What beautiful days we’re enjoying for August! The bite is surely slower than the rockstar Spring and Summer that we enjoyed, however it is still on! Multi species catches are common and the fish are reacting well to a natural shad or minnow presentation, and the topwater bite is fire when timed just right. Trolling is a great technique to cover a lot of water and find an active strike zone. If you’re on the fish and one isn’t producing, mix it up.
*Downlining frisky threads and small gizzards at 15′ has been productive. Key here is keeping frisky bait on the hook at all times. That’s every 5-10 minutes tops in most cases. A gizzard shad will give you extended play and could last until a larger Hybrid, Striper, Spot, Gar, etc *Freelining shad or minnows with a #1 or #2 hook on light line might produce the very best during your trip. If you notice the freeline hooks up best, have at least 2 going. Try with and without a small 3/0 split shot a few feet up your mainline to hit the sweet spots. The best drift speeds overall have been up to 1/2 mph but if you’re over fish and they aren’t biting, try slowing it down first and even hover. If you went through all of this and didn’t get a hit, it’s likely time to change your bait. Fresh or cured, threadfin shad with any added weight/ resistance are staying frisky about five minutes. Always have a topwater or distance- reaching spoon handy.This bite is fire when you are in the right place at the right time and can reach the fish . I love a whopper plopper, a Zara with a bucktail, and even the old Heddon style topwaters. These are good to just blind cast and grind a little , and especially effective when the fish bust the surface within casting reach. The surface bite has overall been Quick and over and those little shad being chased another 20 – 50 yards in the blink of an eye . That’s the first week of August. The longest sustained Hybrid/Striper boil we’ve witnessed this past month still hadn’t been 10 seconds in front of the dam. The Spots will give you a few seconds to target and place, but that’s it. When you get a strike on the top, all is right in the world. >>Remember that the fish looking at your down or free line baits are ready to pounce those as soon as you pick up that that topwater lure setup and fire to a surface swirl or boil. Be a camel. They know when you have to relieve yourself, too. Catlike reflexes help a lot.
*Trolling with an A-rig or larger Umbrella as well as Bomber Long A-style and shorter shad/baitfish crankbaits will get hit. The sweet spot has been between 10-22′ at around 2.8mph. We pulled a #CaptainMacks#CaptainMacks Mini last week 100′ back on 20lb.test and ran over 50 fish and didn’t get touched. It was suggested I may only be 5-7′ deep and likely so. Added a 1 oz. egg sinker and a bead at the nose and made the same pass – Stripers on! As in all cases, adjust your depth zones as needed. I’m spooling a couple trolling rigs with leadcore later this week and hopefully we’ll have a report on this technique (or others) in the comments. Let others know what’s working for you – there’s plenty of fish to go around.
*Please continue to help us keep our waterways clean and calm. Take out one thing besides your own when possible. If you are fishing, you likely even have a net to catch some floating plastic bag or bottle. Thanks in advance! Please continue to be respectful of others whatever their preferred watersport / pasttime or watercraft type. Love one another.
Today: The Sweet Marie took me for a little alone time of fishing this morning. No clients or guests in the morning. Both this and the camaraderie of a friend or visitors / guests have their places. Today, it was just me trying to feel the heartbeat of the Etowah/Lake Allatoona. On a fishing hole in the creek by 5:45 a.m. Light mist rising and with the slim moonlight slipping away, I watched the sunrise where the fox, eagle and osprey play. I noted that in the expanse of water the bait was everywhere and the fish were feeding. I was pulling fresh threads on down and free lines within minutes over 45 feet of water. Snapped on an older school black Jitterbug and casted toward the bank. Ripples settled, V in the water, heart raced, I twitched, the whirlpool came and I set the hook. And just like that I caught a 2lb spot. Turn around to unhook that fish without catching a treble myself and 2 other lines are tight! Crank crank crank on downline, unhook and release spot, pick up freeline rod and 2lb Hybrid comes in. Unhook, release and downline is still tight. 3/4lb. spot would be generous. He ate the one gizzard downline that was half his size. Life is good. Reset and do all this a few more times and rewarded by catching fish over the next 30 minutes. I missed several opportunities on the other rods while chasing increasing instances of schooling fish further out with a flexi-spoon, but that spoon was producing when I could get it on the target . As this sinks quickly, I simply keep the tip up and reel as needed to keep it skipping and dancing like a shad running for its life. Very effective method, but your time to lay in the strike zone is only a second or two. By this time that little spoon alone brought 4 fish to the boat this morning.
By 7:30, I had moved. Total strangers are made instant friends of sorts at morning on the water, and a wave or a nod makes sense if you think about it. I regret I often don’t look closely enough at others while I’m trying to mind my own business, and I’ve almost missed a friend by keeping him or her a silhouette on a boat. Sometimes I’m just humming a tune and giving thanks. Back to fishing… I stopped just upstream of the dam near the mouth of Stamp creek and dropped fresh baits on a ledge and the Spots were relentless in spurts- though quite fun. Moved downstream a tad and there’s a lot of fish 10-25 feet down over 50-120′ of water. I set up fresh bait and picked up 6 nice linesides within 30 minutes, including a couple footballs. Just big loops from channel ledge to deep water, hoping to time my offering with hungry fish. I even had a decent summer Striper roll on the Zara Spook – this was simply fortuitous as I was taking a blind cast and it landed right into a quick boil that erupted around it and he took it immediately! Caught at least 15 total spots that were take home and ‘eat off the land’ worthy by 10:30 am. What with the white bass, hybrids and stripers (oh my!), there’s plenty reason to get away for an Allatoona fishing adventure in August! We are providing Gar-targeting trips as well to hook you up to a real River Monster! Let us know if we can help make your fishing adventure any easier by booking with us. Call us at 404-919-4918 or email us at HeronOutdoorAdventures@gmail.com any time!