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Lake Lanier fishing report: Slow and steady is key for nighttime bass

POSTED: May 7, 2009 9:17 p.m.

Lake Temperatures are in the low 70’s. At the time of this writing the lake was around 1,064.7 feet or just 6.3 feet low. By the time you read this the lake will be even higher thanks to the consistent rain. The lake is slightly stained in the creeks and clear out on the main lake. The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass

The fishing remains strong and these fish are coming off the spawn hungry. Almost any lures you have confidence in should work OK but a couple of techniques definitely shine for these post-spawn fish.

The topwater bite is starting, and sunny days seem to be the best early and later in the day. Throw a topwater plug like a Red Fin, SPRO Dawg 100, Sammy or a Zara Spook to entice some exciting topwater strikes. Subtle erythematic retrieves have been working best but don’t be afraid to experiment with an erratic retrieve. You can also work a weightless Zoom Fluke rigged on a 5/0 Gamakatsu hook on the surface for great results. Buzz baits in the flooded shoreline growth have been tricking largemouth bass early in the morning.

If the topwater bite isn’t on, then try working shaky head finesse worm or a Texas or Carolina Rigged lizard on main lake points and humps or around deeper docks. I like to skip a SPRO K-Finesse Jighead rigged with a Zoom Trick worm up under the docks. The reason I mention this particular head, other than the fact I am sponsored by them, is because they have a very good “keeper” built in that keeps the worm from sliding down off the head when you skip these longer worms, plus they have sharp Gamakatsu hooks. You can also use other brands and dab a drop of super glue on them to hold the worm in place. Most of your hits under the dock will come as this jig head worm sinks so watch your line closely.

Crank baits and Spinner Baits have also been working well from the pockets on out into the main lake. During the day you can work these lures pretty fast close to the surface. After dark, these same two baits have been producing well. I like to work a Bomber Deep Little N in dark colors very close to banks that contain rocks after dark. Retrieve your lures slow and steady so that they actually bang around on the bottom to catch nighttime bass.

Stripers

The fishing is good. They are hitting topwater plugs early and later in the day. Stripers will attack the same lures as bass, but a Red Fin V-waked on the surface is probably your best bet. You will want to fish these wake baits just fast enough to keep them on the surface. Try taking off the split ring and try a loop knot to the lure if you are having problems keeping them on top. I like to run my Minn Kota Trolling motor on medium-high speed and circle these points or humps as I cast. This allows me to present my lures from different angles.

Get out and fish as many main lake points and humps as possible before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. to locate the active schools. Some days this action may happen all throughout the day. About six-to-eight casts are all it should take to determine if the stripers are feeding on any given spot.

Live baits are working very well too. Blueback herring or Gizzard Shad are the most effective baits this week, and you will most likely want to fish these on a flat line or behind planner boards. A flat line is simply a hook tied to the end of your line and fed out behind the boat as far as possible. Use your Humminbird electronics to determine the proper depth at which the fish are located and switch to a down line if they show up deeper. During mid day a lot of stripers will be located out around the creek and river channels.

If you fish from the banks you can also use a slip bobber with a lightweight tied on. Stop by Hammond’s for bait and lures and they will show you how to rig a slip bobber set up.

Crappie

The fishing has been a little slower in the day but they are showing up around the bridges after dark. Set out a floating light or better yet a Hydra Glow. These lights will bring in the baitfish, which in turn draws in the crappie and other predator fish. Use your Humminbird Electronics to show you how deep the fish are located and set out a bobber or a down line at the proper depth.

Trout on the Chattahoochee

The fishing is good both below Buford Dam and up in the North Georgia Mountains. If you fish below the dam it pays to get out early and the trout seem to be easier to catch before the sun gets up. Use inline spinners or live bait where permitted. I live night crawler rigged with a medium-sized split shot placed a foot above the hook is a consistent fish catcher just about anywhere.

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 website at aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!



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