August on Lake Lanier – Fun in the Sun!

by Jimbo Mathley

While the fishing generally gets tougher in August on Lake Lanier, there are ways to ensure continued success. In today’s installment, we will review the locations, techniques and lures to utilize to keep you catching fish during the heat of the summer.

Location: Understand that the primary concern of both game fish and baitfish are oxygen and food source, in that order. The fishing traditionally changes in August because the baitfish, particularly the blueback herring, change in response to the conditions. They often go deeper in search of better oxygen content in the water; the depth at which this key oxygen content is maintained is called a thermocline. In August, I normally like to target sharp breaks and deeper water on main lake features such as ledges or sharper breaks on the ends of points and sides of humps and islands. Often in August we would work depths of 25-45 feet of water, anticipating the thermocline to establish in the 25-30 foot range, historically speaking. However, even though there are fish in the deeper zones, there are also still fish located shallow all around the lake. You can find these shallow fish not only on the main lake, but also in the back of pockets and creeks as well. These shallower locations are great areas to target during the early morning timeframe. Later in the day, the “normal” areas with brush are still holding fish, and there are fish starting to move deeper and relate to the timber. When fishing deeper, target timber edges in 35-45 feet of water near the same key features upon which you find the brush. In general, if one type of area is not producing, don’t hesitate to try another location or another depth. Stay flexible and versatile and move around until you find active fish. Often many areas will not produce, but if you stay on the move and remain versatile in both your location and bait selection, you can and will find active fish.

Lures and Presentation: Now, let’s examine some techniques that can be used to catch fish in August.

1. Topwater and Swimbaits – The topwater bite over the brush can still be good in August, but again it can be nonexistent if the weather is extremely hot consistently. The fish will let you know if the topwater bite is working. Try using some smaller topwater baits, like the Super Spook Jr., which best mimics the smaller bait fish the spots are often chasing during the hot weather months. The swimbait adds another dimension to your game.  Work swimbaits fast on the surface or let them sink and work them directly over the brush. Experiment with both the mechanical and soft models at different depths and retrieve speeds to determine which is working best on any given day.

2. SuperSpin – This is an excellent producer on Lanier, and August is no different. Fish the bait over and around brush and deeper cover. Vary your retrieve speed, method, depth and trailer type until you hit on the right combination for that day.

3. Drop-Shot – This is a great tool when the fishing gets tough. This presentation can be made vertically into cover or it can be cast toward the feature and slowly retrieved. I prefer the Lanier Baits Drop Shot worms in Passion, Obsession and Candy. Light line is a must. I prefer 6-8 pound test Seaguar Fluorocarbon in most situations. Light line helps provide a more natural presentation. I also like to experiment with leader length. I will sometimes use up to a 5 foot tag end on my drop shot depending on the position of the fish and the feature I am targeting.

4. Jig – The jig is a bait that is apt to work through the entire summer, as well as into the fall and winter. August is no time to forget the jig. I prefer Chattahoochee Jigs, often in a brown and orange combo or in a PB&J color pattern. Work jigs on points and humps, around brush, as well as steep rock. If the jig is not working, don’t forget to try a Picasso Shake Down head tipped with a finesse or trick worm.

I still have some dates available in August, so call me to enjoy some great August fishing. See you on the water!

Jimbo is a full-time, year-round spotted bass guide on Lake Lanier. Contact him today to book a trip at 770-542-7764 or at

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