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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Bass fishing improves with shorter days
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s water level continues to hold steady at just above full pool at 1,071.24 or .24 feet above the normal full pool of 1,071. The main lake is mostly clear. 

Up the lake is stained from rain water inflow.

Lake Lanier’s surface temperatures are in the low to mid-80’s. 

Lake Lanier is calm on the weekdays, but the weekends are busy

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

Bass fishing is picking up as daylight hours shorten. 

Lake Lanier’s spotted and largemouth bass are biting better. 

There is no need to get up too early. The afternoon action has been best.

Start your days with a SPRO RkCrawler and work rocky banks toward the creek mouths. 

Other lures like topwater and dropshot worms will also score some decent bites early in the day.

The best fishing starts about 10 a.m. with topwater plugs. 

Cast a Sammy, Super Spook or Pencil Popper over brush near channel drops and brush in 20-35 feet deep.

Live spottail minnows are also a great natural bait for catching a variety of species including spotted, largemouth, stripers and even catfish. Grab a fine mesh cast net, chum in an area with grits. You may catch enough in one or two throws to fish all day long.

After dark, change back to a SPRO RkCrawler or Little John DD around those same rocky banks that you would fish early in the day.

Stripers: The stripers are biting both trolled lures as well as down and flat lined herring. 

Start your day in the creek mouths both on main lake.

Trolling umbrella Rigs on 8-9 colors of lead core at 2 1/2 miles an hour has been producing well. 

This is a great way to cover water. Rig your lead core with either a 1-2 ounce SPRO Bucktail with a Big Bite Suicide Shad or a Captain Mack’s Umbrella Rig. 

Pay attention to when your bites occur. 

Often, you will entice a reaction bite when you change directions or speeds as your trolled rigs change momentum.

The thermocline is still set up at 25-30 feet deep. 

When down lining herring, make sure you fish below that level. Most of your bites will occur from 30-100 feet deep. Make sure to stock up on plenty of bluebacks and make sure to keep the proper amount of salt and ice on your baits. 

Nothing is nearly as disappointing as running out of live bait when you find a massive school of stripers.

Crappie fishing has picked up slightly and anglers who are adept at shooting light crappie jigs on light line around docks with brush located from 15-30 feet deep

Bank fishing: Trout fishing has been good in the mountain streams as well as below Buford Dam. Live earthworms have been very effective (where live bait is permitted by law). 

The recent rains have been washing lots of earthworms into the river and streams providing a consistent supply of natural food for the trout.

Fly fishing with both dry and wet flies have also been productive. 

For spinning anglers, try casting a small Rooster Tail or Panther Martin inline spinner for success around any rapids or in the deeper pools.

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

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