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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Bass biting well around offshore brush piles
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s water level is down about a 1 1/2 feet at 1,069.45 or 1.55 below the normal pool of 1,071. 

The main lake and the lower lake creeks remain clear during week days, but heavy weekend traffic will cause the water to get stained quickly. 

The uplake creeks and rivers are clear to stained, especially following afternoon thunderstorms. 

Water temperatures have risen into the upper 70’s.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. 

The upper Chattahoochee River as well as the North Georgia mountain rivers and streams are clear, but may get stained with any afternoon thunderstorms. 

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

Bass fishing has rated very good. 

This is the time of year most bass anglers live for. 

The most successful anglers may never be within casting distance of the bank and offshore brush piles are the best targets all day long.

Start your day on large main lake humps and points. 

Keep a couple versions of your favorite topwater lures tied on and at the ready. 

Subsurface lures like a Lanier Baits Little Swimmer or a SPRO McStick will also produce some decent schooling fish.

As the sun rises, keep your favorite topwater plug in your hands and start making a milk run of brush piles. 

Don’t spend too much time in non-productive areas. 

This type of fishing is not for the anglers seeking relaxation, but instead is a numbers game of hitting as many brush piles as possible as you seek out the biggest spotted and largemouth on the lake. 

I have been keeping two separate topwater plugs on the deck this week. 

My go-to lure has always been a Sammy or a discontinued SPRO Dawg walking lure and just recently one of the new SPRO Pop 80 Essential Series. 

The walking lures seem to work best on calmer days and the poppers seem to be best on windy days. There is no set rule, so let the fish tell you what the prefer.

In addition to your topwater lures, also keep a drop shot rig with a Lanier Baits Fruity Worm at the ready to drop down to any fish that you see on your Lowrance Electronics. 

On cloudy days, subsurface lures may produce as many bites as your topwater offerings. 

Other lures will work this week, including a Big Bites Jerk Minnow, SPRO Spin John 80 or Dual Realis 90 Spybait are all worth a try, 

Casting crank baits like a SPRO Little John DD or a Fat Pappa 70 to offshore rock and brush are all working well.

The night bite has slowed a little. 

Cast dark-colored Jigs or Texas-Rigged Worms to brush in 15-25 feet deep.

Striper fishing has been good. 

The stripers are chasing shad and herring out on the main lake. 

Arrive early and carry as many herring as you can successfully keep alive. Take good care of your bait all day long. 

The proper combination of ice and salt or fish chemicals in addition with pumped in oxygen and a quality air stone will keep your herring lively. 

Lively herring are a must for having success with warm-weather striper fishing. 

It is better to use live shiners than dead bluebacks, if your boat is not equipped with a quality bait tank.

Start your day in the creek and rivers and start scanning with your electronics to find the bait and fish before dropping live bait lines. 

Early in the day, the stripers will be shallow around humps and points in the creek mouths. 

Start out trolling with a Captain Mack’s Umbrella Rig. 

Also keep a casting rod rigged with a topwater plug or a SPRO Bucktail to cast to any fish you see on the surface. 

Be prepared to keep moving until you find active fish on your Lowrance Fish Finders. 

Once you locate a school of fish, then set out a combination of flat and down lines and also add in some planner boards to increase the side of your spread. 

Switch out your baits every 10 minutes to make sure your herring are active. 

You can keep your dead bait and cut it up to chum the area you are fishing. 

Be willing to move when you don’t get a bite within 15-30 minutes.

The stripers have been biting in the creek mouths and around the deeper bridges after dark. 

Set out a light and use live herring or shad on down lines. 

The lights will attract the bait which in turn attracts the stripers.

Brim: The brim are bedding on Lake Lanier. 

Unlike many low land southern reservoirs, the brim on Lake Lanier bed deeper than most anglers expect. 

They may bed way deeper than you can see in 10-feet of water. 

The good news is you can often see the tell-tale craters (or nests) on your Structure Scan Side Imaging. 

Once you locate a group of brim, cast a live earthworm or cricket on a weighted line or a slip bobber. 

The brim will bed off and on all summer.

Bank fishing: Fishing from the bank can be tough on hot days, but there is one fish that will always bite and they love to hang around human activity. 

Carp are everywhere on Lake Lanier and they put up one heck of a fight.

All you need is a Zebco 33, a bag of Aberdeen Style Hooks, some 1/8-¼-ounce split shot sinkers and a can of corn. 

Chum out a handful of corn and then thread a few kernels on your hook. 

Cast it out, let the hook and corn hit bottom and then secure your rod and wait!


You can email Eric Aldrich at esaldrich@yahoo.com with comments or questions.

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