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Live bait yields positive results

POSTED: May 5, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Lake temperatures are right at 65 degrees. The lake level is 1057.6 feet or just around 13« feet below full pool at 1071 feet. The main lake and creeks are stained to clear and the Chattahoochee River is clear. Balus, Big Creek, Clarks Bridge, Charleston Park, East Bank, Little Hall, Little River, Shoal Creek, Tidwell, Vanns Tavern and Van Pugh ramps are all open.

The bass are spawning and the fishing is very good. Some anglers are reporting catching more than 40 bass in an eight-hour day, but a few have been struggling to catch a limit. The bass continue to hit a variety of lures and live bait. The most successful technique this week seems to be skipping Jig head finesse worms around docks and shallow cover. I use a ¬-ounce SPRO K-Finesse Jig Head with a 4-inch Zoom Finesse worm in any shade of green. These jig heads come standard with sharp Gamakatsu Hooks and they also have a very good "keeper" that helps prevent your worm from sliding down when you skip them. Skip these jig head worms way up under the docks for your best success. Most of your hits will come on the fall, so pay close attention to your line to detect these light hits.

Rattle Traps, SPRO ArukuShads and Spinner Baits are producing decent catches on main lake points, humps and pockets. These will also work well around the docks. I often skip the docks with the jig head worm, then throw a SPRO Aruku Shad while moving between the docks. My friend, Mike Weaver, has been catching bass with a small Zara Puppy topwater plug while fishing from the bank around River Forks Park. Other lures are producing well, so you can just about pick your favorite method this week.

Nothing beats live bait for catching fish. Stop by Hammond’s Bait and Tackle and buy some medium minnows. Fish these 2-3 feet below a bobber around boat docks and in the back of the creeks. These minnows will catch a variety of fish and will help to ensure a successful day.Striper fishing is also very good. Shane Watson says that this has been one of his best springs for striper fishing. The blueback herring have been the best bait recently and the stripers are eating them up. The blue backs on Lake Lanier tend to spawn around sandy banks in the spring and this brings the stripers in shallow for an easy meal. Look at your Humminbird Electronics and find the schools of bluebacks and stripers. Place your blueback herring on flat lines and planer boards and target the stripers in the mouths of the creeks and the deeper middles of the pockets. Shane has also been catching stripers and large bass on a Hammond’s Blueback Bandit crank bait. Night fishing with Bomber Long A’s is still working OK in Flat Creek and also down by the dam.

Crappie fishing is good. Crappie are still shallow and they are spawning around down trees and stumps. Look in the backs of the creek or in shallow pockets in the creeks and target docks and wood. If there are any Christmas trees in the area then place a crappie minnow below a float and present your bait right above the Christmas tree tops. You can find crappie from the dam all the way up both rivers. Trolling crappie spoons and small jigs has been working well in shallow pockets.Trout fishing remains very productive on the Chattahoochee River. There are plenty of newly stocked trout in the river this week and they should be very easy to catch. Live bait (where permitted by law) has been working very well. Tie a small Aberdeen gold hook on to light line and place a large ¬-ounce split shot about 2 feet above the hook. Thread a night crawler or red wiggler worm on to your hook and fish around the deeper holes just below the rapids. Rooster Tails, Mepps Spinners and small Yo Suri Pins Minnows fished around the rapids will work very well on these stocked trout.

Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoor writer, bass fisherman and is sponsored by Humminbird, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammond’s Fishing and Boat Storage. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. I would love to hear from our readers, so please email me at esaldrich@yahoo.com or visit my website at esaldrich.tripod.com.



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