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Lake Lanier fishing report: Low visibility slows bass fishing

POSTED: July 22, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Lake Lanier temperatures are in the lower to mid 80s. The lake is continuing to hover around the 1055.8-foot mark and the recent rains only held the level steady for a week. We are still down 15 feet and we really need consistent rains to keep from hitting a record low this winter.

The water has been very stained from the boat traffic and rain this week. The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466Bass fishing has slowed overall recently, and the bass are moving into their deep-water summer pattern. This is the beginning of the time of year when a lot of anglers struggle.

One of the reasons for this slower action may be the stained water. When the water is stained fish have a hard time seeing long distances.

In spring, a spotted bass will come up from 25 feet deep to eat a topwater plug. When visibility is less than 10 feet, the strike zone of a bass is greatly affected. They still rely on sound and vibration but they are, for the most part, sight feeders.

What this means is that you may have to work your bait very close to where the bass are located. Target brush piles, rocks and standing timber in 25 feet or deeper. Work this cover with a drop shot rig, Texas-rigged worm or a jig. You can also cast fish head spins or rooster tails and let them sink down to the bottom around these same areas.

Of course, the best way to catch these deeper summer bass is to use Spot Tail minnows. Chum them up on any beach area or boat ramp with grits and use a cast net to catch them. These native minnows are like candy for the spotted bass on Lake Lanier, and catching 50 bass in a day is not unheard of with this method. Check in with Hammond’s Bait and Tackle for more information on nets and techniques for spot tail fishing.Striper fishing remains good, but you will need to fish deeper with your bait this week. My Humminbird electronics show that the stripers have moved deeper in the water column down around 50 feet or deeper.

Fish down-lined blueback herring over timber and flats where the bottom is 70 to 90 feet. Continue to troll one- or two-ounce SPRO buck tail jigs on lead core line in the river channels for some decent action.

Night fishing below Hydra-Glow lights is still productive and a great way to avoid the crowds.

For crappie, Keith Pace, owner of Micro Spoons ( reports that the fishing has been a little tougher this week. There are lots of smaller crappie at 25 feet around docks with brush but the bigger fish have been harder to come by.The bridges are always good areas to fish year round for crappie.

Live crappie minnows and crappie jigs or spoons worked around 25 feet will be your best bet.

For trout on the Chattahoochee, the morning bite is best before the crowds get out. Fish a small 1/8- or 1/16-ounce rooster tail or Mepps spinner on light line around the faster moving water for the best numbers. Fish live worms (where permitted) below the rapids and in the deeper pools.

Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoor writer, bass fisherman and is sponsored by Humminbird, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammonds 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 or visit my website at Remember to take a kid fishing!


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