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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Fast-moving stripers working in smaller groups
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s water level has been holding steady and is currently at 1,071.37 feet, which is .37 feet above the normal full pool of 1,071. 

The main lake is clear to stained from pollen. 

The backs of the creeks are stained from pollen and some residual rain inflow. 

The uplake rivers are stained. 

Lake surface temperatures are in the low 60s.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. 

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

Bass fishing has rated from fair to very good. 

The bass have started to spawn. There are a lot of male bass starting to fan beds along with some larger females moving in to find suitable mates to help fertilize their eggs.

First thing in the morning, you may find some active fish feeding on herring and shad on main lake points and secondary points leading into the spawning pockets. 

These fish are feasting on the large baitfish schools first thing in the day. 

Not every point will have schools of bait and bass, but some are loaded. 

Cast spinner baits, SPRO McSticks and other shad imitating lures around promising looking points, but don’t spend too long on any area if you don’t get a bite pretty soon. 

Keep moving and when you find the fish, they will let you know they are present.

We have been casting a SPRO McStick 110 in clear chartreuse on sunny days and around shallow rocks on points and humps from the main lake all the way on into the midlake secondary points. 

On cloudy days, Chrome or Old Glory Colors have been working better.

As the sun gets up higher in the sky, we have been working back shallower into the coves and cuts. 

The docks are holding numbers of fish that will bite shaky heads rigged with a Lanier Fruity Worm or small jigs with a craw imitator. 

Learning to skip these lures up under cables, floats and the docks gang planks will really up the odds of catching bigger spawning fish. 

You can also run moving lures like jerk baits, spinner baits, crank baits or even an inline spinner like a 1/16-ounce Rooster Tail over the flats, in the ditches and down the sides of the docks.

We have also started to see some sporadic topwater activity. Keep a surfaced plug, like one of the new SPRO E POP 80’s, at the ready for any fish that surface within casting distance.

After dark, the bass have been biting strong around rocky banks, both out on the main lake and back into the creeks. 

The lighted boat docks are also holding a lot of fish, but there is really no need to target just lighted docks. 

The darker banks will hold just as many fish. 

We have been casting SPRO RkCrawlers, Large Single Colorado Blade Spinnerbaits or a Black Blue Herons Chatter Style lure in these same locations.

Striper fishing has been good and the stripers are out around main lake humps and points are feasting on shad and herring. 

Early in the day, you will see smaller groups of turns, gulls and loons working the best areas. 

As the sun gets higher in the sky, the birds will really get active where the herring are schooling. 

Start your day pulling live herring or shad on flat lines around the humps and points on the main lake or even up in the creeks and rivers. 

You can increase the size of your spread by running planner boards out to the port and starboard sides of your boat. 

The stripers seem to be in smaller groups and they are covering water. You should plan on doing the same. 

Keep your boat moving at a medium pace and cover water. 

Experiment with pulling a Captain Mack’s Mini Rig out behind your bait spread to coax a few extra bites. 

Some days, trolling the Mini Rig can keep pace or even outproduce your live baits.

We are seeing some fish surfacing early in the day and during active feeding periods. 

Keep a rod with a Redfin, McStick or a SPRO Bucktail ready to cast to any fish you see schooling close to the surface.

Crappie fishing remains good and the fish have moved into the shallows to spawn. 

Target shallower coves that have brush like Christmas trees or laydowns. 

These small areas can hold large schools of crappie. 

Fish crappie minnows under a float and use a small No. 2 Gamakatsu Aberdeen Style hook. 

If your minnows don’t get a bite within the first 10 minutes, you are probably not around many fish. 

Keep moving until you get the bites.

Bank Fishing: The DNR has stocked plenty of catchable trout both on the Lower Chattahoochee River as well as in the North Georgia Mountains. 

Pick your favorite method and get out and enjoy some cool spring trout fishing!

Eric Aldrich is an outdoor writer, marketing specialist and bass angler. You can email him at esaldrich@yahoo.com.

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