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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Bass biting well as warmer weather arrives
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s water level is holding steady and is at 1,069.70 or 1.30 feet below the normal level of 1,071 feet. 

Lake surface temperatures have risen into the mid 50’s.

The main lake is clear. 

The lower-to-upper lake creeks range from clear to slightly stained in the backs. 

The rivers above Highway 53 Bridge range from clear to stained.

The Chattahoochee River below Burford Dam is clear. 

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

Bass fishing has been decent this past week. As we are approaching the last week of winter, the bass seem to be as ready as the anglers are for the spring time to arrive. 

The warmer-than-usual temperatures have started to get the bass moving shallower and are easier to catch.  

The bass have been active first thing in the morning. 

Start your day casting moving lures like a jerk baits, spinner baits or crank baits on secondary points leading into the pockets. 

Seek out areas that are transition zones where clay meets chunk rock. 

These areas will contain bait like shad and crawdads that the bass need to fatten up for the spring spawn.

As the sun rises over the trees, bass have been a little slower to react to our moving lures. 

Switch over to a stand-up jig head with a soft-plastic craw imitator like the Big Bites College Craw or a Lanier Baits Chattahoochee Craw. 

Crawl the lures around the bottom. 

Some bites will be aggressive, while others may be so soft that you barely see you line moving. 

When you feel something different, tighten up on your line and if it feels heavy, then set the hook.

Later in the day and on past dark, we have been sticking with fishing rock on secondary points with a SPRO RkCrawlers. 

The bass have been striking these lures hard and the bigger fish seem to prefer the crank bait on later in the day and on into the night.

Striper fishing has been very good and there are some big schools located from the Dam all the way up further north. 

There have been some decent congregations of stripers from Young Deer Creek on up to Wahoo and Little Rivers.

On cloudy days, we have encountered some big schools of fish and the gulls have been giving away the best locations. 

Cast lures like a SPRO McStick or a Buck Tail and stay with the birds. 

You can often read the direction the school is moving and position your boat accordingly.

If you are fishing on a sunny day, stay shallow as the sun rises and stay until the fish leave. Follow them out into deeper water. 

The stripers are relating to bait. Use your Lowrance Electronics and watch the gulls to find both bait and stripers.

Trolling an Umbrella Rig is still a viable technique for both locating and catching fish all day long. 

Follow the same examples as above. 

Start out where you see gulls and loons and keep your boat moving from 2-3 mph.

Both flat lines and down lines have been working well. 

Look for the fish to be hitting flat lines early and later in the day or when the weather is overcast. 

On sunny days, a down line may be the better option. 

I am seeing some good concentrations of fish from 10-35 feet range. 

Crappie Fishing: The crappie are biting well. 

Find docks in the back of creeks or around ditches with docks in the bigger pockets. 

Fish crappie minnows below a slip bobber at 5-10 feet deep or shoot small jigs around docks with brush.

Bank fishing: Bank anglers can catch a variety of species of fish with a bottom rig. 

Use live shad, herring or shiners. 

If your bait dies or you only have frozen bait, then that shouldn’t be a problem as stripers and catfish love cut bait. 

Stripers and catfish can be caught on chicken livers.

Locate banks channel swings in the creeks or rivers. 

These steeper banks close to the channels can hold concentrations of stripers, bass, catfish and even the occasional tasty walleye. 

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 his readers, so please email him at Remember to take a kid fishing.

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