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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Brim, crappie biting well where you can find ample cover
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 18 inches at 1,069.37 or 1.63 below the normal pool of 1,071. 

Water temperatures are rising up to 80’s.

The main lake and the lower lake creeks are mostly clear during the week. 

The weekend traffic will get the waves up and the water around the shoreline in the busy areas can turn stained to muddy by afternoon.

The up-lake creeks and rivers are mostly clear. 

The water in the upper rivers and northern-feeder creeks have been clear, but may become slightly stained when rain water inflows. 

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear.

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

Bass fishing has been very good for power fishing and OK for casting to the docks and banks. 

Fishing shallow has been slower. Don’t abandon the shallows too quickly if that is where you prefer. 

There are several full-time professional anglers that rarely fish water deeper than 10-feet. 

This past week’s hot weather has already given us a taste of the hot and muggy dog days ahead. 

Look for the boat traffic to increase. 

We have been launching around 5:45 from different mid-lake ramps and have also travelled to some north ramps up lake. Fishing is good all over. The lake has been mild on weekdays and the fish are schooling from Buford Dam and into the rivers. 

Here is the recipe for our eight-hours run and gun: Jump onto the deck, cast a topwater plug or big swimbait, move toward the submerged brush and scan directly over brush then drop a Fruity Worm. 

Repeat this 40 times in eight hours. 

You are forgiven in advance if you only fish 27 spots because you kept getting interrupted while catching magnum spots. 

Show off your big fish and enjoy.

Lay four rods, like my Kissel Krafts Custom Rods, on the deck and tie on the following. 

Use two medium-action spinning rods and spool your reels with 7-pound Sunline Sniper line. 

Take the first rod and tie on a SPRO Spin John 80 or Dual Realis 90. 

Take the other spinning rod and tie a dropshot rigged with a Lanier Baits Red Fuity Worm and ask to check out his drop shot weights and cool pro drop shot set up. 

These two spinning combos will work great on slick water days. 

Approach brush piles in 15-30 feet of water. 

Cast your spy baits over and past the brush and count it down about 10 seconds. 

It is ideal to almost tick the top of the brush. 

Just start reeling slow and steady. If the fish are around, you will get a bite. 

Don’t set the hook, just let the fish take it and start reeling fast. 

If the fish are very finicky, move over the brush and use a Lanier Baits drop shot set up and drop down to any fish you see.

If the water is choppy, or there is a lot of boat traffic, use your bait-casting equipment and get ready to power fish. 

Use a medium-action Kissel Krafts 7-foot-inch or even an 8-footer to increase your cast length. 

Set up the first of your two bait casters with 15-pound Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon. 

Rig a Sebile Magic Swimmer or a SPRO4-inch Shad Swimbait on the first rod and a large topwater plug like a SPRO Pop 80 or a Storm Chug Bug. 

Work the swim bait medium steady and vary your speeds. 

The Popper or Chugger shine in rough water. 

Make long casts and work the lure aggressively for some spectacular strikes. 

I will also throw a noisy topwater plug, if it’s calm to entice a big fish.

The fish are still in predictable places. It hard to hold over a brush pile while the waves are whipping around. 

If you have an anchor feature, like my Lowrance Ghost as well as other brands, you can set up over the brush, hit the anchor option and it will hold that spot so you can concentrate on fishing. 

These fish on Lake Lanier see more boat traffic than most other fish in other lakes in America. 

They actually target baitfish that get disoriented from the constant boat wakes. 

I have seen more fish caught than I can remember by casting toward the incoming wakes. 

Cast a Spook, Sammy or SPRO Pop 80 and work your lures up and over the wakes. 

Other lure likes like big swim baits or a glide bait will work well, too.

Night fishing has turned into a drag. 

Tie on a big, black, Colorado blade and trailer and work it on the bottom. 

Also try dragging a large blue and black jig with a Big Bites College Craw trailer. 

Fish the same offshore brush you do during the day

Striper fishing remains good. 

I have started to see a faint hint of a thermocline in several areas at around 25-feet deep. 

The bait and some predator fish seem to be hanging around this same depth. 

As water temperatures rise in spring and summer the lake water separates into two layers of water. 

It may be 85 degrees on the surface and a little cooler as you go deeper. 

If you could dive past 30-feet deep, you would experience a hard and fast temperature change. 

The thermocline is the terminology for where these two temperature layers collide. 

The water on the surface over open water can be over 90 degrees, but  travel 120 feet down to the main lake river channel it is only around 55 to 65 degrees.

The stripers are still schooling at the surface, especially at sun rise, so take advantage of an early start. 

Be on the water before safe light. 

We have seen some decent action from some pretty large schools of smaller stripers. 

The action seems to be best in the mouths of main lake creek mouths. 

They will strike just about any surface lures or try a SPRO McStick. 

It swims 3-5 feet deep, but it sometimes outproduces a surface plug.

After the surface activity slows, stay in the area. 

Set out a couple lively herring on flat lines behind the boat. 

Set out a couple down lines with a two-ounce sinker and another lively herring. 

Set the down lines to just above the level where you mark fish. 

That will probably be somewhere around the developing thermocline at 25-30 feet deep. 

Some accomplished anglers set out planner boards and then set up a couple with weighted lines so that they can cover a wide swath along with covering all the depths.

Power reeling will be coming into play very soon. 

There are two methods that I consider power reeling. 

The first is when you are getting ready to replace a worn-out live herring. Take your rod that has your worn-out herring on a down line and let it drop quickly on down to the bottom. 

Once you hit the bottom, then reel it up as quickly as possible. 

The second method of power reeling is to take a Nichols Ben Parker spoon or a Lake Fork Flutter Spoon. 

Drop them all the way down past the school or all the way to the bottom if there is no timber. 

Reel them as quick as possible back to the boat. 

It will seem a bit awkward and it does wear most people out. 

About that time, you get an arm-breaking strike and will be addicted for life.

Brim & Crappie: Fishing for panfish has been very good. 

If you are fishing during the day from a bank in a local park, look for a bank that has some kind of distinct cover like Christmas trees, big rocks, trees laying in the water or even a bottom switch from rock to clay.

The best bet for crappie this week for us has been to fish the green dock lights that have water at least 15-feet deep close by.

Cast inline spinners or a live red wiggler under a bobber and secure your poles. 

Other bait like crickets, Catawba worms or even pieces of undercooked bacon or small pieces of cheese are working. 

You can email Eric Aldrich at with comments or questions.

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