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Lake Lanier fishing report: Good rods lead to great catches

POSTED: October 31, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Lake temperatures are in the upper 60s and the lake is clear to slightly stained. The Lake Lanier level is around 1,053.1 feet, just under 18 feet below the normal full pool of 1,071 feet. The Chattahoochee River is stained.

Bass

The fall weather has set in and bass fishing remains consistent. You should still be able to pick your favorite way to fish and catch them this week. The fish are active, so if you are in an area and not getting bites then keep your options open and find more productive water.

Two methods seem to be producing best this week. The first one is to power fish for the active spotted bass on the main lake. Use topwater plugs or faster moving subsurface bait like a SPRO Aruku Shad or chrome Rattle Trap and cover the water quickly. Make a few good casts to an area, then move on until you find a location with active schooling fish. Once the fish are located you should be able to work that same area for a while for continued success.

The second method is to use a dropshot or jigging spoon for the deeper schools of fish that set up in the creek channels in fall.

These bass are eating shad or bluebacks and they can be stacked up thick this time of year.
Quality electronics are essential so, no matter what your favorite brand, invest in a good finder to increase your fishing success.

My Humminbird units came ready to fish right out of the box and needed no adjustments to be able to pick up the lure and fish that are located just below the boat.

When you find a good school of fish on your finder, position your boat directly above them and lower a dropshot rig or a jigging spoon down to the level where you see fish. It can be like playing a video game as you can actually see the bass come up and eat your lure. This will really impress your fishing partner when you call the strike before it happens. It does take some investment of money and time to master this technique but it is well worth the trouble.

Bank anglers are doing well with the bass by casting out a variety of bait and lures. Invest in a good rod and reel and make sure to use quality line. You don’t have to spend a couple of hundred dollars for each outfit like the pros do, but don’t buy the cheapest stuff either. Any of the local bait and tackle shops can lead you in the right direction and Hammond’s has a large selection of all the lures and tackle I mention in these reports.

If you are new to fishing, or just want and easy inexpensive option, then try a Zebco 33. This is an old reliable reel that is easy for kids to use, and most come equipped with line and a fishing rod for around $30. Fishing live bait is hard to beat from the bank or the boat.

Stripers

The fishing is still good. The schooling bite is not as strong as in past weeks, but you still need to keep a topwater plug tied on just in case they appear on the surface.

The down-line and flat-lines are both working equally well. As with the bass quality electronics —like my Humminbird 797C side finder— will unlock the secrets of the lake and will help you determine the proper depths to set out your baits. Trolling either an umbrella rig or a single 1-ounce SPRO jig rigged with a live blueback is working fair.

Fishing live bait below a slip bobber from the banks is working fairly well, and this type of fishing will only get better as the weather cools. Check in with Hammond’s for some great suggestions on bank fishing tackle. The night bite is still slow on Bomber Long As but there are some reports of people catching stripers after dark.

Crappie

The fishing is pretty good. Use crappie minnows or small crappie jigs around docks in the creeks. Also try trolling the timberlines and any submerged wood. Up in the rivers has been better than down lake. Night fishing around the bridges has been working OK at night and in the early mornings.

Trout on the Chattahoochee

The river is still stained and trout fishing has slowed down a little, which is normal for this time of year. Bright colors like a pink and chartreuse, or a yellow Rooster Tail will help the fish find your lure in the off-colored water. Live bait (where permitted by law) is always your best method when fishing is tough.
   
Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoor writer, bass fisherman and is sponsored by Humminbird, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammonds Fishing and Boat Storage. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. He would love to hear from his readers so please email him at esaldrich@yahoo.com or visit his new website at aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!



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