The day started out to be foggy with heavy overcast skies at 7am. No threat of storms until later in the afternoon. Water temperature was 83 degrees which meant our Lead Core baits had to be down near 30′. With the dark clouds above we needed dark swim baits so we put a Sexy Shad 4” split tail trailer on a 1oz bucktail jig. Our other Lead Core bait was a 1oz bucktail jig with a Sexy Shad paddle tail swim bait. Having launched at Vanns Tavern that put us unexpectedly over fish. We moved further into Two Mile Creek so our baits would pass over them at the right depth. That worked quite well and it was Fish On. Mark brought in a 24” Striper.
What I didn’t say is that I was testing a third Lead Core rig mounted to the back seat post.
That being said we normally slow the boat to put less stress on the Striper as well as whomever reels in the catch, that leaves the other person to bring in the other Lead Core so it doesn’t get caught in a tree. And that being said I had to bring not one but two lines at 270′ out and quickly because I had to get the net for Mark’s fish when it got close enough to net. Ouch – what a workout. My right cranking arm was burning. Thank goodness I brought the “belly buckets” too. After pictures we released the Striper back into the deep using the Seaqualizer. At that point I told Mark the 3rd Lead Core passed the test and let’s wait until we had a third person in the boat before using it again. Seeing that the Sexy Shad split tail got hit we decided to change the paddle tail out for the split tail on the other Lead Core. We move out of the Vanns Tavern area and headed out toward B Buoy. After about 30 minutes we had another Striper on. This one was 25 ¼”.
Since starting this morning the sky remained gray with dark upper clouds. At 10am the sun started to peak through the clouds just as a lower secondary cloud layer moved in to block the sun. If that didn’t happen we were going to change out our bait colors to chartreuse. Then the lower secondary clouds passed as the sun was blocked again by the upper clouds. Every time we broke out the lighter colors the sun got blocked so we just stayed with the same color baits we started with. Suddenly the wind picked up like it was going to storm so we left catching only the two.
We launched at Aqualand so that the return to the ramp wouldn’t be crazy with all of the other boaters trying to get in and out. You do have to pay a small fee to launch there unless you are a member. Arriving a little late at the ramp around 7:15 it looked like every parking spot was taken. Nonetheless we set out for the Flowery Branch creek channel as it flowed out to the main river. We were pulling Lead Core and followed the contour lines shadowing the deeper water. Being Sunday morning the boat traffic was very minimal. Having no luck here we decided to head toward back of the creek. We passed a couple of other Striper fisherman, waving and shouting out our luck. After passing one of them who was anchored under the second set of power lines we got hit and the fight was on. When I passed the rod to Dave somehow the bail opened and put way too much slack in the line. Thinking that the Striper got off because there was no resistance Dave started reeling in the line so that we could get it back out at the proper color. After a few cranks he realized that the fish was still on and apparently swimming towards us until it turned and shook his head and it was FISH ON. I slowed the boat to decrease the pressure put on the Striper and Dave as he began to reel. I started reeling in the other Lead Core so it would not get hung as we were bringing in the other line. Watching Dave being toyed by the Striper was exciting even for me. The Striper was getting closer and closer so I grabbed the net and extended the handle out full so that the Striper wouldn’t dart under the boat when he surfaced. When I lifted the Striper into the boat it looked like a really big Striper because its girth was very large. As it turned out it was only 29” but was a nice fish. After a couple of photos we released the Striper back into the lake on the Seaqualizer which made me feel good about knowing that he would a better chance at survival. We did not see him surface so we continued moving as far back into the creek as we could before we had to reel in our Lead Cores since their depth was 27’ and we were in 30’ of water with trees all around. We switched to an Umbrella Rig at this time keeping it only 60 feet behind the boat achieving a depth of 13’ in the shallower water. We did get hung up a few times and of course as we were trying to retrieve the rig we saw beaucoup Stripers all around. I immediately put the trolling motor down and we pulled out the Ben Parker spoon in hopes of dropping into the mix of Stripers and power reeling from the bottom but we could not get on them fast enough as they left the area as quickly as they came. We decided to get out in the river channel by LM18 and try our luck using Lead Core again. We motored out to the mouth of Flowery Branch only to discover that the waves were becoming like a “washing machine”. We still tried to fish the area and made at least one pull from the island. We did get a couple of hits but no takers which means that the Stripers were probably too small to eat the presentation of a 1oz Bucktail jig with a 4” trailer. We decided to call it a good day with only one Striper but keeping that memory of the fish-got-off-oh no-it didn’t and the head shake with its capture at the boat. When we got back to the ramp it was relatively easy to get the boat out as I had planned.
With a dark overcast sky we started where I left off last week in Saddle Dike 2 with Lead Core lines out 9 colors using 1oz yellow blue with a 4” sexy shad split tail swim bait on and a 1oz white bucktail jig with a 4” blue white paddle tail on the other. No luck but I was confident that we would catch something with this smaller presentation. We left there and went to the mouth of Young Deer Creek to run the 75’ contour towards Six Mile Creek where I had several hits last week but the presentation we used was too big for the smaller Stripers. Still no luck. Finally we headed to Flowery Branch and brought out a 3rd Lead Core running the same setup as the other two rods. We started at the point in Flowery in 115’ of water with our spread and after we passed the H Bouy a striper took the sexy shad. Jim reeled and reeled until the fish came close enough to net. We took a couple of photos then released the Striper torpedo style.
At this point the lake was like a washing machine with so many boats. Time to leave and finish out the rest of the day somewhere else.
Go Team Lanier!
I’m All Excited About Striper Fishing!
We launched from East Bank and started pulling lead right away. I put out one blue yellow 2oz bucktail with a white blue paddle tail 8 colors out and a white 2oz bucktail with a pink u-tail trailer 9 colors out. No luck in Shoal Creek from the Saddle Dike to SC8. We headed west across the lake to Young Deer Creek. Upon our arrival we found a flotilla of Striper boats in the mouth of Young Deer. I counted 15 boats. We had to stop when we saw the Stripers suspended at 80’ and dropped the Ben Parker with no success. We headed further into Young Deer and got our first Striper on the yellow blue jig but it got off trying to net him. At that point I changed out the white pink bucktail with another yellow blue bucktail with a blue white paddle tail since this is the one that got hit. Shortly after we managed to get a 28” Striper into the boat for pictures.
We managed to get one Lead Core stuck in a tree and lost the leader trying to get it free. At this point we were down to one Lead Core setup. We headed for Six Mile Creek and were getting short bites probably because the Stripers could eat the large sized 2oz bucktail with the trailer. I saw my sister Lynn sitting in the mouth of Six Mile Creek so we went over to say hey and introduce Richard and Marty. She gave us 20’ of 20lb fluorocarbon line so we could get another Lead Core setup in the water. It was getting difficult to maintain a steady course with all of the boaters in the main channel so we decided to call it a day. After pulling Richard out of the water and getting his boat road ready I headed back to my car when my sister called and asked if I can help her get her boat out of the water at Charleston Park which was on the other side of the lake.
After getting a Striper in on her own Downlining where we pulled up to her earlier.
Lynn decided to pull some Lead Core with a bucktail jig and a Ben Parker spoon. Mighty brave. She picked me up at East Bank park. We headed for Cocktail Cove hoping some Stripers got caught in the shallows in the back herded by the party boats. While we did see some Stripers corraled they didn’t want any Blueback Herring in the 82 degree surface temps. We left and headed to the Saddle Dike pulling lead starting at SC1. No luck all the way in. Turned left at the back to run along the back about 50’ out when we started seeing Stripers and got one Striper 26 3/4″.
We drilled that bank for a couple of hours getting hits but nothing to show for it. We pulled all the way back to East Bank park. Saw a few more just before the No Wake buoys but no takers on Bluebacks. I ended up fishing on two boats catching Stripers on each.
These Atlanta Falcons were some big guys.
Wednesday May 31st I had lunch at the Falcons training camp in Flowery Branch and watched some practice scrimmages. I met several players and some Wounded Warriors that I was taking Striper fishing the next day. The launch was from Holiday Marina and we were fishing from 5pm to 8pm. I was sitting on my boat in a marina slip waiting for whomever was going Striper fishing with me as boat number 22. Meet Eric Saubert, Tight End.
and Chris Odom, Defensive Tackle.
I hadn’t realized until later that evening at the cookout just how big these guys really were
and of course later in the photos. While we weren’t successful catching a Striper in the short three hour window and fishing on the south end of the lake while the Stripers were mid lake, they still had a good time on the water waving to other boaters and listening to some good Striper music, and it turned out to be
“A THREE HOUR TOUR“.
It was Royal’s first time formally Striper fishing today as he has caught Stripers before while Crappie fishing. We were going to launch at Clark’s Bridge this morning but the ramp was closed due to a sculling regata taking place later today. My strategy today was upset by this and had to decide where to fish. We ended up launching nearby at Laurel Park and headed downstream to Little river. When we arrived the surface temperature was 84.9 and too hot for Blueback Herring to be fished without getting them down at least 20′ below the surface. We put our spread out of basically everything weighted to get the baits down quickly. We put out two Planer Boards weighted with two #7 split shots four feet from the hook. We also put out two weighted Flatlines with the same two weights. We put one out the back at 50 feet and the other at 80 feet. And of course four Downlines with 1 3/4oz pencil weights. We moved in close to a reef marker and both Flatlines got hit almost at the same time. One fish got off and the other went into the trees and had to break off the line. We got those two back in the water then got another hit. This time we got it into the boat. I handed the rod to Royal and began shouting out instructions. Sorry Royal. I know you have caught big fish before but hey, it was your first Striper. As we were removing the hook the other Flatline started screaming off drag. We left the Striped on the floor of the boat. This time it was a big catfish. Royal picked up the Striper and then the Catfish for a picture when the Catfish starting spewing pee all over Royal. Bummer dude.
Since we were in the mouth of Little River it was a busy in and out for all boats we decided to move to another area to fish. We went to the Pond Dam just north of the Chattahoochee Country Club and starting seeing some big fish on the sonar. We baited up just using two Flatlines and followed our trail coming in. The sky started to darken and we could see the rain pounding down around Gainesville Creek. Should we stay or should we go. We stayed for a little bit and the Flatline started ripping off line. I grabbed the rod and brought in a huge Largemouth Bass. Royal called it a Grand Slam – one Striper, one Catfish and one Largemouth Bass. With the impending weather getting nearer and nearer we decided to call it a day and head back to the ramp. I think Royal enjoyed himself today catching his first Striper.
Today the Lanier Striper Club tournament was held with lines in at 6:30am and weigh in at 2pm. My baby sister now ranks up there with most men having the many years of experience with trailering a 22′ boat, the ability to maneuver up to a courtesy dock and the keenness to be able to locate stripers on her own. She deserves the respect that most boat captains get. Lynn put us in a cove at Lake Lanier Islands at 7am and it was Fish On. We came up on this screen.
We had triples and doubles bringing in seven stripers with the two biggest at 28” and 27 ½” thus removing the pressure of not zeroing in the tournament.
We left that area and went to another cove nearby. We did get in a nice catfish. We ran low on bait so I called Dillon at Oakwood Bait and Tackle to ask if he could meet us at the Old Federal boat ramp with three dozen Blueback Herring. With only an hour and a half left to the weigh in we needed the best chance to get a bigger kicker or a Spotted Bass to add to our creel. We headed up to the Port Royal area in front of the houseboat wall. It was an unbelievable washing machine as jet skis, cabin cruisers and other boats were in the channel coming from all directions. We tried Downlining in the turbulence and were successful getting one more striper in the boat but he was aquarium size. The day’s total was 8 stripers and 1 catfish. We headed to the weigh in at Pelican Pete’s. Lynn came in 5th in the tournament with a total of 55 ½ ” with the 2 biggest stripers. Kudos to the Diva!!