Lake Lanier 2008
A bad day fishing is better than a good day working!!
Welcome to the American River Rat web site.
I'm Proud to be an American!!
American River Rat | Lanier 2019 | Lanier 2018 | Lanier 2017 | Lake Lanier 2016 | Lake Lanier 2015 | Lake Lanier 2014 | Lake Lanier 2013 | Lake Lanier 2012 | Lake Lanier 2011 | Lake Lanier 2010 | Lake Lanier 2009 | Lake Lanier 2008 | Spring 2008 | Spring/Fall 2007 | Salmon/Striper 2006 | Salmon/Striper/Sturgeon 2005 | Fishing Trip From HELL | Striper/Salmon 2004 | Baja 2004 | Nephew Dave's Tuna | Old Web Pages | Tribute to a Great Friend | Striper Life Cycle | Contact Me | My Favorite Links
September 30 - You might be wondering why I have not had a post on the site for a few weeks. Well, we are having and have been having a gas shortage since Hurricane IKE. If I looked around I could find a station that had gas so that I could put the boat in the water but, it would be inappropriate for me to be using gas for fishing when people cannot get enough gas to get to work. I have elected not to put gas in the boat until the shortage is over!! I do have enough gas in the boat for one trip and I will use it if I find out the fishing is really picking up but right now with the fishing slow I can wait. At this point, the news is saying about two more weeks until all the stations have gas so maybe another week before I will be getting out.
September 19 - Well, guess I wasn't suppose to go fishing this week. Tuesday I got up, hooked up the boat and went to the launch ramp. Should have stayed home. The wind was blowing so hard the flags were flying straight out. turned around and went home. On Wednesday, I again hooked up the boat, went to the launch ramp only to find out the ramp was closed until 8:30am and then only until 5:00pm Tuesday through Thursday and open 24 hours a day on Friday through Sunday. Again turned around and went home. Today, I hooked up the boat went to the ramp, launched and was fishing by about 7:00am. When I launched I noticed the water temp was 78 degrees, 3 degrees cooler than my last trip. Thought I would spend some time in the North end of the lake just to see if I could mark any fish. Well, I didn't mark much but what I did mark were in the upper 30 feet of water. I hooked and landed 2 Spots about 3 pounds each but no Stripers. I was using a Mann's Stretch 20 in Rainbow Trout and a swim bait from Bass Pro. Both Spots hit the Mann's. I stayed out until about 10:00 and then the wind started to get too strong for me. when I killed the engine, I was moving 1.3 miles an hour to the south. Went home a happy fisherman. I finally got out and enjoyed my morning.
September 5 - Finally had a chance to get out on the lake. Have been stuck here because of wind, rain, low water and had a bad cold. Got to the lake and was pleasantly surprised, the water level was as high as it has been since I moved here. Went south to the narrows and nothing, then to 6 mile and landed two small fish about 5 lbs each. Both fish took a red and white swim bait I got at Bass Pro. I trolled it about 80 feet behind the boat with 2oz of lead. Went almost all the way to the Damn and didn't get anything else. At 6 mile, Shane Watson's guys were there in big numbers. I counted 9 boats and 4 of them had Shane's name on them. Unfortunately, with 9 guide boats in the area, I only saw two other fish caught and they were about the same size as the ones I landed. Water temperature has dropped, 81 degrees. Hope it continues to drop so the fish start moving back into shallower water.
August 17 - Went out this morning but guess I did something wrong. I thought I would go back to Flat Creek and troll real slow while looking for fish on the Screen, when I see fish, I will stop and jig for them. First there were no boats on the water. I only saw 2 other boats. Was I missing something? In addition, I only marked about 8 or 10 fish all morning. It was a beautiful morning on the water but NO Fish again and nothing on the screen. Guess I will have to try something different!!!
August 15 - Went to the lake this morning and wet directly to Chestatee Bay. Marked a lot of fish but they were down about 50 feet. I didn't stop for live bait so I was trolling plugs and just could not get down that deep. Moved to Flat Creek and had the same problem. I did see two fish caught in Flat Creek. One about 5 pounds and the other about 8 pounds. The good news was the water temperature was down to 83.2 degrees. The bad news was the lake is about a foot lower than it was last week and it looks like the ramp I am using will be closing in about a week due to a lack of water.
Got this email form Jack who took his Grand Daughters to the Sacramento River. They are doing better than I am!!!!
Her are the girls with there big one's! They each got 8 to 10 fish each. They had a ball!
August 6 - Didn't post a report on Monday but did go to the lake. Unfortunately, NO FISH. In fact, I must have seen 30 boats and did not see a fish caught. Went back today. Went to Flat Creek, Two Mile, Six Mile and Chestatee Bay. Must have seen 25 boats but again, didn't see a fish caught. At Two Mile, there were 13 boats and nothing to show for all the activity. Flat Creek showed a few fish but they were deep and in the trees, no not flying fish, the trees at the bottom of the lake!!! It would appear that the oxygen content in the water is very low because the surface temperature is well over 86 degrees. If that is the case, the fish are looking for Oxygen and are moving south to deeper, cooler water. Will try to get to the damn on my next trip.
August 2 - I have to tell you a story. As most of you know, I bought a Carolina Skiff after arriving in Georgia. Well On Wednesday, I put the boat in the water, put the truck in the parking lot, went back down to the dock, jumped into the boat, started the motor and started South down the lake. went about 6 miles, stopped, put my lines in the water and fished for about an hour when I felt a little water on my bare foot. looking down, I noticed a little water on the deck. All of a sudden, I panicked. I thought I didn't put the plug in the boat, as we all have done from time to time. But, I could not have because I had been fishing for about an hour and didn't have water in the boat. I leaned over the back seat to see if the drain plug was in and NOT!!!!, no drain plug. Although the drain plug was not in, the only water in the boat was in the sump at the stern, about 2 inches of water in a 6" X 6" sump. I walked around the boat and no change. I rocked the boat and no change. The boat would not take on water. I leaned over and put a plug in the hole and went on fishing. I was told you cannot sink this boat and I guess that is correct. I had the drain plug out for about an hour and a half and no water to speak of in the boat. My wife laughed and laughed when I told her so I thought I would share this with you. PUT the PLUG in before you leave!!! You might not be as lucky as I was and you might have a real problem.
August 1 - Went to an area just below Brown's Bridge and thought I had hit it rich. I got there about 7:00 and there were already 3 boats in the area. A good sign I thought. I marked a few fish but no big schools. I guess the other guys were doing about the same. I marked a good number of fish but not in any concentrations. Fished that area until about 9:00 and at any time there were not less than 7 boats and as many as 12. It must have been a hot area yesterday, "should have been there yesterday", right? Most of the boats were guides and they hung on much longer than I did, because I left about 9:00 took a quick run to Chestatee Bay and nothing there so I came home. I'll bet the fish started hitting right after I left.
July 30 - got into the boat and went down to 6 Mile. Fished the mouth of 6 Mile, then 2 Mile, then the narrows, then the area around the Sail Boat markers, then up to Flat Creek and Balus. All of that for two fish both about 6 -7 pounds. It seems the fish have moved again and I just haven't been able to find them. I am marking some fish but nothing in big numbers and they are there on one pass and gone on the next. Water temperature was 85.1 degrees. Guess I just have to get them next time.
July 28 - Went out this morning and went down to Flat Creek. A place where I have not fish in the past. got down there and marked a few fish but nothing to write home about. Moved up Flat Creek, then back to the mouth and then around the corner across the channel from the Marina just below Browns Bridge. Just could not locate the fish Searched for almost three hours before I packed it in. This was the first time in a few weeks that I didn't get a fish. Guess that is why it is called fishing and not catching!!!
July 25 - Went back to the same area we fished on the 22nd. When I went under Brown's Bridge my finder lit up. There were
fish all over the place. Unfortunately I could not get them to bite. finally after trying for over an hour to get a bite, I moved farther south. finally I landed two small Stripers. About 8:30 a number of boats came into the area but I didn't see anyone land a fish. The only fish I saw was the two I landed. By the way, take a look at the picture to the right and you will see that this fish as well as the other one I landed hit a Mann's Stretch 20 in Rainbow Trout trolled at about 2 miles an hour with 125 feet of line behind the boat. Took off about 10:00 and went home.
July 22 - Today was the day to learn something about the lake. I went out with Dale Sheets (678-316-9073) and Jeff Blair (678-542-4176) of Lanier Big River Outfitters. We put in on 6 Mile but fished an area in 2 Mile and then farther up towards Flat Creek. We got started about 7:00am and were fishing with Blue Back Herring. It didn't take Dale long to find some fish and within the first hour we landed 8 nice Stripers, the largest being about 18lbs. Needless to say, we released each one. When the fish moved, we moved as well. We fished water abut 80 feet deep and were fishing about 40 feet down. We landed another 4 fish and finally about 11:30 we packed it in and went home. Below is a picture of Jeff with two fish, our first double of the morning and a picture of Dale with the 18 pounder. Then, there is yours truly. Want to catch fish like this? Give either Jeff or Dale a call.
July 18 - We back to Chestatee Bay and tried one more time. Landed one fish on a Mann's Stretch 15 but that was it, about 7lbs. I saw a few fish caught by the guides but it seems the fish moved out. Fishing was slow and couldn't find them on the Fish Finder. Next week will go out with Dale Sheets of Lanier Big River Outfitters, 678-316-9073. Being new to the lake, I guess I need some special guideance. Dale had always been successful, so I am sure he will show me some new tricks.
July 16 - Went back out on the lake this morning. Thought I would try trolling Swim Baits. Put on a Rainbow Trout and something I got a Bass Pro, don't know the name but it looks like a Shad with a white body and red head. Got to Chestatee Bay at about 6:40am and started to troll in front of the Island. Didn't go 30 yards and I had one on. It was small but never the less it was a Striper, about 5 pounds. On the next two consecutive passes, I landed a fish. The largest being just under 10 pounds. Then it got slow and the fish seemed to move out of the area. I landed one more fish, about 6 pounds but that was it for the morning. Had about an hour of action and then I couldn't find them any more. It appears that the Swim Baits do real well when trolled. I was trolling at about 2 miles an hour with about 80 feet of braided line and a 5 foot leader. Can't wait for the 20+ pounder to attack one of those lures. As you can see from the time on the pictures, they were only 13 minutes apart and these two took the Bass Pro Bait with a pink 1 ounce Jig Head. Got off the water abut 10:00am.
July 14 - Went out this morning with the confidence that I would get my first Striper. Went 5 miles sown to Chestatee Bay and
started trolling Fish Traps. Make a few passes and had one hit but it didn't stick. Then I got a good hit and it did stick. I landed a nice Striper about 5 pounds. No other action but, it was the start of something big. Can't wait to get back out and get that BIG elusive one. To the right is a picture of the fish in the net. I didn't want to pick him up because I was going to release him and didn't want to take a chance of hurting him or giving him a fungus.
July 10 - Went back out to the Lake this morning for a few hours of fishing. Fished from about 7:00am until about 10:00am. this time, I didn't even get a bite. I pulled plugs and fished them deep, shallow and in the middle of the water column. I could not even mark anything that resembled a fish. Went out of Gainesville Marina and went about 2 miles south. Fished in about 60 to 70 feet of water. Sure wish I could get the first Striper in my new boat!!!
July 7 - Went out on the lake this morning, knowing I was going to get into some Stripers. NOT!!! fished from about 7:00am until about 10:00am and only landed 4 Spotted Bass. Three of them hit a Mann's Stretch 20 and one hit a Yosuri. Seems them like the area about 20 feet from the surface no matter what the depth of the water is. I didn't mark anything on the finder that resembled Stripers so next time I will go to another area. Below are pictures of three of the four Spots.
July 1 - Finally got on the lake this morning. My primary purpose was to test the boat and be sure everything was OK. WRONG! When I put the boat in the water everything was great. I started to motor and it idled for a few seconds and died. I tried to start it again and it would not start. Tried a second time and the battery was dead. I had charged the battery for three hours yesterday but apparently it needed more or I need a new battery. Took one of the battery's from the trolling motor and tried it and it started right away. Warmed the engine and took off for the lake. Once I got on the lake, I put out three Mann's lures, one 15, one 20 and one 12. Started marking a lot of fish but this was the first time I used the finder so who know what I was marking. At one point I found a big school of something and tuned around and went back through them. I was right but the something was Spotted Bass. Landed one about three pounds and threw it back and then landed another about the same size and threw it back. Fished from about 7:30 to abut 10:15 and then called it a day. Only got the two spots. Next time, it will be Striper time!!! Got the battery charging as I am writting this short report and I will be ready to go at the drop of a hat.
Did talk to Jeff Blair of Lanier Big River Outfitters and he was doing great on Blue Backs, fishing about 60 feet down in about 80 feet of water. He has been dong well since I arrived and says the fishing is getting Better and Better!!!!
June 24 - Well folks I picked up my boat yesterday. It is a 19 foot 2006 Carolina Skiff with a 90 hp Mercury 4 Stroke, 80 lb Thrust Minkota with Auto Pilot, Lowrance 135 Finder and a 30 gallon Bait Tank. Now all I have to do is get to Bass Pro to get Life Vests, Throw Cushion, Fire Extingusher, Bumpers and lines. In addition, need to find the right fishing gear in the 100 boxes we have left to unpack. Hopefully will be on the water next week.
June 21 - Got to Gainesville with no problems. Got the house closed and are in the process of moving in. We oly have about 175 boxes left to unpack and we are doing some small things to the house to make it more confortable for us. Will be posting updates on this page and will be posting Fishing Reports as soon as I get out on the lake.