One Grand Summer

Thread starter #101
And a note on locations. You'll notice my GPS coordinates are blocked out. That's not because I believe in "holes" but because other people do, so much so that they'll chase numbers without looking at the patterns.

If you want to catch summer striper in Lanier, look for humps and points that come up out of deep water. I set my depth highlight during the summer to be 40ft +/-10ft, because that gets you the bottom edge of the thermocline, typically 27-30 feet, and the real productive parts of the deeper hump, 40-50. That's not to say that you can't catch them deeper, or shallower, but just where your highest chances are.

Even last night with water at 85 degrees I had one chase the spoon all the way to 7 feet and flash away on it. With water that warm they shouldn't be coming that shallow, and yet they are.

If you can find a chain of humps, that's even better. Work the windy side if there is wind, and drift over the hump to the other side. If you can use the wind to push you down the chain that's the best. It will allow you to drop the trolling motor controls and focus on the fishing.

As many fish as I mark, I'm still about 50/50 for seeing the fish that I catch. Meaning that around half of them never showed on the graph when I hooked up. Now, when I'm fighting and they're under the boat I will see the whole school light up the graph so thick that the unit will read them as bottom and change 40FOW to 15, for example, as they stay under. The same happens with big bait clouds that are all over the place right now.

The striper are returning to their summer haunts, so they can be found pretty much anywhere on the lake right now, just look for the structure that I just talked about and scout it out. I don't usually drop on one fish, but if I see 3-5 I'll make a pass on them. Usually there are more around.

I hope these answers help, if you have other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
 

j_seph

Senior Member
Great write up boss man. We do the jig thing on TN river for the cats and I know what ya mean when a big fish takes off unexpectedly. Nothing like a 40-50 pound blue cat loading up the rod while you have it in your hand
 
Thread starter #104
Short report today.
Wxr: Warm, sunny, windy as all get out.
Water: Didn't pay attention to temp.

Managed 3 last night, all for my guest, including one that streaked up to nail it on the drop. That's the first time I've ever seen that. He got a 12, a 4, and a 2. And a heavily corroded Shakespeare combo.

I skunked. Fish seemed more scattered last night than they have been in recent days.
 

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Thread starter #105
7/12/16
Wxr: Sunny, warm, light breeze
Water: 85 in the main channel, visibility high, 10+ feet.

Got out with a friend who has a birthday this week to see what we could do. Checked the more northerly points I've been working the last couple of weeks and couldn't locate the fish we'd been seeing there over the last few trips. Checked some more locations between them and my southern haunts also to no avail.

So we made it back to my favorite humps and that's where we found them. Stacked thick and streaking. They would chase the magnum spoon, often swiping at it and missing, until my buddy put on a 2oz hammered hopkins and that seemed to be the ticket to really turning them on. After he caught this 4-6lber on light gear they really turned on, including some surface activity.

Slow and steady seemed to be the way they wanted it and I ended up with a pair of 6's and a 4 before a thunderhead forced us off the water a little early. We went with quick releases due to the thickness of the schools and the stressed condition they came into the boat, so no pictures were obtained of them. Problems with the USB port I've been using the GoPro on have me with no video to screen cap either. I'll be working on that tonight to see if I can get it resolved.

The one positive of the night is that I found the button on my 859 to reenable the screenshots with waypoints that is turned off by factory default, so I have some really good images of the schools we found. As you can see I'm staying fairly solidly in my highlighted depth range, 40 +/-10, and following them shallower on the off chance they head up there. I will say though that catching them in that shallow depth is more challenging since they don't get as long to look at the bait. When they're up here and you can tell by the speed on the images, I'm running the TM a little faster, or just having come off plane. I'm dropping the bait as soon as I see them and then giving it a good 10 count on the bottom before I start my retrieve. That planes out the spoon and gives them a few more seconds to look at it, which seems to be the key up in the shallow depths. Slower retrieves also seem to work better up here rather than the turn and burn that some guys favor.

Another member asked me why I've been targeting shallower water than his normal 60-70ft+ depths, and the answer is in the screenshots. I'm playing the odds. There may be bigger fish in the deeper water, but they're still more scattered. Up shallower you run into the schooling fish that are a few years old and in the 4-8lb range. Being able to put more of them in the boat, and more readily, means I put points on the board more quickly. It also means my guests have more fun since it's not dropping all night with 1 or 2 fish to show for it. If you have someone who has been wanting to try striper fishing, but doesn't have the patience for downlining or freelining give this a shot and check out the humps with access to deeper water. Scout around and you will run across a school like this eventually. Even downlining this would be a school that would have every rod in the boat going at once, multiple times in a day.

Case in point, I'm taking my wife Friday morning, her previous personal best striper is a 1lber on a crappie minnow if you can believe that (mainly due to a narrow weather window and me not learning this pattern until late last summer) and I'm going to be looking for these schools again with her. Even on the heavy gear that I use, these fish fight hard and make it fun.

I hope you guys are enjoying these posts, and the tally stands at 86.5/1000. I'm nearly 10% of the way there with the best days still ahead of us.
 

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Thread starter #106
Oh, and the button for taking screenshots is after you hit menu twice to get to the full menu, and it's under the far right tab. on my menu it's the only setting under that tab, though I can't remember the name of the feature itself right now. Make sure you have an SD card in there to make getting them out more easy.
 
Thread starter #108
Have you had any luck targeting the deeper waters? Seems to be bigger fish.
That's what I've heard as well. I did scout the deeper waters in all points I looked at last night and couldn't find anything really worth dropping on. I mark fish here and there, but they don't seem to be as thick as they are up shallower. I imagine that will change over the next few weeks. I'm still seeing surface activity, and got glimpses of decently sized striper doing it.
 
That's what I've heard as well. I did scout the deeper waters in all points I looked at last night and couldn't find anything really worth dropping on. I mark fish here and there, but they don't seem to be as thick as they are up shallower. I imagine that will change over the next few weeks. I'm still seeing surface activity, and got glimpses of decently sized striper doing it.
10-4

Has been some bruisers running in the 80-100 ft, most times only a 3-5 on the screen but the masses come out of no where once the spoon drops.
 
Thread starter #110
10-4

Has been some bruisers running in the 80-100 ft, most times only a 3-5 on the screen but the masses come out of no where once the spoon drops.
The guest I have for Thursday works the deep water more often, I'll see if he can't lend some insight to any patterns they have out there.
 
Thread starter #111
I did get out last night, water temps were 91 in the creek backs, 87 in the main channel, and the downdraft from a big storm over the north end of the lake made some 2-3ft rollers as soon as we hit the water, but we ended up with 5 total, 1 for myself right around 4lbs. My guests took the keepers home for a fish fry we're having on Friday.

We did see some schooling going on in the deeper water, but not as much, and not as interested, as those up on the humps.

I'm staying off the water for the rest of the week due to shoulder and elbow pain and will try to pick it back up next week.
 
Thread starter #112
Maybe it's the "back seat"...

Got out last night with my friend who's been helping me with my deep water game in their boat so I don't have all the details.

Water: ?? It was 87 in the main on Tuesday and we've been just as warm so I'm guessing it's pretty close to that.
Clarity: 8ft+
Wxr: Partly to mostly cloudy, winds variable with gust upwards of 10-15.

I thought we were going to get rained out by the way the radar looked on the way home, but I saw we'd get a window so I loaded up and went after the first cell nailed Duluth and headed south. I'm glad I did because the clouds never coalesced behind it like the radar showed they might and we got a full evening in.

My friend focuses on the deeper water, where I'd been chasing the schools up in the shallower parts of the humps and we found them. Not like he saw Wednesday night, but enough to have some success.

On my first drop I had 4 hits with no hookup, telling me they were swatting it again. 3rd drop and I'm on the board with a 5. After release we noticed that it threw up a couple of small threadfins that can plague a trip, because with bait that prevalent and that small it's often hard to get them to look at anything larger, or outside of the bait ball they're working, or so it was in previous years.

We stick to points and humps that touch the main channel and work our way around the south end of the lake and on the more northerly points we did work I got a 10, a 10.5, a 7.5, and a 6.25 to round out the night.

Me being the idiot I am I forgot the chest mount for the GoPro at home so it was a still picture night, when my gracious host could be bothered to take them between phone calls from his office. ::ke:

He managed a couple, including a 10 for himself, before we lost the light and the schools decided it was time to lay low for a while. After marking next to nothing for the last hour we chose to head on to the house ourselves.

So with the 39.25 I got tonight the tally stands at 125.75/1000 for the season. It's not as high as I'd like it to be, but anyone who's done this for an entire season knows that the average quality goes way up as the season drags on with the better fish coming in the later summer. I think this may just be the knowledge I needed, and the quality of fish showing up, to really make a run for the finish line and just in time, too. My shoulders are really starting to feel the constant grind of dropping and burning to try to turn the schools I've seen on.

Thanks for reading, and good luck and be safe out there.
 

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Thread starter #113
I say maybe it's the back seat because I outperformed my host last night, and my guests have outperformed me in mine pretty much all season.

Just realized I forgot to explain the post title.:crazy:
 
Thread starter #114
Trip reports last weekend of July.

Wxr: Hot.
Water Temps: mid 80s to near 90
Visibility: High.

Saturday night I got out with a buddy of mine from Warner Robins. We haven't been able to fish together for a while because our schedules always seemed to conflict.

The stars finally aligned and we were able to get out Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

As you can imagine the traffic Saturday night, both at the ramp and on the water were an order of magnitude greater than they are on the weeknights. We were out from 6 to dark, only slightly later than "normal" and managed to find a few, but the schools just didn't seem to be there.

I got a 9 on the scale that I would have said went 6 if we didn't weigh it. He got a 9 that looked like more, and a 2 that had eyes bigger than its stomach. That's when we lost the light and the bite died off. This seems to be consistent with this bite throughout the season.

Sunday morning we were up for a predawn run and hitting the water just as the sun made the sky go from indigo to orange. We covered every confluence, confluence with hump, and anomaly in the channels we ran from the dam all the way to Brown's Bridge, and a little past. Up north of the bridge we marked a couple schools who would give the spoons chase but never really hit. He did have 2 hits over the course of the day, and for the handful of hours from 7 to 1 that was it. We marked fish, and tons of bait, but they all seemed to have lockjaw and that may have been a product of the boat traffic, especially towards the northern end by the time we got up there, but they didn't really seem to mind Saturday night, nor do they care on weeknights with tubers running and gunning all around me.

So with the one I got this weekend I'm at 134.75, which is far shy of where I thought I'd be. With today being August 1 I'm starting to have doubts whether I'll hit my goal or not, and it won't be for lack of trying.

One other note, just in case the group on the pontoon from Sunday sees this: If you see a fishing boat, obviously fishing, running circles around them until the wake nearly throws them out of the boat doesn't make you a comedian, despite how hard you laugh at us yourself, it makes you a dangerous jerk. When even your guests are asking you to give us space, space we were in when you showed up and decided to do this to try to force us off, which you did because I won't stay in dangerous situations no matter the number of fish I mark, you should probably listen. Especially when they see one of them slip and fall as a result of your idiocy.
 

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jivarie

Senior Member
Had the same problem finding large schools on Sunday. Checked from the CensoredCensoredCensoredCensored up to Flowery. Finally settled on the timber in Six and caught a few dinks. I had a bunch of window shoppers on the spoon in the channel.
 
Thread starter #116
Had the same problem finding large schools on Sunday. Checked from the CensoredCensoredCensoredCensored up to Flowery. Finally settled on the timber in Six and caught a few dinks. I had a bunch of window shoppers on the spoon in the channel.
Well, that's at least consistent. I hate to think I just lost them somewhere I didn't look.

One other thing, the fish have pulled off the shallower aspects of the humps. I have one place, I call it 16 and that's where some of the screenshots from earlier in the thread have come from, and there may be one or two on it here or there, but nothing like the multitudes we would see run around even just a couple weeks ago.
 
Thread starter #117
8/2/16 Evening
Wxr: Partly cloudy, mostly sunny, light winds
Water: Mid 80s after a thunderstorm earlier in the evening; clarity, excellent.

Last night started with a bang. We checked the first spot of several that I like to look at when starting the evening off and found a school right out of the gate.

We had one chase me to the boat, before my guest (which most of you will recognize) hooked up with his first that came unbuttoned after a few minutes on the hook and before we got a look at it.

A few minutes later and he's on again without me so much as getting a bump. After working through the drag setting with him he starts to gain ground and a really nice girl comes into view. Into the net, up for some pics (28 to be exact thanks to the quickfire setting in his iPhone and a slimy finger from yours truly) a quick weight and back she goes to fight another day. We watched her go back down into the trees on the graph so we know she's out there for another day.

This is when the school shuts down, so we head to the other spots to check, letting this one take a break. An hour of searching, dropping on the loose fish further north with nothing to show for it and we decide to head back to the starting point to finish the night. Along the way we see another boat scouting in the same ways we are, so I pull over and ask him if he's hunting striper, because multiple boats can often turn a school on. So he follows us to the spot, where the school seems to have dispersed since we left them. He scouts his area, working the spoon a little differently than what I do and he hooks up with a decent fish to come unbuttoned himself a few seconds later. When the schools get sluggish he'll cast the spoon out and let it flutter down before cranking on it, the sideways motion for him seems to get lethargic fish to turn on. I've done that on the shallow humps when a vertical presentation doesn't give them time to look at it, but I've not done it in the deep water. So I vary my retrieve, as does my guest, casting every so often mixed in with our normal power reel. We get no hookups on that, but I do pick one up right at sunset on the drop, snagged under the jaw because it picked it up on the drop, which is a first for me.

Attached is a shot of the 15 that my friend got, his first striper ever, and some screenshots of the school in the deeper water.

Randy, if you're reading this, it was really nice meeting you, I hope your boy had a good session at football practice, and if you see me out again flag me down and we'll see what damage we can do together.

Thanks for reading, and good luck everyone. With the 5 from last night that takes me to 139.75/1000, far short of where I thought I'd be by this time in the season. But, I have had the honor of putting some good friends on some of the best fish of their lives, including last night, so I'm not at all disappointed with those kinds of results.
 

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Burton

Senior Member
That's a nice fish. Our biggest is probably 14 lbs. I've put the spoon aside for a while, but I'm hoping to try it again in the next two weeks. I've fished with the spoon 7 times this year, and we have landed 56 fish - all on Hartwell. Thanks for posting your technique and experiences. I'm going to try and implement some of the info you've shared on my next trip.
 
Thread starter #119
Evening 8/9/16
Wxr: Warm, partly cloudy, breezy, finished with rain at dark.
Water: 88, slight stain but still good visibility.

Got out last night with a friend from my old job who I've taken before. This week, with the weather, will be taking people who live closer to the lake in case of cancellations. I hate having people spend time in traffic, wasting fuel and their evening, coming all the way up to the house to be stormed out. Rain we'll deal with, but storms are an instant no-go unless it looks like it will clear in time to salvage some fishing.

Anyway, back to last night. We got out around 545 and it was really nice. Not too much boat traffic, I imagine that's due to school starting back Monday here in Gwinnett, with a decent breeze.

We checked one of my favorite spots outside of a south side park and found them loosely scattered with no hits between myself and another friend of mine I ran into on the water, so we decide to head north.

Boy did we find them there. An active school streaking out of the trees and into bait balls, the first time I've seen that live on the graph, and I pick up a quick pair of 6 lbers, one of which came up to about 3 ft, right under the boat, and shot out from the back and nailed my spoon in the last foot of the retrieve and took off. I hate that I don't have more cameras running on board because that would have been an awesome shot.

My buddy calls me, scouting a slightly different area saying he found another school a couple hundred yards away. He'd been hooking up on nearly every drop until we showed up and then it slowed down, at least as far as hookups. We had no shortage of hits but only one more taker, a 4 that got hooked in the eye socket and came loose as I tried to get it in the boat.

That's when the whole lake seemed to go quiet with the schools all stopping their streaking no matter where we looked.

I'll have pics from the GoPro in the near future as well as screen shots of the graph, I just don't have them right now and need to get busy on other tasks. I just wanted to drop the report for you.

For guys looking for fish: look for the deeper edge of humps and points coming out of very deep water. The edges of the main river channel, especially where it joins creek in flows, or the confluence of multiple creeks. If the creek is 110ft, you want to be looking for the walls at the edge, 70-90 ft. There you'll find the bait from 15-60, depending on fish activity, with the striper shooting out of the trees to work it. You'll see the bait form up, the streaks occur, and the bait disperse. Rinse and repeat. A lot of our hits were coming as we brought it through the bait.

I did have 2 actual break offs, one I'm sure was due to a tree at depth, the other because it brought me under the boat and chafed me off on my buddy's line who was snagged in a tree. Ordinarily I'd be able to heavy lift them with the tackle I use, but most of these hits came on the fall so paying attention to your drop, where your line is at, and the weight of the fall is critical. If you sense change, engage the reel and crank. If you hesitate they'll take you under the boat or into the trees. Watch your retrieve if you don't feel it, if the line starts going somewhere you didn't drop it, like ahead of the boat when your drift should have it out of the back, burn it in immediately. If I'd been paying that close attention last night I would have caught my first fish, one that got me on the drop and ran me into the trees by the time I engaged and got any tension on the line. It was a clean break of the line, too, so I know it wasn't a knot failure.

Good luck out there, everyone.
 
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