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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Cooler weather helps fishing

POSTED: September 3, 2009 7:07 p.m.

Lake Lanier temperatures are right around 80 degrees and the lake level has actually risen slightly to a level of 1,064.6 feet, which is 6.4-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 @ 770-945-1466.

Like our recent weather, bass fishing has run hot and cold this past week. The changing weather patterns have caused the fish to change their patterns.

Continue to use different lures and let the bass dictate the best options.

This past week the spotted bass have been schooling up on the surface a little more.

The fish are hitting topwater plugs like a SPRO Dawg 100. We have also had limited success on soft jerk baits like Zoom Super Flukes fished near the surface and subsurface swim baits like a Basstrix Paddle Tail Tubes rigged on a Gamakatsu EWG Weighted Swimbait Hooks.

You can fish these swimbaits at just about any depth in the water column.

Try swimming them at around five-feet below the surface, or let them sink all the way down to where you have located brush and swim them right beside or over those productive areas,

My Humminbird 777c unit is showing a lot of spotted bass that are suspended up off the bottom.

Suspended bass are often feeding on open water baitfish. These bass can be tough to catch but if you use quality electronics you should be able to determine the best depth to target.

Use lures that will get down to and stay at the depth where these suspended fish are located. Crank Baits, spinner and swim baits like a SPRO BBZ1 Fast Sink Shad will all work well if you can keep these lures at the proper depth.

The old Lake Lanier reliables like a finesse worm on a drop shot or a jig head have been working well.

Some of the bass we caught were up shallower than usual for this time of year. We also caught some in brush piles at 30-feet deep so, once again, keep an open mind on where to fish.

Spot tail minnows are still working but my friend, Mike Weaver, says it has been slower than it was in the hotter weather.

Continue to downline spot tail minnows around any man made brush from the bank all the way down to 30 feet.

Striper fishing remains very good.

Stripers are still deep so you will really need to rely on your electronics to find the schools.

I can set my Humminbird 797c on a dual screen, one that shows traditional 2D and also on Side Imaging Mode. This helps me to really see where the best areas to fish are located.

Trolling a single large SPRO Bucktail on lead core or a Cannon Down Rigger has been producing fish all summer and it’s still a good way to cover water. Trolling an umbrella rig is also starting to work well on the main lake. With either method you will want your boat to be moving at around 2.5 miles and hour and you will want you lures to run at around 25-feet deep.

Hammond’s Fishing Center carries a complete line of rods, reels and other trolling equipment like umbrella rigs, and they can help you with getting the proper set-up.

Downlined blueback herring are the most consistent producer for these deep schools of stripers. Once you locate one of these large schools of striper you should be able to catch several as long as your blueback herring are lively.

One of Shane Watson’s reports said that they caught 30 to 40 one day last week but they went through 12 dozen bluebacks.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have lively bait. If your herring are weak they will not work nearly as well.

Crappie fishing has picked up slightly.

During the day they are still out deep on the main lake and in the creeks relating to standing timber at around 25-feet deep. Use a downlined medium or crappie sized minnow on a four-pound test.

Keith Pace of Micro Spoons also reports that they have been catching some crappie after dark by shooting jigs and Micro Spoons up under docks up the lake.

Trout fishing on the Chattahoochee has slowed down slightly.

You can still catch your limit of eight fish but it may take a little longer.

Target the rapids and deeper pools behind them to increase your odds of catching trout.

These areas receive oxygen-rich water and they tend to hold the most fish.

I caught a few recently by casting a 1/8th ounce Rooster Tail down stream and then holding it in place with the blades spinning.

The trout would actually come up and strike the lure even though it wasn’t moving upstream. Fly-fishing is also very productive this week in the afternoons when they are not generating water.

Some keeper bass are being caught from the banks this week and I believe it is because of the cooler-than-normal temperatures.

Most of the lures I describe in the above bass report can be fished from the bank.

One advantage that anglers who fish from the bank have is that they are positioning the bass better than someone in a boat usually does. If a school of fish is present they often follow your lure. When you hook a fish that can also activate the school and bank anglers pull those fish in closer as opposed to most boat anglers that pull the school out into deeper water where they will scatter.

Eric Aldrich is a part-time outdoors 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 email him please do so at esaldrich@yahoo.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!



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