxiety.
 
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