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Lake Lanier fishing report: Fish will be biting this holiday weekend

POSTED: May 26, 2011 7:22 p.m.

Lake temperatures are in the mid 70s. The lake is mostly clear, as is the Chattahoochee River.

Considering the lack of rain this year, Lake Lanier is still at a very respectable level at 1,069.1 feet and just under 2-feet below the full pool of 1,071 feet.

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

I wanted wish everyone a happy Memorial Day. Remember to be courteous and safe with all the people on the lake this weekend.

Bass fishing is recovering very well from the post spawn, and fishing has been getting better and better.

Top plugs and Swim Baits are working well in the mornings, later in the afternoon and sometimes all day long, as the bass gorge themselves on blueback herring.

Start out the day in the mouths of the creeks or out on the main lake points and humps with a SPRO Dawg, Zara Spook or the old Vixens.

"Walk the dog" with these lures or V-Wake a top running swim bait or Red Fin to coax the fish out of the deeper water to strike these large surface offerings.

One of the biggest mistakes I and other anglers make is to try and set the hook the first time a fish blows up on the top water. This is especially true when you haven't had a bite in a while, then a fish explodes close to your lure.

If you are like me, I usually jerk so hard that the lure comes out of the water and zings past my head when the fish never had it. Instead, we need to try and continue the cadence or retrieve until we feel the fish load up on the rod, then you can drive the hooks home.

If your partner catches a fish on top, then try throwing out a Zoom Fluke or other subsurface bait around where the other fish are being caught because these spotted bass and stripers are running in wolf packs or schools of multiple fish.

Often, you can double up and catch two fish at the same time, and if the one your buddy hooked was big, chances are that the other fish in the same school will also be big.

Target areas where brush, rock or even standing timber are located, as this cover will hold some big school of fish this time of year.

Schooling fish can often be shallow on the sand bars and close to the shore, but most will be in water that is 25 feet deep or deeper, and they will be relating to brush piles or other cover.

The spot tail minnow bite is just starting, and this can be an incredibly productive method because these native spot tail minnows are like candy to spotted bass, stripers and even catfish.

Find just about any boat ramp, throw out some breadcrumbs or grits, and throw a small mesh cast net to catch a bunch of these minnows. Check at Bass Pro Shops or your local bait store for the correct size net and instructions.

Striper fishing is very good. Since the introduction of the blueback herring in the late 90s, striper fishing has been excellent even in the warmer months.

Right now, there are some large and small schools of stripers on the surface early and late in the day. Start out your mornings in the creek mouths and throw topwater plugs like a Red Fin, McStick, SPRO Dawg or even subsurface lures like Swim Baits or Buck tails to any surfacing fish you see.

If the fish are around, it often pays to pull live blueback herring on a flat or down line depending on the level at which the fish appear on your Humminbird Fish Finders. Live bait as well as topwater plugs will both work on the striped bass.

Down lines are working better when the sun is high in the sky, but either flat or down lines may both work depending on the depth of the stripers.

The fish can be shallow or deeper depending on the conditions, but most are less than 40 feet deep. If you see some schooling action, continue to cast plugs to where the fish appear on the surface.

The stripers may also school in the middle of the day if they happen upon an active school of blue backs or shad.

Crappie fishing is good. Shoot or cast small jigs up under the docks and retrieve them very slowly at 7 to 10 feet.

The best docks have the old styrofoam, or try to find the docks that also have brush piles. Early and later in the day, minnows fished below a float at around 5 feet are also producing well around any bank cover with deep water close by.

Night fishing under the lights should really get going well in the next few weeks.

Trout fishing is still very good and the DNR has stocked plenty of trout this year both on the river and up in the mountains.

The trout fishing on the river will be best early in the morning before the float traffic gets going, but they will still bite all day long. Worms (where permitted) or small gold or silver inline spinners in the rapids are working very well.

Dry flies, especially the black ant pattern, have been working well in the afternoons.

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. He would love to hear from his readers so please e-mail him at esaldrich@yahoo.com or visit his website at aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!



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