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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Bass biting better at all depths as summer settles in
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

The CORPs has held Lake Lanier’s water level pretty steady. 

We are currently at 1,070.57 or .43 below the normal full pool of 1,071.  

The main lake and the lower lake creeks are clear. 

The up-lake creeks and rivers are clear to stained. 

Water temperatures are in the mid 70’s.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is very clear. 

The upper Chattahoochee River, as well as the North Georgia mountain rivers and streams, are clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river below Buford Dam at 770-945-1466. 

Bass fishing has been picking up. 

The fish are starting to settle in to some of their offshore haunts. 

There are also plenty of bass shallow in the coves, creeks and rivers where they are easy to catch.

You can start the day fishing a small top water plug or small swim baits in the coves. 

These prespawn bass have been easy to catch with a small topwater plug, like a Zara Puppy or try a swim bait, like a Lanier Baits Swimmer on a light 1/8-ounce jig head. 

After the sun rises, it’s time to move out and run and gun the offshore brush. 

If the wind is blowing and especially if a front is blowing through, try casting a topwater plug like a Sammy or a SPRO Pop 80 to coax strikes. 

The top water action has been hit and miss, so consider a change, if needed. 

A shallow running swim bait like a SPRO BBZ1 Shad or Magic Swimmer worked over brush piles in 15-25 feet of water is also a great way get bites. 

If there is no wind and the surface is calm, try swimming a Lanier Baits 31/2 Swimmer on a 1/4-ounce jig head or a SPRO Spin John 80 over the same brush. 

The bass have been suspending when the wind is down.

After you cast over the brush with moving lures, move in and use a Lanier Baits Fruity Worm on a dropshot to probe the brush. 

Use your electronics to scan the brush for fish.

Also consider casting out to the brush or laydowns and working a drop-shot rig like you would a Carolina Rig. 

You can also rig a straight tail worm on a 1/8-ounce jighead and work it through the brush. 

I like a Gamakatsu Alien Head because it skips well and the wire keeper holds the worm in place. 

The main lake can get busy, so staying in the coves and creeks can offer calmer water. 

These same finesse techniques mentioned above will work well in the shallower water too. 

Cast to docks and laydowns in the coves and around ditches for success. 

Other techniques have been working well too, so fish your strengths because the bass are feeding. 

The night bite has been very good, so get out your SPRO RkCrawlers, Little John DDs and black spinnerbaits and go fishing after the sun goes down.

Striper fishing has been pretty good. 

Keep in mind that the fish seem to be on the move. 

Be prepared to change up places and methods as needed. 

Your electronics are essential tools right now, so keep a close eye on what they are telling you. 

My Lowrance Units are my eyes under water and they can make the difference between catching and just fishing. 

The stripers are both shallow and deep this week. They are following the bait.

Start your day trolling umbrella rigs or just looking around long points, humps and islands that are located close to deeper water. 

The stripers have been pushing bait around the shallow sand and clay saddles then they have been moving out deeper into water off the points at around 40-60 feet deep.

Once you locate the bait and the stripers are present, deploy either flat lines (if the fish are less than 20-feet deep) or down lines (If the fish are deeper than 20-feet deep). 

Herring or larger shad have been working best.

Keep a casting rod rigged with an Alabama Rig (castable umbrella Rig) or a single lure like a SPRO Buck Tail or McStick 110 to cast to any fish you see on the surface. 

There have been a lot of bass mixed in the areas that hold bait.

Keep in mind that the stripers and the bait they are chasing can move in and out of an area very quickly. 

Be prepared for when the fish arrive, but also be willing to change areas as needed. 

Trolling a Captain Macks’ Umbrella Rig at 2 1/2 mph has been a good way for anglers to both locate, but also catch stripers this week. 

Watch your electronics while you search for stripers while pulling this rig.

Crappie and Brim: My buddy reports that they are still catching crappie on minnows and a bobber up lake in the coves around brush and Christmas trees. 

The crappie as well as some brim and catfish are striking minnows fished two feet below a bobber at dawn and also past sunset. 

Trout fishing is very good in the North Georgia Mountains as well as below the Buford Dam Tailrace. 

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has stocked plenty of new trout that are ready to catch. Pick your favorite technique and go fishing. 

Eric Aldrich is an outdoor writer, marketing specialist and bass angler. You can email him at

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