Lake Lanier 2011
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
December 14 - Decided to fish in my neighborhood this morning. Put in at Sardis and went toward Gainesville Creek. I stopped at the Cove just before Gainesville Creek but didn't mark much so went into the Creek. Started fishing abut 1/4 mile after the power lines and trolled Bluebacks, Trout and Shad all the way to the 2 foot mark. Then turned around and started back. On the way back I had one hit and landed a VERY SMALL Striper, about 3 or 4 pounds. Then I picked up my lines and went up river to marker 55. There I got 6 or 7 Spots in about 20 minutes. For those of you who are Spot fisherman, that is a hot spot. I trolled the same baits all the way to the Bridge and finally got a good hit on one of the plainer boards that had a Shad on it. I landed a 10 lber (on the right). Got things back in order and started to troll past the bridge and got another Striper, this time about 14 lbs (on the left). That was the end of the Shad and that was the last hit I got. Water Temperature was 54.3 degrees when I started and 55.1 when I left. Water conditions were great, not like the dirty water we had the last time we went to Clarks Bridge.
December 10 - Fished in the Lanier Striper Club tournament today, fished with David and David. Initially thought we were going to fish South but because of my luck yesterday, decided to go back to Clarks Bridge. Put in about 6:45am and started fishing at 7:00am. The conditions were challenging, cold water (51 degrees), MUDDY water (about like chocolate) but no wind. We tried almost everything we could and finally David Duncan saw one of the rods load up, the long line with a Shad and a cork, and set the hook. He landed a 24.5 inch Striper. We had a couple other short strikes but could not even get a Spot to bite. Finally about 1:00pm had to pull up and go to the weigh-in. Most boats got fish but only 2 boats got more than 1 fish. Winning boat had a 70.25 inch total for two fish, not bad for a morning on the pond. Second place had 65.5 inches, Also not bad and the rest of us had between 23 inches and 29 inches. Most of the boats fished the South end of the lake and the hot spots were far south. I believe the winners fished in Bald Ridge.
December 9 - Got up this morning and decided to get out on the lake. Got some Bluebacks and some Trout and went to Balus to launch. Put in about 6:30am, dark, cold (38 degrees) and lots of shallow spots. Went south to Orr Creek and fished the greater Orr Creek area. Landed only one Striper, 18 lbs but just could not find a hot spot. Seems that Trout were more to their liking. Fishing was tough. Finally I decided to call it a day and started back toward Mud Creek. Just happened to see a bunch of fish rising so pulled over and stopped, pulled out a Fluke and immediately had a small Striper on. In the process of landing a 4 lb Striper the other fish left. That was it for the day. Water temperature was 56.6 degrees and the weather was just beautiful.
December 5 - David and I went out this morning. Went up North to try to get out of the wind but really didn't succeed. Fished from about 7:00am until about 1:00pm and only got one Striper and one Spot. Striper was about 9 lbs and was caught late in the day. Water Temperature 52 degrees and as stated, weather windy. Water color was very dirty!
December 4 - I haven't been out but received an email from my old fishing buddies. They fished the Elks River on the west Coast for Salmon. Take a look below.
It was unbelievable! The water was low and CLEAR! You could look down in the hole (10 t0 12 foot) and see 30 to 50 fish holding there. I lost track of how many we hooked and how many we boated but it was a HUGE number. My shoulders and hands are sore as hell but I love it! Most the fish were fresh with sea lice and silver bright. The average was in the high teens with a few in the mid 20's.
Take Care Buddy
November 21 - Went out this morning because I thought the weather would change tomorrow and I would not be able to get out again until after Thanksgiving. Put in at Clarks Bridge and fished the immediate area. The day started our great!! I got to an area I wanted to fish and put out one Flatline with a Blue Back on it. Put a matching Flatline on the other side of the boat. Then I started to get a rod ready to put a Cork on it with a Shad but the right rod loaded up and I had my first fish on the day. I landed a nice 26", 8.5# fish. I finally got all my lines out, 2 Side Plainer's, 2 Downlines, 2 Flatlines and a cork. Fished for about another hour or so and finally got another bite. Landed a small fish about 4#. then there was a long dry spell and finally I found the fish. I landed a 27", 9# Striper and two 29", 11# Stripers and 6 Spots the larges being about 4#. I made a few more passes and finally got one more Striper about 6# and on more Spot. Water Temperature was 69 degrees and all fish were caught in 14 to 20 feet of water. Seemed Herring was the ticket but I did get one on a Gizzard Shad. Finished the day with 6 Stripers and 7 Spots. To the right is a picture of the 26" and 29" Fish.
November 19 - David Duncan and I fished the Oakwood Tournament today and FROZE. It was cold but we had a good time. We fished the North part of the lake and landed two fish, one 10.25" and the other 26.25". Came in forth in the tournament. In addition to what we caught, we also lost 3 fish. David wanted to try those rubber hooks, you know the ones that don't hurt the fish and we succeeded in determining their effectiveness. They work. We not only didn't hurt the fish, we could not get the fish to cooperate with that portion of fishing that is sooo important, "Landing the Fish". We did have a good time, should have showed better but there is always a next time. Water temperature was 56 degrees and the sky was overcast.
November 18 - Went out to brave the cold this morning. When I left the house, it was 28 degrees. Launched at Little Hall but will not do that again. The water level is so low that the water is not on the sloped part of the ramp. It is on a flat. I had to back up until the water was almost to the bottom of the door on my truck. To get the boat off, I had to go backwards and put on the brakes. NOT FUN!!! Upon return, I could only get my boat on the trailer about half way. I tied the boat down, went to the parking lot and rolled forward and applied the brakes hard to get the boat to move up on the trailer. Not safe and not fun!!!!
Fished the area around Latham/Johnson Creek. Water temperature was 59.6 degrees and the water was relatively clear. Got three small Stripers, 4 to 6 pounds and three Spots. Not worth the effort. Had both Blue Backs and Shad but got all 6 fish on Blue Backs. Need to find another place to put the boat in that is convenient for fishing the Chestatee.
November 14 - Back to the lake and fished the same basic area. Water temperature was 58 degrees but the weather had changed. Lots of clouds, little Sun, some light rain and almost no wind. Fished the area below the bridge and fished the shallows with no luck. then moved above the bridge and finally got one fish about 24 inches, 6 pounds plus or minus. That was the action for the day. He was caught on a flat line about 25 feet behind the boat on a Blue Back.
November 12 - Went back to Clarks Bridge this morning with David Duncan. We got there about 6:30am and left at about noon. We used Blue Backs and Trout and only got one Striper, 32" and about 15#. We had Down Lines, Flat Lines, Corks, Plainer Boards and tried every method know to man to use Blue Backs and Trout. We did get one Catfish and one Spot but nothing big. We Landed the fish on the left on a Planer Board using a Blue Back. Outside temperature was about 29 when we got on the water but warmed up during the day, Water Temperature was 57 +/- early and increased to 58 about the time we left.
November 7 - Went out this morning and fished the same area we fished on Saturday. landed two fish, both on flat lined Blue Backs. One was about 15 pounds and the other was about 5 pounds. In addition, I lost one about 5 pounds. Water temperature was 59 degrees when I started and 61 when I got off about 11:30 am. Fished the shallower water, 14 to about 20 feet and marked lots of fish but they were very hard to get to bite. For some reason, they would not take a Trout but they seemed to take a Blue Back OK. Lots of bait on the screen and lots of dead Thread Fins on the top of the water. Looks like they are feeding on smaller baits.
November 5 - David Duncan and I fished today on the North end of the lake. The weather was not conducive to a good fishing day, WINDY!!! We put in at Clarks Bridge and fished the area just below the bridge. We did get two small Stripers but could not hit a nice fish. Water Temperature was 59 degrees and we marked a lot of fish throughout the area. We put out two down lines, 3 plainer boards, two corks and two flat lines. We baited our offering with both Trout and Blue Backs. Fished from about 7:15am until about 11:30.
October 26 - Went out to the Lake this morning and put in at Sardis. By the way, only one Sardis ramp is open, the others are out of the water. Looked for fish or bait at Gainesville Creek but nothing showed. Moved up to Marker 55 and marked a lot of fish down about 30 feet. Stopped, put out one Flat Line at 60 feet back, one Flat Line at 25 feet back and one down line at 25 feet. Had a couple nibbles but did not get anything. Moved up to the area just below the bridge and landed a BIG Gar. Finally I moved to Little River and fished in the area around WC2. Landed another Gar, and two Walleye but could not get a Striper to bite. Finally went back to the area below Thompson Bridge and landed a Spot. It was getting late, about 11:00am so I packed things in and went home. Water temperature was 66 degrees and getting cooler.
October 22 - Fished the Oakwood Striper Club Tournament today think the conditions would be rough. Actually the conditions were great. The weather was warm, little to no wind and water temperature of about 67 degrees. We fished the Chestatee side and started at Latham Creek. We marked a bunch of fish and had two take downs but nothing stuck. We left Latham and went up to the Yellow Boat where we lost one nice fish and landed one 30". Seems most everyone caught fish for a change. It was a great tournament but we just didn't get enough to place. We used both Trout and Blue Backs and it seems the Blue Backs were the ticket. Will be going out next week, that is if the ramps stay open.
September 10 - Fished with David Duncan this morning on the North End of the lake. Started at Gainesville Creek and finished just across from Gainesville Marina after fishing all the way down to marker 40. We landed one small Striper and one small Spot. We did mark lots of fish but they just would not cooperate. Many of them came off the bottom to do some window shopping but did not take the bait. It seemed the fish were concentrated at about 30 feet in any depth of water. Water temp was about 80 degrees and conditions were great, other than the appetite of the fish.
August 29 - Fished North again this morning. Went up to the area across from Holly Park and marked lots of fish but just could not get them to cooperate. Had two hits but neither stuck. It appears the fish are down 30 feet in any depth of water. Today I even marked fish in water that was about 30 feet deep and the fish were on the bottom. At other times, I was is 60 feet of water and the fish were still holding at about 30 feet. I am sure if you are patient you will be successful. Got off the water about 9:45am and went home. Water temp 85.5 degrees.
August 26 - Thought I would try something different today so I put a few plugs and a few jigs in the boat and put in at Sardis. Fished the area above the Gainesville Bridge and much to my surprise, I landed three Stripers and one Spot. the Stripers ranged from 28" to abut 22" and the Spot was about 18". Fish seemed to be concentrated on the sides of the channel and only about 20 to 30 feet deep. I marked a number of fish and the total depth of the water didn't seem to make a difference. I was using three different setups. Two rods had Spreaders with a jig, one 1 ounce and the other 2 ounce plus a plug, one Big Bomber and one Big Rebel. Put out about 100 feet of line and seemed to be in the area the fish were congealed in. The other rod, I had a Manns Stretch 25 with 120 feet of line out. I was trolling at 1.7mph and the water temp was 85.5 degrees.
August 25 - Fished the south end of the lake and had no luck at all. Fished the area around Old Federal then Two Mile, and Six Mile. Marked a lot of fish but just could not get them to bite. The fish seemed to be in the 20 to 40 foot range over a 60+ foot bottom. It was just too hot so I went home.
August 16 - Finally had a chance to get out this morning and I jumped at it!! Went down and got bait then went to Old Federal to launch. Be careful if you try to launch at Old Federal. The ramp is all sanded in and the dock id blocked off by the corp. Looks like soon Old Federal will no longer be in use. Anyway, I went to Orr Creek and just as I slowed down to check for fish, my screen came alive. For the first time in many months I had a screen full of spaghetti. I quickly put two down lines at about 30 feet and started to put down the electric motor when the first rod went off. Within about 20 minutes I landed 3 fish all about 20". then every seemed to die. I move all around Orr Creek and found another pod of fish at Orr 4. There I landed one fish about 8lbs but again it died. Went to Six Mile 6 and there landed one more small fish and thought it was getting too hot so I called it a day. Not bad for the first outing in about a month!!!!
July 29 - Went out this morning hoping to hit it big. Put in about 6:45am at Old Federal and went directly to Van's Tavern. Got one small Striper, about 20 inches, on a downline and then moved to Two Mile. No action at Two Mile so moved to Six Mile. Landed another small Striper on a downline but just wasn't marking a lot of fish. Put out spreaders, went over the hump at 6 mile and got one about 8lbs on the Broken Back Rebel. Trolled for about another 45 minutes then decided to move. Lots of boats in the area but no fish being caught. Moved to Orr Creek but nothing doing there so picked up and went home. It appears that after I left Six Mile some fish moved in and at least for a little there was a decent bite on U-Rigs and/or Lead Core.
July 22 - Received the email below from Jack Bishop, my fishing partner in California. He and a visiting friend from Hawaii went to the Rogue to fish with Donnie and what a trip they had!!!!! Richard had never fished for Salmon before so it was a new experience for him. Fished from a Drift Boat and apparently did exactly what they should have done, CAUGHT FISH. Congratulations Richard!!!!!!!
Richard couldn't hold up 2. His last fish of the trip was 38.15 lbs. What a great trip! He had never caught a Salmon before. I only brought in 1 35.4 and Richard got the rest!
July 16 - Fished the Oakwood Tournament today but really should have stayed home. The weather report said light winds, no rain but some overcast. WRONG, rain, 20+ mph winds, 3 to 4 foot rollers and a sky that looked like it was going to fall at any time. We did manage to get one Striper, about 16 inches and that was it. We got off the lake early and didn't go to the weigh-in. After we left, I understand all hell broke loose. From noon to 2:00 the sun came out the wind stopped and the fish cooperated. Winning team had 65 inches.
July 14 - Went out this morning and tried my best to get one of those trophy Stripers but only got 2 very small Stripers and 2 small Spots. Fished Van's Tavern, 2 Mile, 4 Mile, 6 Mile and Orr Creek. Spotted Fish at Van's Tavern, 2 Mile 10, 2 Mile 9 and Orr Creek Just could not get them to cooperate. Guess it was a prelude for the Saturday Tournament.
July 12 - Went out this morning to try again. Put in at Balus and fished that area for a while with no luck. then moved to flat Creek and fished the area around the main channel, also with no luck. then moved to Van's Tavern and finally in about 60 feet of water with a downline out 25 feet, I landed a nice 12 pounder. Had one other hit but it did not stick so I moved to Two Mile. marked a lot of fish at Two Mile 9 and Two Mile 10 but could not get them to hit. Then moved into Orr Creek and there I also marked a lot of fish and finally got one to take my Herring. A small fish about 5 pounds. It started to get HOT and I thought it was time to go so I went back to Balus and took the boat our of the water and went home.
July 10 - Finally got our on the lake today but didn't do well. Fished with David Duncan and we fished Balis Creek, Van's Tavern, Two Mile, Six Mile and Ore Creek. Sorry to say, we didn't get a bite. Hope I do better next timne.
June 27 - By the way, I have not been updating the site because I have been recuperating from a medical procedure. Will get back on the boat in another week or so.
June 27 - Received these pictures from my nephew Brett. The first one is Brett with the first Striper he caught on Lake Martin, a 13 pounder. The other two are pictures of Bass he and his son Alex caught in a small lake in Peach Tree City.
May 12 - Took Mike Ferrell out this morning. We went back to the same old spot, Latham/Johnson and didn't do bad but could have done better. We landed 3 Stripers and two Spots before moving up the Chestatee. We went all the way up into the river and stopped at the first Danger Sign. Didn't get another fish but had a few bites. Flat lines were the ticket and it seemed the Stripers were liking larger baits. Water temperature was 83 in the Latham/Johnson area but dropped to 78 in the upper stretches of the river. Below are two of the fish we got this morning.
May 9 - This morning I got up early and went down to Oakwood Bait to get some Bluebacks. Came home put the bait in the tank and was off to Bolding Mills. Put the boat in and went down river to Johnson/Latham Creek. Time was about 6:30am and the water temperature was 72.8 degrees. Put out one Cork, two Flatlines, one Plainer Board and one Downline. By 7:15, I had landed two nice Stripes and was looking for more. Just trolled the small outcroppings and humps for the next three hours. When I got the bait I told Bob to give me enough bait to last until 10:30 and I put the last piece of bait on the hook at 10:51, not a bad guess as to the amount I would need. Finished the day with 6 that is right 6 Striper from 24" to 30" and about a half dozen Spots. Got home, put everything away and took a shower by noon. Not a bad morning if I do say so myself!!!
May 7 - Fished the Lanier Striper Club Tournament today with Mike Farrell and David Duncan. We fished the Chestatee River side of the lake and for a change did very well. We used Bluebacks on flatlines, plainer boards and floats. We landed 5 Stripers to 29 inches, 3 Spots to 19.5 inches, one Catfish and one Carp. Amazingly enough the Carp took a Blueback that was 25 feet behind a plainer board, never heard of this before. At any rate, we fished the Johnson Creek arm of the Chestatee and the two largest fish for the Tournament were 27" and 29". The 56" total which was just enough to win the Tournament. Finally we had a good day and really enjoyed having Mike back on the lake with us.
April 28 & 29 - My Older Brother Andy came up for a day or two fishing. We fish both Friday and Saturday and really didn't do very well. We fished the Chestatee side of the lake and fished primarily the Johnson/Latham Creek area. We got a lot of Spots, some Catfish and only one Striper and it was not a prize winner. We did have a great time and as always enjoyed each others company. Guess we will have to try again soon!! To the right is a picture of my brother with the only Striper we put into the boat. Check it out. It was a male, had sperm, so had not tried to spawn and had the shape of a hybrid.
April 23 - Fished in the Oakwood Striper Club Tournament this morning. Fished the area around Vans Tavern, Tow Mile and Flat Creek. Fished with David Duncan and Mike Farrell. We fished from 6:30am until about 1:15pm and landed ONE Spot about 21". We didn't get a striper and don't think we even got a Striper bite. There were 15 boats in the Tournament and most did get fish. Brett Wendell and Dan Duncan came in first with a two fish total of just over 75 inches. Leonel Castillo was a close second with just over 74 inches and from there it went down. Some nice fish caught and it is only going to get better.
April 18 - Went out this morning and fished the Johnson Creek area again. Water temperature was about 65 degrees and the water conditions were great. Put out 2 flat lines, 1 down line and 1 plainer board. Landed two Stripers, 5 Spots and 2 Catfish. The largest Striper was about 36 inches. I finally got a nice fish and released him so one of you can catch him next time. Below is a picture of the 36 incher!! He was caught on a flat line with a split shot just above the leader.
April 14 - Went out this morning and fished the Johnson Creek Area. Today was a better day, the only problem was the Spots were hitting like mad and they were getting the majority of my bait. Water temperature was 65 degrees and the weather was beautiful. I had 2 flat lines, two down lines and two plainer boards out and it seemed the fish only approved of the flat lines. I landed three Stripers, the biggest about 9 lbs and about 7 Spots before running out of bait. I did put our two lures, a bomber and a deep running broken back Rebel and fished them for about 40 minutes. Did manage to catch one Striper on the Rebel that was just over 7 lbs. Got home about 10:30 and was pleased with the day!!!
April 9 - Fished in the Lanier Striper Club Tournament today. Guess we should have stayed home. We launched at Big Creek and fished the lower part of the lake. After abut 5 hours we had not got a bite. We went to the weigh-in and there were 15 boats in the tournament and only 4 fish. Not a great day all around. Guess we need to wait for the next one and see if our luck has changed. Water temperature was about 60 degrees and the water conditions were good.
March 22 - Went out of Balis and went to Chestatee Bay. Conditions were great, 57.6 degrees, water relatively clear and no other boats around. Put out my lines on the back side of the bay and trolled the shoreline toward Lockheed. Not too long after getting settled had one rod go down. A small Striper about 3 or 4 pounds. that was the situation most of the morning. Had 4 hits and landed 2 small Stripers and 2 small Spots but nothing to brag about. About 9:30 the wind came up and I just did not want to fight the wind another day. It seems the wind comes up every day and screws up the opportunity to fish with ease. At about 10:15 the wind was blowing in the 15mph range so I packed it in and went home.
March 19 - Went out with David and went to Clarks Bridge to launch. This time had no problem at all! Put in and went up stream about 2 miles and put the lines out. Put out 2 down rods, 2 flat lines and 2 plainer boards. Just as we put the last flat line down, one of the plainer boards went under. After a few minutes David landed a LARGE Catfish. We tried everything but just could not get anything to cooperate. At one point we had 9 rods out but still could not get anything to take our offering. We fished until about 12 noon and then pulled the lines in and went home. Water temperature was 56 degrees.
March 12 - fished in the Oakwood Striper Club Tournament today but didn't get a bite. Water temperature was in the 51 degree rangebut the water was very dirty with all kinds of junk floating in it. We dished the Pond Dam, Ada Creek and the bay across from the Gainesville Marina. We marked a few fish and marked a little bait but nothing to speak of. Those that fished the south part of the lake did fairly well with 7 boats catching fish and one boat recording two fish which collectively were over 65 inches. Glad someone had the skill to get a few nice fish.
March 6 - Received a call from my nephew, Crappie Allen. By the way, not talking about personality. He has a home on Lake Sinclair and loves to Crappie Fish. For the last few outings, he has done very well and yesterday he got this monster, a CRAPPIE 2 lbs+. Boy that is one of the biggest Crappie I have seen and he sure is proud of it as he should be. GOOD GOING ALLEN and tight lines!!!
March 5 - Fished today in the Lanier Striper Club Tournament. Yes, before you ask, we are NUTS!!! and problems did not stop us. The weather was not very good, winds and rain but no thunder storms. Water temperature about 58 to 59 degrees. We started out to put the boat in at Clarks Bridge. We got the boat ready in the parking lot and in the process of getting it ready, Joe Kerr pulled up got his boat ready, launched and went south. Finally we got our boat ready, David got into the boat and I went down to the ramp. As I started to back down the ramp I could see David trying to get my attention in the rear view mirror. I stopped and asked what he needed and he asked me the date, STRANGE. I told him March 5 and he started to rant and rave. He walked me over the the bulletin board and showed me a sign that stated the ramp was closed on March 5. OK, we will go to another ramp. We packed thing up again, tried to call Joe Kerr and let him know the problem. Not knowing why the ramp was close we thought he might get his vehicle towed. We went to Laurel Park and when we got on the very small road to the ramp, people trying to launch boats were backed up almost to the church. Problem, BASS TOURNAMENT!!! Seemed to be over a hundred boats. We could see many, many boats in the water and all the others were waiting to get to the ramp. In addition, we could not turn around to go somewhere else. After about 30 minutes in the line, we finally got to a small road that went into another part of the park and we took it hoping we could turn around. We did get turned around and then proceed to Thompson Bridge. Finally a clear ramp, and water we could launch in. Only problem is the Tournament started at 6:30 and it was now abut 8:00. We launched and went south the Pond Dam where we found lots of fish and had a good number of fish slapping at out Large Trout and Large Gizzard Shad. Guess they were too small to take our bait because none of them got hooked. Finally one of the downrods with a Blue Back went down and we landed a 17 inch Striper. GOOD NEWS, after the last 4 tournaments getting skunked, we finally got a fish into the boat. A short time later, we landed another Striper about 28 inches and then finally we landed a Spot about 17 inches. WE were happy with our catch but didn't think we would do anything in the tournament. We went to the weigh in and only 4 boats had fish and only 2 of the 4 had more than one fish. Brett Wendell and Jim Palastrini got first place with a two fish length of over 60 inches, they won the Spot Pot. We came in second with 45 inches and were surprised and needless to say PLEASED!!!! The top two boats were the boats that got more than one fish. The large fish went to the Bait Guys with a 34 incher. Terrible start, terrible day but a great ending to a miserable outing!
February 16 - Went out this morning and thought I was going to make a killing. Went to Balis and went to the back of the creek. Pulled a combination of baits on both down lines and flat lines. Had 2 Shiners, 2 Blue Backs and 1 Trout about 8 inches. Started about 7:00 and stayed in that area for about an hour and a half. Didn't get a bite!!! Did mark a lot of bait but the fish I marked were very scarce. While I was there, Jeff Blair and Bob Benson came in and tried to get some Crappie. their luck was just as mine was. finally I move up the creek closer to the mouth and kept moving until I was back in the ramp area. Still didn't mark any real numbers of Stripers but the bait was plentiful. Finally I moved into Flat Creek and finished the day there, still not catching a fish. I did have something slap at the Trout twice but nothing stuck. Weather was beautiful with a little breeze and the water temperature started at about 44 degrees and upon leaving it was over 47 degrees. If this keeps up the fish will go on the bite, it is just a matter of time.
February 12 - Fished the Oakwood Striper club Tournament today but guess it would have been just as productive if we would have tried to watch it on TV. Got bait and were on the water by about 6:30am. Tournament started at 7:00 so we took a look around. Marked a lot of fish and a lot of bait in and around Balis. In fact we were in about 45 feet of water with a bait ball below us and David threw the net and got abut 100 Thread Fin Shad. We were excited because of the number of fish we were marking and could not wait for 7:00. Finally about 7:05, we put our lines in the water and the fish disappeared. From about 7:15 and throughout the day, the fins were minimal but we were still marking bait. We moved a few times and finally went into Flat Creek where again we marked a good number of fish but could not get them to bite. Water temperature was in the high 43 degree range to about 44.3 degrees. Water clarity was very good and as the day progressed the air temperature got to about 56 degrees. there were 14 boats in the Tournament and collectively we got a grand total of 3, yes 3 fish!!! Don Brown got the big fish at 34.5" (not sure but that may be the same fish he used to win the last tournament).
February 5 - Fished the Lanier Striper Club Tournament this morning. Got bait and went to Bolling Bridge Ramp. Put the boat in at about 6:45 am and started looking for fish. The Tournament didn't start until 7:00. We found a good number of fish on the finder just outside the cove where the boat ramp is located. At about 7:10, we finally started to put some lines down. We put out two downrods with Small Blue Backs or Shiners, two Side Planers With larger baits and two Flat lines and one Cork with 6" to 8" Trout. We were pulling the points and after about an hour, we finally got a bite, a 18" Spot. We did not mark much bait at all!! We stayed there for some time, then moved to Taylor Creek where we looked much more than we fished. Than we decided to move to Johnson Creek. On the way to Johnson Creek we decided to stop in one of the coves in Latham Creek. There we marked a good number of fish but still not bait. We got one more Spot in that area. By the way, the Spots seemed to like the bait that was on the Plainer Boards. Then we finally went to Johnson Creek, marker 1. At that point the wind started to come up and it just kept getting worse. After about an hour fighting winds in the 20 mph range we decided to move back closer to the ramp. We did find a cove where we were out of the wind and we had a few good bites, marked some nice fish on the scope and saw what appeared to be some bait. The fish disappeared and the wind shifted so we thought it best to get off the water. When we put the boat in, the water temp was in the 42 degree range. When we took the boat out, the temp was just over 43. Water conditions were very clear for almost all areas fished.
January 22 - Fished in the Oakwood Striper Club Tournament today. It was another COLD day and the fishing was not very good. Many of us got skunked but some of the guys did very well. In fact, Don Brown landed a 42", 28# striper in Mud Creek and got a few other fish as well. David and I fished Balis and Flat Creek using Bluebacks, Trout and Shiners. We tried flat lines, down lines, corks and plainer boards but none of them seemed to do the trick. We did get one bite and landed a 22+ inch Spot. We fished form 6:30am until about 3:45pm. Water Temperature was around 44 degrees.
January 20 - Went out this morning and it was colder than a Witches ???. Everything was frozen as well as this fisherman. I was going out to pull plugs, Umbrella Rigs and Spreaders. Put in at Sardis about 7:00am and found lots of fish in the area but could not get them to bite. Water temp was 43 degrees and as I fish throughout the morning the water got colder. By the time I got off the water the temp was in the low 42 degree area. I fished Sardis, Ada Creek and the Pond Damn but only got two Spots and neither of them were of any size. Will be going out on Saturday for the Oakwood Striper Club Tournament and hope to do better then. This has been a cold slow winter for me but some of the other guys are doing well. Guess it is just me!!!
January 8 - Fished in the Lanier Striper Club Tournament today. That is right! fished in FREEZING WEATHER, WINDY, 20+ mph sustained and up to 40 mph gusts. That is the bad news. Now for the good news, "only fished until about 10:00am". It was miserable!!! White Caps throughout the lake, water temperature 45 degrees, ice on the bottom of the boat but it was a clear sunny day. Are we nuts? Yes!!! We got one Spotted Bass about 15 inches and left the lake for a more comfortable environment. Didn't even check on the weigh-in!
January 5 - Finally got out this morning but really didn't find the fish. I launched at Sardis and found lots of bait and what appeared to be fish but just could not get them to bite. Finally I put on a Medium Shiner on a downline and got one small fish, about 3 pounds. Tried three areas in Sardis but just could not get the fish to bite. Lots of bird working, the water temperature was 46 degrees and the water was relatively clear. Moved to marker 55 and landed another small fish, about 5 pounds but the fish were not concentrated there like they were at Sardis. No Birds and water temp 45.8 degrees. Finally I moved up to the Power Station above Little River but didn't mark a thing there. It was about 11:30 so I decided to call it a day.