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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Get out on the water early for best bass bites
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s current level fell a little this past week and is 1,069.78 or 1.22 feet below the normal level of 1071 feet. 

Lake surface temperatures are in the high 40’s.   

The main lake is clear. 

The rivers above Browns Bridge are slightly to very stained.

The Chattahoochee River below Burford dam is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass: The fishing has rated from good to tough. The cold air and water temperatures are harder on anglers than they are on the bass. Bass are cold-blooded creatures and the cold water slows them down so we should use slower-moving lures to accommodate their moods.

The bass will be active at dawn and in the warmer afternoons. 

There have been some decent fish shallow early. 

Lures like a SPRO RkCrawler or McStick are good choices to start the day. 

As the sun rises, the fishing has been a little slower. You can still get some bites.  

The deeper fish have been more cooperative. 

Target the deeper humps and the middle of the ditches from 35-55 feet deep. 

A 1/2-ounce jig will get the bigger bites. 

You can also use your Lowrance Electronics to find the fish in brush piles and above other cover like rock or timber. 

A dropshot rigged with a Lanier Baits Fruity Worm or a jigging spoon will fool these fish into biting. 

If you are brave enough to get out after dark, there have been some bass and stripers biting around the green dock lights. Cast a McStick, RkCrawler or try a SPRO Bucktail and fish these lures slow and steady. 

The fish tend to hang around the edges of where the lights fade into darkness.

Striper fishing has been good. These fish are biting well in the cold weather. 

The fish have been shallow early in the day, but they will move out deeper as the sun rises. 

Use your Lowrance Electronics to give away the best locations.

The stripers have been relating to the large shad schools from 30-60 feet. 

Downlines have been the best producers. 

Herring are good but medium-to-large shiners and trout have also been producing well. 

Place your downlines just at or slightly above where you mark shad and stripers on your electronics.

Keep an eye out for gulls and loons as they will be around the same bait that the stripers eat. 

Keep a SPRO Bucktail tied on for any fish you see on your graphs that break the surface.

The stripers have started to bite after dark in the creeks and around lighted boat docks. 

Cast Bombers or McSticks to the banks and work them back with a slow-steady retrieve. 

This fishing can be very productive when you are around fish. You will usually get twice as many hits as fish landed but that makes the fishing all the more fun!

Crappie: This fishing is heating up! 

Shoot jigs under docks that have brush and allow them to fall deep enough to get down to the fish. 

If you own a dock or can get permission, down lined crappie minnows will work well when placed around the brush. 

Bank Fishing: The water has really cleared up on the Chattahoochee below Buford Dam. Trout fishing has been decent. Cast a small Countdown Rapala or a silver and white Rooster Tail on light 4-6 pound test around the rapids and the deeper pools that lay below them.

Eric Aldrich is an outdoor writer, marketing specialist and bass angler. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. He would love to hear from his readers, so please email him at Remember to take a kid fishing.

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