Lake Allatoona is continuing to provide spectacular views as well as providing great catches of most all species. The Autumn colors are still in full swing and the lake is alive with wildlife. With just a slight nip to the air, this is a great time to be out on the lake enjoying nature and fishing.
Lake levels are currently holding at around 832 ft - just 8 feet below full pool. Water temps are continually dropping and are currently around 63 degrees lake-wide. The lake is completing its stratification (turnover) process and the fishing can only be expected to continually get better as well as more consistent. Concentrate your efforts in the cleaner/clearer waters that have already completed this turnover process. One visual indicator of turnover water could be the appearance of brown foamy/frothy waters, for example. While catching fish in this type of stained water is not unheard of, it is rarely the better catching grounds.
Fish are starting to school up well and chasing the large schools of bait that can be found in the stretch from Galts Ferry to Owl/Kellogg Creeks and north to Little River. We have been concentrating our efforts in these areas with overall success on every trip. There are plenty of 2-3 pound schoolies of Hybrids and Stripers to be caught in these stretches, as well as plenty of opportunity for larger 5-8 pound fish that are mixed in. We have even gotten into several large schools of small 8-12" Stripers. This is wonderful to see and they represent the future of our Striper fishery. If you are on a school of these, it is best to simply move off of them after having confirmed with one or two to the boat. They can be ravenous and quickly take live-bait and artificials deep into their gullets. This potential for increased mortality rate can easily be avoided by leaving them alone to forage in the bait balls and further undisturbed by our hooks.
While the top-water 'boiling' of the Hybrids and Stripers has been overall non-existent, we have had several fish take an offering the moment a lure or bait has hit the surface. Casting a top-water in the early morning as well as skimming the surface with a spoon has produced a few fish, but overall the eating is happening under the surface.
Presenting live and frisky threadfin shad has been a very consistent method for catching these fish once located. Offerings on the down-lines at 15-22' down have been producing well overall, particularly in the 35-40' depths of the channel edges and turns . The fish will let you know where they are feeding at, particularly if you have electronics to see down under when they are active in the bait. When the bait is stacked from 15-20' down, running your offerings over them at 12-14' may be the ticket. You are in essence presenting the easy picking having isolated your offerings from the main bait ball. It is almost always easier to get a fish to eat by rising to the bait rather than expecting a descent to the bait. Here's a good tip: Let's say you are trolling at the speed of .5 mph with your live bait offerings. If you note that you get a consistent bite on the outside down rod when making a turn, consider increasing your overall speed. If the inside rods are the ones popping during a turn, slow it down a bit on the straightaways. The fish are telling you what triggers them and sometimes it is simply the speed.
Free-lining off the side/backs of the boat is still proving effective and this method allows you to cover more depths than just down-lines alone. If you find the free-lines to be the most common being hit on your trip, consider bringing up any dedicated and running down-lines to the 8-10' mark or even simply taking the time to replace with a free line offering when possible.
When the fish are just everywhere on the electronics but simply not active on our live bait offerings, trolling may be the only effective way to trigger a bite. It can seem like a lot of work to switch out gear if you don't already carry a dedicated trolling rig(s) with you, but well worth the effort in most cases. Pulling a full size Umbrella rig (9 baits) or even a smaller A-rig (a Mini-Mack works great) through the schools can be just what the fish want. Maintaining speeds of 2.8 to 3. mph will be most effective overall. Running a Bomber Long-A in conjunction may also be found to be the best trigger for a bite. If that deep-runner is the consistent hit, run as many as you can.
We operate a full-time guide service on Lake Allatoona year 'round. It is our pleasure to provide weekly reports to help best direct your efforts. It is our job to put you on the fish and teach you valuable techniques and provide great tips when you book an Adventure with us.
Let's go fishing! Call 404-919-4918 for details.