By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Look for hidden locations to bring in bass
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s water level is holding steady, just barely above full pool. 

The water level is at 1,071.03 or .03 feet above the normal pool of 1,071. 

Water temperatures remain comfortable in the mid-80s.

The main lake on into the north end are clear are clear to slightly stained. 

The upper lake creeks and rivers are slightly stained to stained. 

Some of the frequent afternoon storms may muddy the lake or the Chattahoochee below Buford Dam. 

These waters clear quickly.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear.  

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

Bass fishing still rates good to very good as we start drift into the dog days of summer. 

We haven’t seen much extremely hot temperatures yet this year as in years past, but it’s hard to remember that when you stand in the sun on a deck of a bass boat. 

Even if it does seem a bit toasty this week, the fishing is good and they’re biting all day long. Go out there and start catching.

There’s been a strong topwater bite first thing in the morning before the sun gets up too high in the sky. 

Make sure to be out on the water at safe light to capitalize on this action. 

The spotted bass will be out on the main lake, corralling shad and herring. 

Our lure of choice in the mornings for spotted bass has been to cast a walking bait, like a Sammy or even a old discontinued SPRO Dawg. 

Keep a walking lure ready, as the fish have been biting on top all day.

There’s some other topwater action that not a lot of anglers are taking advantage of first thing in the mornings. 

Try checking out some of the creeks toward the backs and cast a Big Bites Baits Shadalicious Buzzbait or a Whopper Plopper around cover and docks.

As the sun moves high in the sky, we continue to run our brush pattern out on main Lake and on into the creeks. 

It seems to be on clear days that the bass are hitting subsurface lures better than topwater plugs. 

Try working jerk shads or a SPRO Spin John spy bait over and around brush. 

When the clouds move in and the wind rises, go back to walking lures and work them aggressively on the surface.

The electronics drop shot bite has been extremely consistent. 

On some days, we may employ the dropshot all day long. 

To be successful at this technique, you need to have a milk run of brush piles and some high-quality electronics so that you can see if the fish are there and where they’re positioned.

Once we found the brush, we’ve been locking down our Lowrance ghost-trolling motor directly above the brush. 

Watch your electronics to see where the fish are located. 

Drop Lanier Baits fruity worms to where the fish are appearing on our there’s endless colors to use, but I try to keep it simple. 

When fishing brush shallower than 25 feet deep, the Blue Lily or natural-green colors are working well. 

For brush deeper than 25 feet, work some of the more audacious colors like the tequilas and the morning dawns.

After dark, try targeting brush located 20-30 feet deep that’s close to a drop off or shallow flats.

Striper fishing is also good and the fish are biting a variety of techniques. 

If you’re over a big school of fish, it’s best to have options for trolling some power fishing lures, as well as live hearing to drop down to them.

In summer, we must rely on and trust our electronics to show you exactly where to fish. 

Electronics can also show you where not to fish. 

All of the information received will give you keys to the clues. 

Unlock the summertime striper puzzle. 

Whether you start your day at 4 a.m. or 4 p.m., keep an open mind and explore places that haven’t previously been fished. 

If you have been out at least once a week in the past month, then you probably have some good waypoints to check out. 

Once you’ve located a school of active fish and the bite subsides, look at similar topography on your mapping technologies.

Pay close attention to any large baitfish schools for arcs and spaghetti that indicate active stripers. 

Also keep track of the depth of the bait and fish and where that area is in relation to ditches and channels for new areas that can produce unpressured fish. 

The hard part is locating them. 

The rest is easy.

Make sure to have a full live well of herring, shad or even native spot tail minnows. 

Use a heavyweight always something and a long leader of Sunline fluorocarbon and sharp octopus or shiner Gamagatsu Hooks. 

Make sure you switch out your baits frequently and right before you do, drop your down lines through the fish to the bottom and power reel them back to the surface.

Maybe you don’t like the troll or pull live bait. 

Are you an angler that would get more pleasure out of catching one striper on an artificial lure or five on standard live bait? 

If that’s you, then you have to try power reeling.

Power reeling is very addictive. 

You take either a large spoon, bucktail jig or fast-sinking swim bait and let it fall through the schools of the fish you’ve already located on your finder. 

It’s nice to have a real with a line counter, but if you can keep it below your electronics transducer, you can see the spoon and watch as fish react to it. 

Reel as fast as you can upward and repeat. 

The strikes you get will almost break your arm and they are often from the biggest fish in the school.

For those striper anglers who seek out a slower pace, fishing after dark has been good. 

Find the various Hydroglow docks around the lake or put out your own lights from your boat to draw in the schools of herring shed and then eventually stripers that are targeting them.

Brim & Crappie: The best pan fish bite has definitively been on bridges after dark. 

If your goal is to load the cooler with big keeper fish, then get out and set up lights around bridge pilings or under dock lights after dark. 

There are still bunches of brim that will run the banks and they’ll bite a cricket or worm anytime around lay down trees and rocky shores.

To contact Eric Aldrich, email him at esaldrich@yahoo.com with comments or questions.

Regional events