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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Crappie biting well near deeper brush
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s level has fallen to 1,071.44 feet or .44 foot at a full pool of 1,071. 

Lake surface temperatures are in the mid-70’s. 

The main lake and creeks mouths are clear to slightly stained.  

Most of the creeks are very stained in the backs. 

The rivers are stained to muddy from recent rains.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is showing signs that Lake Lanier is turning over and is a green-brown color from lake stratification. 

This will continue on for at least a month or more depending upon seasonal temperatures. 

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

Bass fishing has ranged from good to fair as the lake starts the process of lake stratification. 

This is the time of years when the warmer upper layers mix with the cooler lower layers. 

This process is called stratification or turnover. 

When these different temperature layers mix the bass and other predator fish no longer relate to any particular depth. 

You may catch bass at just about any depth from 5-55 feet deep and all depths in between.

We have still been running brush piles from the main lake on into the creeks. We are starting to add in some docks and ditch channels into the rotations, too. 

We have caught fish on a variety of lures including topwater plugs, crank baits, dropshot, shaky heads, underspin and small-plastic swimbaits.

There has been a decent topwater bite, but it seems to be best on windy days and in the afternoons especially if the CORPS is generating water through Buford Dam. 

Target main lake brush or rock piles located from 15-35 feet deep. 

Cast a topwater plug like a Sammy, Zara Spook or medium-sized Whopper Plopper over the brush then use your electronics to move directly over the brush and use a Lanier Baits Fruity Worm on a dropshot rig.

The ditch bite should be just about ready to start capitalizing upon soon. 

Located long ditches that run from the shallow banks out into 50 or more feet deep. 

This pattern usually involves fishing the shallow banks at day break, then move out deeper as the sun rises.

Cast a SPRO McStick 110 or a Little John DD up shallow, then switch to small swimbaits or bottom presentations like stair-stepping a jig or shaky head down the steeper sides of the ditches.

Night fishing has really heated up for Lake Lanier’s spotted and largemouth. 

Locate rocky banks that are leading into shallower covers midway into the backs of the creeks.

Striper fishing has been very good, but these strong predator fish are on the move as they feed on shad and herring that are moving into the pockets just of main lake, creeks and in the rivers.

Start in the creek mouths at safelight and make sure to have a topwater plug or a subsurface lure like a SPRO McStick 110 or a Lanier Baits 3 1/2-inch Swimmer worked on a Damki Style head. 

We have been seeing large schools on the surface from Buford Dam into the north end creeks and rivers. 

Trolling a Captain Mack’s Umbrella Rig at 2-3 mph in the creek mouths has been a great way to cover water. 

Watch your electronics and if the wind is light, keep your eyes peeled for any school of fish you see exploding on the surface.

Live herring and large shiners fished on a combination of flat lines, planner boards and down lines will all produce as the stripers can be found at any depths this week.

The stripers are starting to bite after dark around main lake islands, as well as on back around lighted boat docks on the creeks. 

Cast Bomber Long A’s or SPRO McStick 110’s to the banks and reel them back medium steady for some arm wrenching 

Crappie: The crappie are really starting to relate to medium to deeper brush located in 15 to 25-feet in the creeks. 

These fish will bite all day and night long. 

Cast small crappie jigs or fish live minnows on weighted lines in the brush.

You can email Eric Aldrich at with comments or questions.

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