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Lake Allatoona fishing report for mid- July

Lake Allatoona continues to bring the heat. As for us, we find this to be one of the finest fisheries in the North Georgia area for most all species. Even our water quality seems to be improving with respect to dissolved oxygen content, not to mention the more recent belly-fattening nutritious forage base of herring in the mix.

The bite is hot, and the summer temps tend to make the early mornings the best and most comfortable bite. With light to moderate rain through July, we are maintaining a nice full pool that is a haven for all species.

The line sides are no doubt one of the finest resources here on Allatoona. Particularly the hybrid striped bass. These, along with the striped bass, are likely the hardest fighting fish on this side of the salt water, and they are in abundance if you know what you're looking for.

As the water temperature continue to warm, these fish tend to relate a lot to the edges of the channel, along with breaks on points and humps. While they have a proliferent food source of freshwater herring and threadfin shad to feast on, they are staying plump and pulling harder than ever. Currently our fishing has been concentrated in the mid-lake area between Galts ferry to Illinois Creek and to the dam, however, there have been phenomenal mornings and catches reported by fellow fisherman as far south as Tanyard and Clark Creeks and as far north as Little River. Truly, as nomadic as these fish are, there are thousands roaming the reservoir hunting for food and wanting to provide you with a little entertainment.

One of the most effective techniques this time of year is a combination spread of downlines and free lines when fishing live bait. Matching the size of your bait to your hook will greatly increase the lifespan of your bait after being placed down, especially below 20 ft. Herring, threadfin shad, spot tail minnows and shiners all produce good bites. Hook sizes between size 2 and as large as 1/0 are more than likely to match any bait size that you may catch or purchase of these species. As the bite has been no less than phenomenal most mornings, fluorocarbon leaders between 8 to 12 lb. test is producing just fine. Your weight can range anywhere from 3/8 to 1.5 oz. If fishing on spot lock and enjoying a nice morning with little to mild winds, the lighter sinker can be ideal, though 1-1.5 oz is good all-around weight, especially when moving around at .3 to .5 miles an hour. Target depths have been between 15-30 feet and along channel edges typically ranging from 30 to 70 ft of water.

While we are typically emphatic on a light line presentation for many reasons, the fish have not seemed to shy away from the heavier fluorocarbons, and this allows you to get a little more drag and a little more muscle on the fish and most anytime you can keep from prolonging a fight can increase the fish's chance of survival when released in a timely fashion.

Free/flat lines in the spread have been clutch! While we have caught several tigers on the downlines, most of our better fish in the 8 to 12 lb. class have hit a flat line. Experiment from no weights to adding a size 7, 3/0 and even up to a size 5 split shot depending on bait size and where in the column those upper residents are being marked. In our experience, most of these fish will come up 20 ft plus for bait, but not many will dive down even one foot for one.

There are several artificial baits that have been key for us including a 5-in flutter spoon along with a further casting Flexi-spoon, an a-rig such as the Captain Mack Mini Mack, along with a few key top water lures such as the OG 20 g, KVD hard knocks and a few other beautiful walking baits. When the fish have been schooling, we are glad that we have changed many of our treble hooks on these top waters to a single hook. These prickly line sides are much easier to handle and dehook with a single barb stuck in them, not to mention our hookup to landing ratio seems to be better overall.

As for the spotted bass, they are pretty much smashing this same artificial arsenal. Surely there are times when a creature bait, shaky head or drop shotting a finesse worm produces well, but we are hammering the spotted bass when in their turf with these same baits.

Our crappie have pretty much moved into deeper water and your target range for these critters is going to be in the 15 to 20 ft range reservoir-wide. Slow-fall techniques have been key when we are targeting them. My go-to during this summer heat is 1/80-1/32 oz. weighted jigs. It can seem like forever waiting to get to the target depths but especially after the sun is up, we have found that the slowest fall catches the most.

Now, let's go fishing! We do hope that some information gleaned here will help you get on to the bite. If you are considering a full-service fishing adventure with as much instruction as we can provide during our time together, we would sure love to have you aboard our boats. Please do not hesitate to call or message us at 404-919-4918 or email us, any time. From first-time to advanced anglers, we truly feel we have something to offer everybody. Most of all, we love making new friends😊 God bless you and tight lines, friends!

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