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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Cast a line in deeper water to find the bigger crappie
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s water level remains steady is at 1,071.10 or .10 feet above the normal full pool of 1,071. 

The main lake, rivers and creeks are clear to stained from pollen. 

Lake surface temperatures are in the mid 70’s. 

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. 

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

Bass fishing has been good. 

There are still some bass spawning, but the majority of fish have finished up and are on a post spawn, herring and shad pattern. 

The majority of the bass this week are chasing herring and shad and can be found in water less than 15 feet of water. 

A small topwater plug or a Lanier Baits Jerk Shad have worked best this week worked over sandy and clay saddles, humps and points. 

There are also a lot of spotted and largemouth bass that will spawn around dock in shallow water. 

Clay banks with rock are also great places to target in the late spring. 

Beat the banks with a small Bandit 300 or a SPRO McStick 110. 

Reel these lures slow and steady and bang them into the rocks on the bottom. 

A lot of big spotted bass have spawned and are chasing herring out on the points, pockets and humps out around main lake. 

Dragging a 1/4-ounce Gamakatsu Alien Head with a Lanier Baits Finesse Worm or a Jerk Shad (fluke style bait) for some big spotted bass. 

If you get a hit, set the hook hard. 

If the bass comes loose, cast back to that same spot and they will often give you a second chance. 

We have started to get some great action on swim baits, jerk baits, topwater plugs and spinner baits out over the saddles and humps for post and pre-spawn bass that are targeting herring. 

This action is just beginning and will only get better as time goes on.

Striper fishing has been decent to good. 

There are a lot of smaller fish showing up schooling around the islands, both below Browns Bridge and up to Gainesville Marina. 

Keep a topwater plug ready for any schooling fish. 

There are also some bigger fish in these same areas, but the better fish seem to be in the creeks off the main lake and in the rivers.

Dragging herring on flat lines and planner boards is the way to go during mild weather days. 

You may need to add some split-shot weight if the wind picks up. 

Switch to down lines when it really starts blowing. 

Herring have been working best as it looks like they are moving in to spawn. 

Don’t be afraid to add a big gizzard shad or trout to your spread to trigger a bigger bite. 

We have had some very windy days, so consider trolling an umbrella rig when the weather makes fishing live bait to difficult. 

Pull a Captain Mack’s 4-arm, two-ounce umbrella rigged with four 1/2-ounce SPRO Buck Tails with curly tails. 

Add a bigger 1 1/2-ounce SPRO Buck tail with a Suicide Shad in the middle. 

This rig will run about 10 feet deep, if you pull it 100 feet behind the boat at 2.5 mph. 

The stripers are still hitting Bomber Long A’s and SPRO Mc Sticks after dark around the creek mouths, the dam and in the pockets around lighted boat docks.

Crappie fishing is good, but the bigger fish may be out a little deeper. 

There are plenty of smaller crappie around brush, rock and docks up in 3-10 feet of water. 

You can also find crappie around bridges that are found toward the backs of the creeks.

This is the time that it is hard to beat a minnow below a bobber. 

Place a bobber on light 4-6-pound line, then place a hook 1-2 feet below your float. 

Attach a split-shot about six inches above the hook. 

Hook a crappie minnow through the lips or just under the dorsal fin and cast it out close to any shoreline cover. 

You can also cast it straight out to entice suspended fish too.

You can email Eric Aldrich at with comments or questions.

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