While showing Brett Blouin and Marty Miller some of the techniques I use for catching stripers, it may have been a bit overwhelming for them with the multitude of rods and various techniques that I use. We started with just 2 planers, 2 down lines and 2 free lines fishing right off the Balus Creek ramp into the bay. Water temp was 48.1°. After marking a multitude fish and no takers we headed to the back of Flat Creek after an hour and a half. When we got to the blue dock we were marking fish again. The water was a little more stained but the water temperature was 50.5. We went a little further back into Flat to the narrow finger just to the left of the creek itself and hooked up with a 24 1/4″ striper in 30′ of water on a planer board herring brought in by Marty, his 1st lake striper. We then went into Flat Creek itself finding 55.3° and lots of activity on the sonar. At one point we had a double on my new rocket launchers but were unable to boat them. We eyed a 100′ length of water that was 10′ deep half way in the creek by the last 2 docks on the left. We then anchored at a turnaround area just beyond and staged our rods with bait on just 4 planers and 2 diagonal bobbers. We were to clip them to the line as I took us off of anchor and moved forward. Well experience would have been prudent but instead there was a calamity of lines getting snagged on the blowdown roots on just one side and we ended up with only 1 planer going through the hot spot section. I guess I was too greedy with my apprentices. Sorry guys.
We left Flat and went to pull umbrella rigs at the merge of Balus and Flat creeks moving towards the ramp. On the way I was discussing the URig rules with them. On our first pass we got hung in a tree. We centered around the line as it went straight down, wrapped the 100 lb braid around a cleat and pulled it off the tree successfully. On our second pass we hooked up with a fish but they did not follow my strictness about having slack in the line. Marty passed the pole to Brett and the fish got off. Hopefully a lesson they will always remember the next time they use an umbrella rig.
The North Georgia Walleye Association made their 3rd attempt to make the Seed Lake trip to Lakemont Georgia. In 2015 the lake was over full pool causing ramp access to be under water. Two weeks ago there was 4 inches of snow in Tiger Georgia stopping our 2nd attempt to fish the lake. We finally made it yesterday. Four boats set out at 24° with no wind and a beautiful mountain day on the water. Fishing was hard but several boats caught something. Several Chain Pickerel, Bass and Yellow Perch were taken but no Walleye. We are looking forward to the Walleye post spawn coming this spring in late March. Walleye is one of those intriguing fish that there are few anglers and a limited amount of information for their pursuit. While Chris Manes was the ring leader he kept standards high with his association with Team Lanier bringing the networking and sharing of information to all participants. We marked fish for most of the day but were unable to identify the species to present any bait properly. Many large arches were seen on sonar and down imaging yet again we were not successful. We threw everything at them including Bluebacks, Night Crawlers, mini urigs, crickets, minnows, power bait, including several artificials but all that was caught were on crank baits. Later in the day the wind picked up so we deployed our wind sock to slow our presentation down a little. We all are looking forward to our late spring trip.
Charlie asked if he could tag along with Team Lanier to learn some new techniques about striper fishing. Turns out that we learned a great deal from him. While sometimes we are all too serious about just catching stripers we missed the fun catching other fish. A fish is a fish Charlie said. While others caught stripers today we had a blast catching spots and large mouth bass while getting down and dancing in the boat. See the video.
Thank you, Charlie. I hope you will come with us again.
After a 5 lb spot gets one of our last Gizzard Shad, and a nice striper gets caught in Charlotte’s web (see the video), we managed to catch a black throated Loon that ate one of our Bluebacks and a Gizzard Shad before getting tangled in a third downline. We were over a 120 ft bottom, fishing an elongated bait ball 80 ft down. The spot must have knocked the shad off the hook while trying to eat it and got hooked in the process. After the striper was boated in 20 mph wind gusts it took us a while to undo all of the tangled lines after spinning round and round trying to net the fish in the wind. Later on our third attempt to downline over the channel in front of the Port Royale no wake buoys is when the Loon action began. One downline started screaming off the reel like a striper on. When we realized the fish got off, another downline began ripping off line, then a third rod bent over the gunnel. This time we were able to see what was causing all of the commotion after it broke the surface. It was the black throated Loon. (see the video) Reeling like crazy and moving the boat towards the Loon, we cut the line after the 4 oz weight which would give the loon a better chance at survival. We saw him dive with a Blueback stuck to his back. Later we saw him surface again with nothing clinging to him. He and his mate dove down again. We called it a day after that.
After some networking for information about the whereabouts of some fish that might be in this high water, debris ridden, 58° lake, it was suggested to try the mouth of Flat Creek. It was a blustery cold and windy day reaching only 48° by midday. After putting out everything like Downlines, Directional Bobbers, Freelines and Transom lines using medium Gizzard Shad and large Bluebacks, we managed to boat a nice spotted bass weighing 4 1/2 pounds.
Watch the video
On the last day of 2015 with most of the lake ramps closed and the lake full of debris due to the recent overwhelming rains, Team Lanier decided not to launch a boat but to go Crappie fishing on the docks of Gainesville Marina. Determined and almost having to walk on water, Duggan and Dale maneuvered across the sunken walkway to make their way to the various slips on Dock 9. The results were three Crappie. Earlier we decided to fish Dock 4 because the walkway wasn’t underwater. I dropped a minnow into two slips opposite each other laying the rods on the platform then while dropping in the third rod in an adjacent slip each of the first two rods suddenly started moving towards the water at the same time. Apparently a large spot or a striper grabbed one of the minnows and swam by the other line hooking the other rod. I was able to grab the other rod before it too went into the water. After wrestling the hooked fish with 4 pound line, it snapped and I ended up losing a spinning combo. I never liked that combo anyway. The catch on Dock 4 was a small striper and two Crappie caught by Jim Duggan.
Thanks to Woodie Malone, Derrick Danner, Jim Duggan and Don Finfrock who didn’t leave me stranded when my boat was in the shop.
Go TEAM LANIER!!