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!!
We launched at Gainesville Marina today and bee-lined it north to Holly Park. We arrived to find 75 degree surface temps and put out my usual spread of everything which included 2 weighted Planer Boards with 2 large shot weights each 4 feet from the hook and 55 behind the board with Blueback Herring over a 40′ bottom; 1 weighted directional bobber on the right 35′ out; 2 Downlines staggered at 20 and 25 ‘; 2 weighted Freelines 100′ with same large shot weights 85′ and 100′ back; and a herring transom bait right at the surface of the water. My crew today was Hannah and Dave. While I was trying to set up the video camera a striper hit the port Planer Board. It was 26 ¼” and weighed 8 pounds.
He put up a nice fight while Dave went for the net. After weighing, measuring and pictures before we could get the fish back in the water we got another hit. This time on the Freeline. Dave brought this one in while I netted it with the handle extended to 12′. It was 24” and weighed 6 pounds.
Dave decided he wanted the stripers for dinner so we put them on an 8′ rope stringer. Back to setting up the video camera the other Planer Board got hit and it was Hannah’s turn to start reeling and listening to my instructions. Dave netted her striper which was 23 ½” at 5 pounds.
More pictures then the starboard directional bobber started stripping off line. I handed the rod to Dave but whatever it was it got off. I decided to put the video camera away. We opened the boat umbrella creating some nice shade as Hannah and Dave drew close together under it. More boats and jet skiers started showing up so we headed back to the ramp. All in all it was a great time on the water with friends and stripers.
With the summertime bite upon us in May already, my sister Capt Lynn Gregory and I started our striper search in open water near the channel mid lake near Browns Bridge. We only saw a loner or two every now and then. Certainly nothing to drop any baits on. After boating for about three hours with the hordes of cabin cruisers, jet skiis and other pleasure craft we headed far north above River Forks. We finally came up on something worthy of dropping some bait. While sitting over a sixty foot bottom and seeing small bait balls and some arches we put out a combination of Downlines to 30 and 40 feet and Flatlines out 85 to 100 feet weighted of course with two #7 round shot using Blueback Herring as the bait. Just that quick we started getting hit bringing in one 26 ½” striper
and then another on the same Flatline 85′ back that was 24”.
We stayed there a while going back and forth along the bank about 100′ away as other striper boats kept getting closer to us as we were getting a lot of hits. That area soon became a washing machine as more and more waves were crashing over the bow. We decided to take our memories and pictures with us and leave the area to the other boats. After battling the rest of the lake boaters and all the waves heading back to the launch we called it a day. A few high fives with Capt Lynn and we got off the lake before the impending storms that were coming in later in the day.
Six boats picked up 23 officers at 7am this morning at Little Hall park. I took two with me in my boat, John and Adam. We set out toward the Ground Hog looking for schools of Stripers on the Chestatee River side catching only one 18” Striper on a Planer Board using a medium shiner about 30′ from the board. It was Adam’s first Striper catching it to a Red Hot Chili Peppers song Otherside.
We left that area heading towards the Hooch and Adam noticed surfacing fish along the Chattahoochee side of the island that was marked C2 & C4 on the Chestatee side. We set out Planer Boards weighted and unweighted, Freelines weighted and unweighted and a right side directional bobber weighted all using medium shiners and it was Fish On. The next bite was John’s first Striper at 18”.
At one point we had a triple. Stripers and Spotted Bass were hitting all our lines at once. We were boating some fish while others got away.
At one point we caught a big fish but we took too much time to apply more drag until he got in the trees and it was over. We could still feel the fish pulling but could not unsnag him from those trees.
All in all it was a fun time with Adam and John.
4-21-2017 Day One – Launching at Stevens County Park then heading south to some honey holes discovered in past years, we started at the open railroad bridge. We stayed in the channel at 20′ deep and started to deploy our spread of Planer Boards, Directional Bobbers, Transom Bait, Freelines weighted and unweighted and Downlines. Before I could get the first Planer Board in position it was fish on. A chunky Spotted Bass nailed it. We drifted slowly to our target locations and caught several nice fish along the way including a Hybrid Bass.
Just before turning around to head back up Chris had a Striper on.
That day we had a total of 12 fish caught. 5 Spotted Bass, 5 Gar, 1 Hybrid Bass and 1 Striped Bass. Two of the Gar came on a double on Freelines out 75 & 100′ on Blueback Herring.
4-22-2017 Day Two – With no idea where to go we used our knowledge of where to go and what techniques to be used when we are on Lake Lanier. We launched at Green Pond ramp in South Carolina and headed to the Seneca River eventually taking the left fork to Coneross Creek. We started putting out the spread just north of Friendship Bridge. We saw some of our compadres stuck in the mud as they ran aground. After about an hour one of our port Planer Boards with a Blueback Herring got hit by a 15lb Blue Catfish. After that we got another Gar. Not doing so well here we decided to move to the ‘S’ curves in the Seneca River starting at the confluence of Coneross Creek & the Seneca River. By the time we got down there the wind had picked up to gusts of 20 mpg and we could not stay on course. We decided to wrap it up for the day and headed back to the launch.
Pulling out all the stops using a strategy that included a specific fishing plan which consisted of launching at Gainesville Marina to access various fishing locations within reach of my boat. We offered several techniques until we finally hooked up in front of the Chattahoochee Country Club marina just outside the no wake buoys. It was a pretty good fight with the striper trying to swim under the boat. We did get him in for a short visit posing with anglers and measuring for inches before getting released back into the lake. It took about a minute helping him on the side of the boat until he splashed me in the face on his take off under the water. Adios until another day.
Let’s talk a minute about the strategy and fishing plan. The strategy was to deploy a massive spread of different techniques including weighted and unweighted Planer Boards and Flatlines, a transom bait, a couple of Downlines, a long range balloon 150′ from the boat and two directional bobbers. We had a total of 11 rods out with a myriad of bait including a mongo 15” Gizzard Shad on a balloon, dollar bill sized Gizzard Shad, Blueback Herring and medium shiners. The fishing plan was to fish the big water on the way from the marina to the humps at Simpson Creek; then in the channel at the river bends at LM 45 to 47; after that was to head north to points at lake markers 49 & 51; next was Gainesville Creek starting at the power lines on the right all the way to the back; next was on to LM 55 starting at the mouth of the Chattahoochee Country Club. This striper came on the outer Planer Board with the dollar bill sized Gizzard Shad. The weigh in time was closing in on us and we still needed a kicker to go along with our 26” striper so we reduced the spread down to a rainbow Umbrella Rig on the port side and a white trash paddle tail swim bait on a 2oz bucktail jig 7 colors out on Lead Core on the starboard side. There were no takers as we meandered back to the ramp with just enough time to make it to the weigh in. All in all we used 13 rods today. A lot of fun today helping out Team Fish Hunter. The weather was perfect. Water temperature remained at 72.5 degrees.
It was a breezy day on Burton today with a crisp 9 mph wind out of the NW. We all had dreams of catching Lake Trout today but ended up with a myriad of species. 58 fish were caught by 14 anglers in 4 boats using techniques from planer boards to downlining in the mouths of creeks to the dam. Some caught more than others but the group as a whole enjoyed catching Spotted Bass, Largemouth Bass, Chain Pickerel and Yellow Perch.
Baits used today were blueback herring, medium shiners, night crawlers, red wigglers, power bait, 5 oz redi rigs with bluebacks and crank baits, spinner baits and various top water baits to catch 52 Spotted Bass, 2 Largemouth Bass, 2 Chain Pickerel and 2 Yellow Perch. The 14 anglers were Mark, Elaine and George Sun and friend; Dale Burrell, Bob Fields and Dave Saporski; Alex Vasquez, wife and 2 children; and Steve Scott, Mary Madden and Chris Hight.
Most of us ended the day at 2pm and decided to head back home stopping along the way to have some lunch at the Blue Creek BBQ restaurant.
GO TEAM LANIER
See Mark, Elaine and George at the dam
See Dale, Bob and Dave at the dam
While loaded for bear today we went up river from Clark’s Bridge with medium shiners, blueback herring, rainbow trout and medium gizzard shad. We were not able to get up to Lula Bridge being stopped a few miles south by a stump field. Today’s crew was BFF Dale Burrell and fishing buddy Bob. The weather couldn’t have been any better with no wind and sunny, but we didn’t get any bites until midday. Today’s creel was 3 spotted bass, 1 blue catfish about five pounds and a 24” striper.
Watch the video.
Dale and I had a great time sharing past fishing stories with Bob who also shared a few with Dale. Hopefully Bob will call on Dale as his new fishing partner for during the week striper fishing and learn how to catch crappie too.