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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Bass and stripers both biting near the banks
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier fell below full pool this past week. 

The CORPs continues to pull water. We are currently at 1,070.54 or .46 foot below the normal level 1,071. 

Lake Lanier’s surface temperatures remain in the upper 60’s. 

Lake turnover usually takes three months and it continues to occur on Lake Lanier. 

Areas of the lower lake are gin clear while the creeks and rivers are stained green to muddy.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is a sad-looking muddy/greenish color because of lake turnover. 

No worries as it will clear soon enough as winter approaches. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466. 

Bass: It seems hard to meter the bass fishing this week. 

Some very good anglers are struggling, while others report good fishing. 

The catching has been good in my boat. I will count my blessings. There is no replacement for time spent on the water. 

Most of the reports from friends say that their best fishing has come on two techniques. The first one is fishing a shaky head and worm combo on docks. The second option has been cranking a SPRO RkCrawler on rocky banks. Most of these anglers’ report catching decent bass in water less than 15-feet deep.

My personal report is that we are catching fish shallow early in the morning. Then we have been pulling out slightly deeper and catching good fish on jigs dragged around rocks and brush.

Start your day around points that have rock and clay. 

Cast a Fishead Spin with a Big Bites Suicide Shad Trailer and retrieve this lure at a medium speed, fast enough to keep it running about 5-feet deep. 

We have also caught good fish on a SPRO McStick 110 worked with either a jerk and pause or a medium-steady retrieve. 

Play around with both retrieves and let the fish that strike tell you what is working best on that particular day. 

On cloudy days, these methods have been working well into the morning.

As the daylight improves or the sun gets higher in the sky, we have been catching fish on topwater lures. 

This action has been sporadic, at best. 

We have also caught fish in brush piles from 20-25-feet deep. 

My Lowrance units have been showing decent schools of fish that will follow your dropshot rigged worms to the bottom. 

Use a Lanier Baits Fruity Worm or downsize to a Lanier Baits Runt to fool these fish into eating.

Our biggest fish during the day have come by dragging a jig rigged with a Big Bites College Craw around steep rocky banks. 

A lot of the fish we have caught have been spitting up crawfish and a jig and craw trailer match the hatch perfectly. 

I have not seen any other boats bass fishing after dark, so get out your SPRO Little John DDs and RkCrawlers and hit the rocky banks in the mouths of the creeks below Browns Bridge. 

Striper fishing has ranked from fair to very good. 

The common denominator seems to be water quality. 

The clearer water seems to be more consistent below Browns Bridge and that is where I would start the day. 

You can find stripers right now from the dam all the way into the rivers. 

You have plenty of areas to explore.

The stripers have been eating very small shad and medium-sized herring. 

Because the lake is turning over, you may catch fish on the surface close to shallow points and humps or deeper in the ditches. 

The deeper fish have been hanging out from 30-50 feet deep over a 50-90 foot bottom. 

Trust your electronics and put your baits where you see fish on your graphs. 

When you mark fish, deploy either flat lines (unweighted) or down lines (weighted). 

If the fish are shallower than 20-feet, flat lines may be your best bet. 

Once the fish get below that depth, then downlines will most likely be your best option. 

Make sure that you are marking fish before deploying your live baits. 

The night fishing has been good. 

Cast Bomber Long A’s or a SPRO McStick 110s around three sisters and the mid-lake islands or hit the lighted boat docks and use the same lures, a small bucktail or flip a live herring to the lights and hold on. 

Crappie fishing has also been hit and miss. 

Set your Structure scan to show only the righthand side of the boat and scan under docks. 

By setting structure scan to just the right, you can utilize the entire screen for finding the best areas.

The best docks will have brush located in 15-20 feet deep. 

Use small crappie minnows on a down line to get just above or into the brush. 

Also try casting or shooting small crappie minnows into or under the brush. 

You will lose some jigs, but that is what it takes to get sown to where the crappie live. 

Bank Fishing: There have been bass and stripers up shallow where bank-bound anglers can catch them. 

Get a five-gallon bucket with a battery-powered aerator and small bubbler stone. 

Buy a couple dozen medium shiners. 

You can use commercial rod holders or save some cash and go to the hardware store and buy some PCV pipe that fits the butts of your fishing rods. 

You can secure your rods very well as long as you pound the PVC into the sand or clay.

Locate an area, either around a bridge or find a bank that has a deep-water channel swing close by. Cast either a weighted bobber and put about 3-feet of line or use a slip bobber and set you line stop to 5-7 feet deep. 

It helps to have the wind blowing at your back so that your lines will stay out away from the shore. 

If you do not get a bite within 45 minutes, consider making a move.


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. He would love to hear from readers, so please email me at esaldrich@yahoo.com.

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