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Lake Lanier fishing report: It's a tough time to catch spotted bass

POSTED: August 27, 2009 7:58 p.m.

Lake Temperatures are in the lower 80’s and the lake level continues to hold pretty steady at 1,064.5 feet, which is 6.5-feet below a full pool of 1,071 feet. Lake Lanier is clear on the main lake and slightly stained in the creeks. The Chattahoochee River is clear.

Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

There don’t seem to be many reports of people catching a lot of bass but a few anglers are doing OK.

This is a challenging time of year to fish for spotted bass on Lake Lanier. The anglers that can conform to what the fish want will catch them.

We have had to “junk” fish this week. The term “junk” fishing means to try everything in your tackle box until you find what the bass prefer. The spotted bass seem to want either big lures or very small lures, and I feel it depends on what they are eating.

There are a bunch of shad and spot tail minnows around and the bass that are keying in on these smaller baits will eat Rooster Tails, finesse worms, crank baits or smaller topwater plugs.

I have caught them with a SPRO Hydro Pop or a by casting a 1/6 Rooster Tail when they are schooling on top and have had to change to a finesse worm on a drop shot rig when the fish are down in the brush piles.
The bass have also been eating the blueback herring and these fish tend to be the larger, more aggressive ones that will strike swim baits.

If you are trying to catch a trophy spotted or large mouth mass then get out on the main lake and creek mouth points and cast a SPRO BBZ1 or Optima Swim Bait in a shad color.

Make sure to stay way off the shore and let these baits sink down to the level that you locate bass on your Humminbird Electronics. A slow steady retrieve has worked but try “popping” the bait or making a directional change to get those followers to hit.

Spot tails are still working and these native minnow will be your best bet for numbers but the sizes of the bass are down from a few weeks ago. Continue to down line spot tail minnows around any man made brush at 15 to 30 feet.

Striper fishing is good. The best bite is happening mid day. Trolling a 1«- or 2-ounce SPRO buck tail on Lead Core out to eight colors is still working well in the river channels from Brown Bridge on down to the dam. The stripers may also be hitting tolled lines up lake but there just haven’t been many reports coming in.

Some stripers are hitting down lines both out in the main lake creek and river channels but there are also some fish to be found slightly back into the creek mouths and coves. Watch your Humminbird fish finders and look for the stripers to be at 40 to 60-foot depths over deeper water. Continue to down line blue backs to the level where you see the stripers on your graph. Check in with Hammond’s Fishing Center for the best-priced and healthiest live blue backs.

Crappie fishing is still slow but better fishing is right around the corner. Get your trolling rigs ready if the lake temperatures drop below 80 in September.

Trout fishing is still decent below the dam and up in the mountain creeks. The mornings are best on weekends but the float traffic is way down now that school is back in. Use live earthworms (where permitted) on a bottom line.

Fly-fishing has gotten pretty good on the river lately with anglers reporting catching trout on dry and wet flies.
Breamm and smaller bass have been hitting small Rooster Tails, grubs and live earthworms on the upper and lower lake banks.
After dark you can fish below the lighted docks in the rivers with down lined minnows to catch a variety of fish including walleyes.


Eric Aldrich is a part-time outdoor writer, bass fisherman and a member of Humminbird’s, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammond’s Fishing Center Pro Staff. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. If you would like to e-mail him please do so at esaldrich@yahoo.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!



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