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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Crappie fishing remains strong for those willing to go out early in the day
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

This past week’s rains are still draining into the lake and Lake Lanier’s water level is at 1,067.11 or 3.89 feet below the normal full pool of 1,071 and rising. 

Water temperatures have fallen into the mid 60’s. The main lake and creeks mouths are clear to stained. The creeks and rivers are stained to muddy in the backs from rain inflow. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is very stained due to lake turnover and rain runoff. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Free Electronics Seminar: Come out to West Marine from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday in Buford to learn more about your marine electronics.

Bass fishing has very good but the incoming cold front may change things. This past week the topwater bite has been strong. We will probably see a short lull in the surface activity, but after the incoming cold front the bass should continue to eat on the surface. 

This past week, the topwater bite has been very strong. Cast a Zara Spook, Pop-R or Sammy over any man-made brush piles in the creek mouths and you should be able to catch them. Tall brush set out at 15-25 feet close to drop offs should hold some fish this week.

Continue to “Run and Gun” and check as many areas as possible with a topwater plug and a bottom bouncing lure like a Drop Shot Rig with a Lanier Baits Fruity Worm or Big Bite Baits Shakin’ Squirrel. Experiment with other bottom presentations like a Jig, Texas Rig or a Ned Rig. 

Keep moving until you find active fish!

The bass and stripers have been biting after dark well. Email or send a private message on Facebook to book a day or night time trip.

Striper fishing has been very good. The fish have been schooling in the mouths of the creeks. On calm days, you should be able to both hear and see the large schools of stripers boiling on the surface. These fish have been staying up longer where they are suckers for a Sammy or SPRO McStick.

Casting lures to schooling fish, trolling and pulling herring on flat lines and behind planner boards have all been working at times. Most of the fish seem to be located in the upper 30-feet of the water column where they are easy to target. Keep a lure like a SPRO McStick, Buck Tail, Redfin or your favorite surface lure ready at all times. This is an awesome time to cast streamers on a fly rod to pick off surfacing fish.

If you don’t see fish on the surface then you will need to rely on your marine electronics. My Lowrance Carbon 12 and 16 are awesome tools for locating and catching fish. The fish are feeding and moving quickly so don’t camp out in any one single area, unless the stripers are staying put. 

Try trolling or slowly pulling live herring around any productive areas

We are still catching stripers after dark out around the islands and around lighted boat docks. Cast a SPRO McStick 110’s or Bomber Long A to wind-blown banks or around the Hydro Glow Lights to score some great action after dark. 

Crappie fishing is good, especially in the morning and after dark for anglers that can find and fish the brush in the pockets and toward the backs of the creeks. Cast minnows set out 5-feet deep under a slip bobber or shoot small Hal Flies around docks that have wood cover and lights. 

If you can locate an older dock with a beaver hutch, then that should hold a school of crappie.

Bank Fishing: The stripers are shallow in the creek mouths where they can be targeted by bank anglers. Two methods are working. Visit parks near the creek mouths and walk the banks while casting topwater plugs like a Zara Spook, Redfin or Sammy. The stripers will set up pretty shallow on some days so bank anglers who are set up with a quality rod and reel set up for long casts. Keep moving and pay special attention to major and secondary points on windy banks.

If you prefer a slower pace, then you can set up multiple rods with live shiners, herring or shad. Find a bank where the wind is blowing into the lake. This will allow your bait to float away from the bank and out into deeper water. Cast a slip bobber with a live bait fish hooked just under the dorsal fin. 

You can also fish cut bait on the bottom. Also try chumming the area with any minnows that die. Secure your rods well and wait to hear the drag screaming.

Eric Aldrich is an outdoor writer, marketing specialist, guide and bass angler. He is currently booking teaching trips for Lake Lanier’s spotted and largemouth bass. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. He would love to hear from readers, so please email him at Remember to take a kid fishing. 

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