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Aldrich: Weather patterns effect fishing

POSTED: February 11, 2010 6:06 p.m.
Lake Lanier is almost one foot above full pool at around 1,071.9 feet (full pool is 1,071 feet).

Lake temperatures are in the mid 40’s and the main lake is clear to stained while the backs of the creeks and rivers are stained.

The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466

Bass fishing has been very tough, but someone is always catching them on Lake Lanier.

Pretty soon the fish will get active as spring approaches so now is the time to get your tackle ready and your reels oiled and spooled with new line. Stop into the new Hammond’s Fishing Center store for some great deals

Lake temperatures are usually about five-degrees warmer this time of year so that has made for some tough fishing as weather patterns come into play big time.

The best advice would be to slow down and fish deeper, or at least near where the deeper water intersects with points, bluff walls, humps or ditches, and target the warmest water possible. Pick lures that you have confidence in and work them slowly around the deeper areas where you locate bass and baitfish with your electronics.

The few fish that we have been catching are coming out of about 40 feet and some are suspended in the water column.

There is a simple and very productive method that has been working called the Float N Fly. This rig consists of a long rod between 8 and 10 feet, light 4-to 6-pound line, a bobber and a 1/8th or 1/16th ounce hair jig suspended about 8-feet below the bobber.

You need the long rod so that you can cast these bobbers with the long leaders. I use a SPRO Phat Fly, which basically looks like a very realistic crappie jig. Cast this rig around bluff walls or other productive areas and retrieve the bobber at a very slow rate of speed. If there is some chop on the water you may not even need to move it that much.

The jig or fly looks like a small shad and presents an easy slow moving target for these sluggish winter bass. This method will produce a limit when all else fails but it takes some practice to gain confidence.

Most anglers switch to small jigs, drop shots and finesse tactics but sometimes it pays to go big. A large SPRO BBZ1 Trout or the new smaller six-inch model or even a Bomber Long A can entice a trophy spotted or largemouth bass to bite, and a couple of big fish can actually win a tournament this time of year.

Of course when all else fails, try live bait. Striper anglers are reporting catching some five-pound spotted bass down-lined trout and bluebacks.

Winter striper fishing has been pretty good this year but this week’s cold weather has slowed them down slightly.

There have been some stripers moving shallow that are targeting shad in the creeks. If we get a few days of sunshine be sure to check the pockets and backs of the creeks where the water is stained because it will warm up and attract bait and stripers.

Check in with Hammond’s Fishing Center for up-to-date reports on the best methods for stripers and the best bait available.

Try several different baits until you figure out what will work. I remember years ago, I found a huge school of stripers in the back of a shallow pocket that stayed there for weeks eating tiny shad. It took me a couple of days but I finally ended up catching them with crappie minnows. My hooks were larger than the minnows, but it worked.

I also caught a few on very small buck tail jigs.

Then one day, later that same week a boat came charging in, cast out large Bomber Long A plugs and both anglers hooked up on their very first casts: go figure.

The cold water has kept crappie fishing slow. Use small crappie minnows or crappie jigs tipped with a live minnow below docks in the creeks at 20 feet.

The Department Of Natural Resources needs volunteers for the Delayed Harvest Section stocking the Chattahoochee River at the NPS Whitewater Creek Park. Whitewater Creek Park is located in the Palisades East of the Chattahoochee NRA and can be found in maps at  http://www.nps.gov/chat/planyourvisit/maps.htm

The stocking is scheduled, rain or shine, for Feb. 23.

Volunteers should arrive, park, and be ready to begin stockings at 10:30 a.m. Please leave enough room for the stocking truck to park near the river. Volunteers should have a completed volunteer waiver (attached), wear weather appropriate clothing and bring waders and a five-gallon bucket for hauling trout.

Trout fishing should really get better as spring approaches and the DNR stocks them up.

Striper fishing from the banks is still the most productive method. Use live medium shiners on the sunny banks towards the middle to the back of the creeks. Also try cut bait on the bottom for a trophy striper and an occasional catfish too.




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