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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Good bass bite impacted by swift changes in the weather
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

The CORPS has managed the water levels well this past week with the incoming rain flow. 

Lake Lanier’s water level is currently 1,071.81 feet, which is .81 feet above the normal full pool of 1,071. 

The main lake is clear at the dam and in the mouths of the lower lake creeks, but there is a lot of stained to muddy water flowing in from the backs of the creeks. 

Recent storms have brought in muddy water up lake and in the rivers. 

Keep an eye out for any floating debris anytime we have storms or rain inflows. 

Lake surface temperatures are in the upper 50’s. 

The Chattahoochee River below Buford dam is clear, but gets stained downstream from recent rain inflows. 

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

Bass fishing has been good, but the storms keep changing fishing methods and areas. 

Bass will bite in muddy water, but they are a lot easier to target in the clear to stained water. 

For that reason, we have been fishing the main lake pockets on into the lower lake creeks. 

There are some active fish first thing in the morning. 

Start your days around rocky banks in the creek mouths and outside major spawning pockets. 

Throw moving lures like the SPRO McStick, RkCrawler, spinner baits, A-Rigs or a Blue Herons Chatter Bait. 

These lures can score a big bite to start your day.

As the sun moves higher in the sky, move back into the creeks. 

Target the ditches leading into sunny pockets for the bigger prespawn female spotted and largemouth bass. 

Our main weapon has been a standard shaky head or a crawfish imitator on a stand-up jig head. 

I like to throw a Lanier Baits Finesse worm in Green Pumpkin on a 1/8-ounce Gamakatsu Alien Head. 

For the crawfish, I like a Yamamoto Psycho Craw or Big Bites College Craw on a 1/4-ounce standup jig-head. 

Work the rocky edges of the ditches that run into the shallow flats. 

Docks leading into the pockets are also holding some good fish.  

During active feeding periods, running a SPRO McStick or an Alabama Rig (basically a smaller, casting version of an Umbrella Rig) down the sides of sunny docks, over shallower brush piles or parallel to steeper banks with rock will coax some good bites. 

You can catch plenty of 1-2 pound bass by skipping a Lanier Baits Finesse worm up around the shallow docks, especially later in the day. 

Stay after dark and get your SPRO RkCrawlers out. 

Target the same rocky points and banks leading into the pockets to score numbers of both small and large bass. 

Reel your lures back slow and steady. 

Allow your crank baits to dig into the bottom.

Striper fishing has been up and down with the passing weather fronts, but look for conditions to stabilize as the weather does the same. 

The stripers are in shallow and mid-depth ranges in the creeks and in the rivers early in the day, but they will pull out deeper later.

There have been some stripers around the points and humps out on main lake early in the day. 

These fish will strike a Redfin or small walking bait worked on the surface from safelight to just after sunrise. 

Keep a Redfin tied on to cast to any fish you see surfacing during the day.

The best methods this week have been pulling umbrella rigs and fishing live herring or large shiners on flat lines and planner boards. 

Start your day trolling a Mack-far umbrella rig or a Mini Mack’s rig as you search for fish.

The stripers have been in shallow and mid-depth ranges all over the lake. 

Pay close attention to water color changes as stripers will coral bait against mud lines. 

Use your Lowrance Electronics and scan the areas you’re trolling for larger concentrations of fish before setting out your live baits.

When you locate a large school of fish, it’s time to deploy your flat lines or planer boards. 

Most of your fish early will be up shallow in the mouths of the pockets and on back shallower.

As the day progresses, pull out a little deeper, especially on sunny days. 

Fishing with a combination of flat and down lines may be the best choice in the situation. 

Few of the fish have been deeper than 50 ft but keep an open mind and pay attention to what your electronics show and fish your baits slightly above where you mark fish.

Night fishing has slowed down a little bit, but they’re still some fish eating bombers in the backs of the creeks around lighted boat docks after dark.

Crappie fishing has been good. 

The fish are up shallow around docks with brush and bridges in the back of the creeks. 

They will even bite in the muddy water, but stained water is best.

The slabs are biting a variety of lures and live minnows. 

Shooting the docks with small crappie jigs has still been a good pattern, but the fish are a little shallower than they have been recent weeks. 

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

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