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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Bass biting better as cooler weather settles in for the fall
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier water levels continue to fall and are currently at 1,067.86 feet or 3.14 feet below the normal full pool of 1,071 feet above sea level. 

At the time of this writing, we have not had much rain, but Tropical Storm Ian will hopefully bring us some for the weekend. 

The main lake and mouths of the creeks are clear to stained. 

The creeks and the rivers are slightly stained to very stained from lake turnover. 

Lake surface temperatures are in the mid 70’s. 

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is stained due to lake turnover. 

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

Bass fishing continues to get better and better every day as the fall fishing season starts in North Georgia. 

The lake temperatures have fallen and the lake is in different phases of turnover. 

If you notice the water is stained or smells like sulfur, then you may want to seek out better conditions elsewhere on the lake.

The water clarity and quality will play into how the bass are schooling as they chase blueback herring and shad around the surface of the lake. 

Along with the brush piles on main lake, the bass are also relating to brush and rock around secondary points and humps from the mouth all the way on back into the creeks. 

Watch your electronics and pay attention to where the bait is located in relation to the surface. 

Make adjustments as needed.

It is definitely time to power fish. 

Cast a chrome-colored Super Spook, SPRO Epop 80, or a Storm Saltwater Chug Bug around areas where bait is present. 

Wind is a definite plus for this type of fishing.

Other moving lures like a Georgia Blade Premium Spinner bait with a combination of gold and silver blades or a SPRO Aruku Shad are working. 

Make long casts to wind-blown banks.

When the wind dies down, finesse techniques with a Lanier Baits Fruity Worm rigged on a drop shot. 

Ned Rigs or even a Gamakatsu Alien Head will produce bites when the fish are not actively feeding. 

Watch your electronics closely and ‘video game fish’ while running and gunning to the best potential areas.

There are a lot of largemouth bass biting around the same main lake brush piles where spotted bass are located out on the main lake. 

It seems that these largemouth are willing to share their water, due to the large amount of bait that is available in the areas. 

Lake Lanier’s spotted bass are being caught after dark. 

A SPRO McStick 110, Georgia Blade night time spinner bait or a Little John DD are always a good choice after dark for catching both spotted bass and largemouth bass.

Stripers: The cooler weather and falling water levels have really helped the striper bite. 

Start your days early and cover water as you hunt for the larger schools of stripers that are showing up in the main lake creek mouths. 

Keep a rod with a reel spooled with quality line, like Sunline Natural Monofilament ready to launch a topwater plug to any stripers or bass you see churning up the surface.  

The stripers will appear and disappear quickly. 

It’s important that you are ready for any opportunities the fish provide. 

The same topwater plugs that are working on the bass will work for stripers. 

Cast these lures around the main lake humps and long points near the river channels. 

Early and later in the day has been the best time to cast topwater plugs, but the fish are eating all day long.

Fly fishing is an awesome way to catch stripers and we are approaching one of the best times to fish with a fly rod. 

An 8 or 9 weight rod with floating line and a long herring-style streamer will work for catching stripers that area feeding on bluebacks. 

Make fast trips and keep your streamer moving at a fairly fast pace.

Trolling a Mack’s 4-arm Umbrella Rig has been working OK out around the humps and points near the river and creek channels. 

This is a good way to cover water, while you look for schooling fish. 

Once you locate fish, switch to live bait or topwater plugs. 

They have been more consistent than trolling. 

Blueback herring, shad or even store-bought shiners will work well for catching stripers, so make sure you fill your bait tanks so that you are ready. 

Target the areas from the creek mouths on into the creeks where the herring schools are present. 

The nighttime Bomber Long A and McStick bite is just stating to improve. 

Cast a SPRO McStick 110 to windy banks after dark and reel them back slow and steady. 

Cast your plugs with the wind at your back and cover water, until you get a few strikes. 

Then slow down and work the area. 

Crappie fishing is good and the fish are really starting to get concentrated around brush in coves and in the creeks. 

The fish are located around brush and docks in 10-30 feet of water. 

If you don’t get a bite within the first 10 minutes, move on to more productive water.

You can email Eric Aldrich at with comments or questions.

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