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Lake Lanier fishing report: Stripers are on the move

POSTED: April 21, 2011 7:30 p.m.

Lake temperatures remain in mid 60s. Lake Lanier's water is holding steady and we are three quarters of a foot over full at 1,071.75. Lake Lanier is slightly stained on main lake and stained to very stained in the creeks and rivers. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing remains good and the fish are still in all phases of the spawn. There are a lot of fish that are still on the beds, and these fish are mixed in with all the flooded bank growth. Sight fishing for bedding bass can be a lot of fun, but I have discovered during a few recent trips that most people have a hard time seeing these fish in the pollen stained water.

With my ageing eyesight I can agree, but you can fish still for these same bass without actually seeing them.

Cast lures that you can work through the flooded bank cover. Lures like a Fluke or a Jerk Shad, which you can rig weedless, will get through the flooded grass and small trees. Other lures like spinner baits, swim baits, a Rojas Frog or even Horny Toads will all work well because of their weedless capabilities. A lot of your strikes will come as you work these lures up and over a small tree limb or as the lure breaks free into open water. This can be great fun because you can actually see most of your strikes. Fishing flooded cover will hook bass that are moving up or that have already spawned, too.

Fishing banks cover is not for everyone, but the cool thing is that you can pick your favorite method and it should work during spring. We have caught fish this week by skipping docks, working topwater lures both in the coves and on main lake pockets and also crank and jerkbaits on the points and humps.

A lot of bank anglers are catching bass while fishing for crappie. A small minnow below a float will work well for spotted and largemouth bass. If you specifically target bass, please use a Gamakatsu Circle Hooks to release the bass unharmed.

Striper fishing is good, but changing conditions may require you to cover some water. Spring stripers can move around a lot and if you are catching them on main lake expect that the same school may move somewhere else, causing you have to track them down.

The schools that are back in the creeks seem to be a little more stable, but they can still move around too.

Electronics are key tools for finding stripers. You can actually pick up quick clues to help take the guesswork out of the equation. With Side Imaging I can cover a wide path and actually see schools of fish off to the left or right. Stripers are large fish, so with the proper settings I can easily detect them. You can also see the bait pods, which are often indicators that larger predator fish are close by.

There are some fish that are starting to school on top in the creek pockets, but the real schooling action is going to break loose in the next couple of weeks. Keep a SPRO Bucktail, Redfin, Super Spook or cast other topwater or sub-surface offerings tied on when stripers appear on top!

Crappie fishing is decent and the crappie are spawning or finishing up so they will start to move back a little deeper in the next few weeks. Right now the docks are holding some decent schools. Target shallow cover midway back into the pockets. There are also some fish appearing on the shallow pilings of the bridges.

Shooting small crappie jigs under the shallow docks has been the best method, but casting small jigs or a crappie minnow below a float fished down the side of the docks will also be a productive method.

Trout: Jeff Durniak of the Department Of Natural Resources tells me that the stocking efforts are going well. I may start featuring a few streams in the coming weeks in addition to my normal Chattahoochee river reports.

Right now the fishing is very good both up in the mountains and Wildlife Management Areas. Check out www.gofishgeorgia.com for some really great information about fishing in Georgia.

Bank fishing: The bass and crappie are biting small minnows fished below a bobber.
Target the flooded downed trees and also the flooded bank growth in the pockets for some great fishing. If you do not get a bite in the first 30 minutes, try adjusting your depths or move on to find a more productive area.

Eric Aldrich is an outdoor writer, marketing specialist and bass angler. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. Contact him at esaldrich@yahoo.com or visit aldrichfishing.com.

 



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