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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Improving bass bites best during middle of the day and in the evening
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

The lake level is down at 1,068.3 feet or 2.7 feet below the normal full pool of 1,071. 

Lake temperatures have gone back and forth from the lower 80’s into the upper 70’s. 

The main lake and creeks mouths are clear with some stained water in the back of the creeks. 

The creeks and rivers upstream are stained. 

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is very stained as the lake turnover period begins. 

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

Bass fishing has defiantly taken a turn for the better but it’s not where anglers want it to be yet. 

As the water temperatures drop into the 70’s, look for this action to really heat up.

Early in the mornings, the bite has been a little tough when the wind is not blowing. 

If the water is glassy, then try casting a SPRO RkCrawler crank bait to rocky points and humps. 

We have also been picking off a few bass by working a Georgia Blade Jig around these same rocky areas, as well as some of the mid-range brush piles. 

Once the sun rises, it’s time to go power fishing with your favorite topwater plug. 

Calm days make this tough, but it really heats up when the wind is blowing. 

A variety of topwater plugs will work including a SPRO E-Pop 80, Sammy, Super Spook or a STORM Chug Bug. 

The herring we are seeing are relatively long, so don’t be afraid to use larger plugs. 

Any color will work well as long as it is silver.

Work points and humps that top out around 15-feet and that have brush in the 15-25 feet deep. 

If the herring are present, look for the bass to be corralling baitfish against the surface. 

These bass will use the lake surface to trap herring and shad up against the surface. 

A topwater plug will garner some ferocious strikes.  

The same topwater action will go all day long on sunny, windy days. 

The middle of the day has actually been the best time to power fish with topwater plugs and swim baits. 

If it is not sunny or windy, target the deeper brush from 20-35 feet deep with a Lanier Baits Fruity Worm rigged on a dropshot rig.

Night fishing has really started to turn on and as stated in recent reports, you will have the whole lake all to yourself. 

The SPRO Little John DD in Citrus Shad or Black/Blue is a go-to lure for fishing after dark. 

Also, try casting a Georgia Blade Premium nighttime spinner bait around rocky banks. 

These lures put off a lot of vibration and bass actually feel them moving before they get close enough to see your lures.

Striper fishing is good. 

We are starting to see positive changes due to the shorter daylight hours and the cooler water temperatures. 

This will only get better as the lake surface temperatures drop into the 70’s. 

The stripers are working the herring into shallower water where they are easier to catch. 

Three patterns will work well right now so pick your favorite style of fishing and get out to the lake. 

Trolling live herring and casting to schooling fish are all viable methods to employ this week. Keep a surface or subsurface lure ready at all times.

We have started to catch a few stripers with topwater lures. 

Keep your favorite plug tied on and ready. 

This action will improve as the days grow shorter and the surface temperatures drop. 

Presently, we have not seen the large schools of stripers yet but you can bet they will appear soon. 

Instead, the stripers are roaming around is small worlfpacks of 5-25 fish. 

You need to get a cast to them quickly before they sound and surface again just out of casting distance.

Trolling continues to work well and will allow you to search and cover water to locate the larger schools. 

The fish have been a little more shallow. 

Run your umbrella rigs at 7 or 8 colors at around 2 1/2 mph. 

Try casting or trolling with a Captain Mack’s Mini Umbrella Rig or a large, single SPRO Buck Tails and troll these offerings at 15-35 feet deep. 

Down riggers make things easy and will allow anglers to use their lures at an exact depth. 

Watch your electronics closely. 

When you locate the fish, then set out both flat lines (just a hook tied to your main line) or down lines (a weighted main line with a leader and hook) based on where you mark stripers in the water column. 

The fish are trapping herring against the surface, but they are also able to move from shallow to deep water quickly. 

Keep your depth options open. 

Power reeling is also good. 

Try dropping your herring on the down lines, then power reel them through the school to trigger reaction bites from stripers before you switch out baits.

The night bite is just starting, but it will get much better as fall arrives and cools the water down. 

Cast a Bomber Long A, SPRO McStick or other herring-type lure to any lighted boat docks. 

Crappie fishing continues to improve and light fishing is by far the best time to fish. 

Continue to fish after dark around Hydro Glow dock lights. 

During the day, look for the crappie in the creeks around brush piles located from 15-25 feet deep.

You can email Eric Aldrich at with comments or questions.

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