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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Focus on main lake points, humps and rivers to target stripers
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s water level is currently 1,072.04, which is 1.04 feet above the normal full pool of 1,071. 

The main lake is mostly clear and the creeks are slightly stained in the mouths. 

The backs of the creeks and upper lake rivers are muddy from recent rains. 

Lake surface temperatures have fluctuated from the recent cold fronts and have varied between 60-70 degrees. 

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear, but it will become more stained the further south you travel. 

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

Bass fishing has rated from good on some days to challenging on others. 

The moving-weather fronts and post-spawn conditions have made for some up-and-down fishing. 

But don’t worry: conditions are improving and will only get better as the bass return to the offshore brush piles on main lake humps and points. 

The best activity for us has been during moving weather fronts and windy days. 

The high-pressure and calm bluebird skies seem to make things tougher. 

The trick is to keep moving and trying new things, until you figure out what the bass want on the particular day you’re out on the water. 

Start your days out in the creek mouths and concentrate on main lake and secondary points outside of shallow coves, flats and pockets. 

The majority of Lake Lanier’s bass population has spawned and are looking for food to replenish themselves. 

Lures that mimic herring and shad have been producing the most strikes. 

Running and gunning as many main lake humps and points over brush can seem like work to some anglers, but this has been the key to successful catching this week. 

It’s a percentage thing and can really pay off when you finally land on a school of active fish. 

Pay close attention to what is occurring on each new stop. 

Often baitfish and bass will activate as your boat approaches. 

At some areas you may not see any surface activity, but instead you may see fish and bait on your electronics. 

Pay attention to where the fish and forage are located and adjust your fishing presentations as needed.

Almost every point or hump on Lake Lanier has planted brush piles, but knowing exactly where they are located can improve your catch rate. 

The recipe is simple: cast a moving lure like a topwater plug, swim bait or spinnerbait over the top of the brush. 

Then move in over the brush and pick up any fish you see with a drop shot.

I have been experimenting with some new lures from Lanier Baits. 

We have had good success with the Shad Spin Heads rigged with a 3 1/2 Swimmer. 

Some days the bass want these worked quickly up close to the surface. 

When the bass are less aggressive, try slow rolling these just over the top of the brush.

Of course, always keep a Fruity Worms tied on a dropshot rig to drop down to any fish you see below the boat.

Other techniques have been producing, so keep an open mind and a few extra rods rigged and ready. 

There are still a few fish spawning along with some males guarding around shallow docks. 

Skipping a Fruity Worm or Big Bites Finesse Worm on a 1/8-ounce Gamakatsu Alien Head will score plenty of bites. 

Some of the males and the larger females have moved to offshore rock piles and will eat a SPRO Little John MD or DD in Spooky Shad colors. 

The bass after dark will continue to strike these same crank baits in darker hues around rocky banks. 

Striper fishing has been good and the fish are schooling on main lake points, humps and even up in the rivers. 

You can catch stripers anywhere from the dam up to Lula Bridge. Watch your electronics closely and look for both bait and fish before committing to an area. 

A lot of this bait is still shallow, so target main lake islands and the saddles in between them.

Start your day by either trolling Captain Macks Umbrella Rigs or by casting topwater plugs or SPRO Bucktails with a Lanier Baits 3 1/2 Swimmer around main lake islands, points and humps. 

Trolling from 2-3 miles an hour or running and gunning points and humps with casting lures will allow you to cover water.

The stripers have been schooled around schools of shad and herring. 

A lot of this bait is still shallow, but watch your electronics and make sure the fish and bait are present before setting out live bait lines. 

Both flat and downs lines are working, so rely on your Lowrance Units to show the best depths to target. 

Crappie and Brim: Crappie fishing has slowed but there are still plenty of smaller males around the banks. These shallow crappies along with some decent brim will strike minnows or jigs under a float. 

The fish will also bite well after dark on the bridges and around lighted docks. 

Trout: The DNR has stocked plenty of newly-released trout in the North Georgia Mountains as well as down below Buford Dam. 

These fish are dumb and hungry, so you can pick your favorite method and go catching. 

Make sure you purchase a Georgia trout stamp and understand and obey the regulations in the area you fish.  


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

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