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Lake Lanier fishing report: Bass fishing still good

POSTED: December 22, 2011 9:35 p.m.

Lake temperatures are in the mid 50s. The lake levels have been holding steady for a while and Lake Lanier is at 1058.6, which is 12.4 feet below full pool of 1071. Lake Lanier is clear on main lake and stained in the creeks.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is stained. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass: Bass fishing has been very good and should remain steady well into the New Year. There are still plenty of bass both shallow and deep.

That being said the shallow bite is red hot and most of our better quality fish continue to eat lures in water less than 20 feet deep.

This shallow bite has been very consistent this winter, which is a bit unusual for this time of year, but few anglers are complaining.

Several different lures and techniques are working, so keep an open mind and let the bass dictate which method is best.

The docks continue to produce some large fish and you can use different lures to fool these hiding bass. I love to skip docks with finesse techniques and this is how we are catching some of the bigger bass.

Use a 6 to 7 foot medium action spinning rod and reel spooled with the lightest line that you can get away with.

I use either 5 or 7 pound test Sunline Fluorocarbon and add some line treatment like Reel Magic to reduce wind knots and to improve your casts.

Use a gentle roll cast to skip a 1/8th ounce jig head with a finesse worm or craw.

This technique takes some practice, but you will be rewarded when you catch these sneaky fish hiding up under
the docks.

During the more active feeding periods try casting shad or blue back imitating lures like spinner baits, jerk baits or medium to deep diving crank baits. Target main lake points and humps, and also the rocky steep banks that lead into the creeks and coves.

Stripers: Striper fishing is good and several methods are working for these hard fighting fish.

Live bait is always a good choice and this week is no exception.

The stripers are biting both shallow and out deeper.
Start out with both flat and down lines and let the strikes dictate which method is best. Use lively trout or blue backs herring as both are working well.

There have been some good schools of fish down lake in the creeks and also up lake in the creeks and rivers.
Pay close attention to the birds. Seagulls, King Fishers, loons and also my Humminbird Fish Finders all help to narrow down our search.

I have spent many hours watching gulls and there are a few things to look out for.

I don't pay too much attention to gulls lying on the water but instead I keep an eye out for gulls that are circling or diving.

This activity usually indicates that the birds are seeing bait that is forced to the surface by feeding stripers.

Often you may witness a whole flock of gulls diving into one small area the size of a pickup truck bed.

This usually indicated that the stripers have corralled a school of bait fish right up on the surface.

If you can cast a buck tail jig or spoon right into the middle of this action then hold on! Umbrella rigs are working very well in the creeks.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is good and these tasty pan fish are gouging themselves on shad as they prepare for colder months. Use a Micro Spoon tipped with live crappie minnow and shoot these lures around docks and brush piles from 5 to 10 feet deep in the coves.

Trout: Trout fishing below Buford Dam in the river is still slow, but I saw some anglers at the dam that had caught their limit with live red wiggler earth worms.

Use a small Aberdeen style hook and crimp a 1/8th to 1/4th ounce split shot about 12 to 16 inches above the hook to keep the bait close to the bottom.

Water quality is excellent up in the mountains so the fish should bite well.

Bank Fishing: You don't have to own a 70 MPH bass rocket to catch quality fish from Lake Lanier.

In the winter the stripers are up shallower and they can be caught from the shore. Cast a live bait on a slip bobber or cast Bomber Long As or McSticks.

The areas around Mary Alice, East and West Banks, Holly Park, River Forks are all worth a try.

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 his website at aldrichfishing.com.



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