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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Aim deeper for best chance at catching the most stripers
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s water level is reading the exact same at last week at 1,069.87 or 1.23 below the normal pool of 1,071. 

Water temperatures are in the mid-80’s. 

The main lake and the lower lake creeks remain clear, but expect the banks to become stained this holiday from the increased boat traffic. 

The uplake creeks and rivers are clear to stained. 

The water can become stained to muddy with any significant pop-up showers that occur in summer. 

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear.  

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

Bass fishing has been good this week. 

The fish are settled in to their early summer patterns. 

The best fishing for us has been coming from offshore brush and rock piles out from the main lake, back into of the creeks. 

We have started the day casting topwater plugs over our best offshore areas. 

Approach these areas by shutting off the big motor and approaching your areas with the trolling motor. 

We have caught several fish recently that were schooling away from the brush. 

Don’t spend too much time in any one area if you are not getting bites. 

The topwater activity has seemed to occur in small windows on sunny days, but has been strong during incoming weather fronts. 

We have had to use alternative lures like spy baits, soft plastic swimbaits and mid-to-deep diving crank baits to supplement the topwater lures during inactive periods. 

Topwater plugs will work extremely well during active feeding times and water generation periods. 

Continue to test it throughout the day. 

Some of your best topwater action often occurs during the middle of the day.

Make your first count. 

Cast a SPRO Spin John 70 directly past your target and directly over the brush. 

You will want to count down your spy baits to just above the depth where the brush tops out. 

Your spy baits usually sink about a foot per second, so if the brush tops out 10-feet below the surface, then impart a ten count before starting to reel. 

I also suggest that anglers make a second cast past the sides of your most productive brush. 

Reel these lures slow and steady. 

The secret about spy baits is that they have very little action and their subtlety is why they are so affective. 

If the spy bait is not your thing, then you can fish a Lanier Baits Little Swimmer and Jig Head or cast a Little John DD over and around the same brush. 

Experiment with your lures and pick the one that works best. Fish it around your next areas.

Other patterns are working, like fishing shallow back in the creeks and rivers with worms on shaky heads, shallow-crank baits and even a buzz bait. 

Some largemouth and spotted bass live in the skinny water year-round. 

Striper fishing has been good and the fish are moving deeper as they enter into the summer patterns. 

As the surface layers continue to warm, the thermocline will set up from 25-30 feet deep. 

This abrupt temperature layer change concentrates the stripers in water deeper than the thermocline. 

Even though the surface layers are warm, we continue to see small groups of fish eating on the surface early and later in the day. 

Keep a SPRO Pop 80 or your favorite surface plug ready so you do not miss any opportunities. 

The stripers have been moving around in the creek mouths, offshore creek channels, large coves and pinch points in the creeks both and up down lake. 

Look for the big schools of herring and shad and the stripers should be close by. 

Most of the fish have been located in 30-50 feet deep near some form of channel or ditch. 

I saw a school that almost blacked out the screen on my 16-inch Lowrance graph from the surface on down to an 80-foot bottom.

Trolling with a Captain Mack’s Umbrella Rigs has still been producing some good fish, especially early in the day. 

Troll these rigs at 2-3 mph around. 

Use a Captain Mack’s pre-rigged with his Chipmunk bucktails or use SPRO Buck Tails rigged with Lanier Baits 3 1/2 Little Swimmers. 

Invest in an umbrella-rig retriever as it will pay for itself many times over.

Live herring on downlines has continued to produce the best. 

Fish your live herring just above where you mark fish and switch them out every 10-15 minutes. 

Longer leaders and bigger weights will come in play soon, but for this week a 1 1/2-ounce lead weight with a 6-10-foot leader of Sunline Fluorocarbon has been fooling the fish. 

Use a couple of plastic beads behind your weight and use a SPRO Swivel tied to your a 14-20- Monofilament main line. 

I know a lot of people use Octopus Hooks. 

I have a better hook up rate with a  No. 1 Gamakatsu Shiner Hook. 

Hook your live baits through the snout with the hook pointing up.  

Brim & Crappie: The best fishing for crappie fishing has been best after dark under lights dock or floating lights around bridges. 

Use a small Aberdeen-style hook rigged with live crappie minnows or freshly-caught spot tail minnows. 

Use light line on an open or closed-face spinning reel and a medium-light to medium-action rod. 

You can catch plenty of brim from the banks with crickets or red wigglers under a bobber. 

Target rocky areas and move if you are not getting a bite pretty soon. 

Most of the brim caught shallow will be smaller, but they will bite pretty well. 

For the larger brim, try fishing out deeper with the same types of bait mentioned above. 

Instead of a bobber, use a small split shot attached a foot above your hook fished on the bottom in 5-15 feet deep and you can catch some better sized panfish. 


You can email Eric Aldrich at with comments or questions.

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