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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Schooling stripers continue to be a good target
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

The recent tropical depression has caused the lake level to rise above full pool. 

Lake Lanier is currently at 1,072.42 feet or 1.42 feet above the normal full pool of 1,071. 

Lake surface temperatures remain steady and cooler for this time of year and are around the mid 80’s. 

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

The creeks and rivers are slightly stained to very stained from recent rain inflow.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. 

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

Bass fishing has varied widely, depending on who you speak with. 

We have had to move around a good bit to find the areas where the bass are feeding on threadfin shad, spottail minnows or blueback herring.

Start your mornings on the areas where you see surface activity or where you mark fish on your electronics. 

Dropshotting brush has been our strongest method this week for catching numbers of fish. 

Watch your electronics and drop down to any fish you see on your graph. 

There have been a lot of fish relating to brush. You will also see some good schools that are near the better brush piles. 

Keep a Lanier Baits Fruity Worm ready at all times. 

The natural colors will work best in shallower water, but the reds and blues seem best this week, when we are fishing deeper than 25 feet. 

Drop down into the thickest brush, even when you don’t mark fish. 

The topwater action seems a bit slower. 

The normal lures like walking baits, poppers and other topwater plugs will work. 

Subsurface lures like Jerk Minnows, Spy Baits or even subsurface swim baits seem to be coaxing bites much better than standard topwater surface lures.

Target your best locations and make precise casts over the brush. 

The closer you can get your lure to the brush, the better it will be to get bass to strike your lures. 

If you are casting a Spybait like a SPRO Spin John 70 or a subsurface lure like a Lanier Baits Little Swimmer. 

Make sure to cast directly over the brush, count your lures down to the level at the top, then engage and reel your lures back directly over the brush. 

Most lures sink about a foot per second, so if your brush tops out at 10-feet below the surface, allow it to sink for 10 seconds before you start reeling your lure back. 

When you feel a strike, don’t set the hook, but allow the fish to eat the lure and let the rod load up before you start to reel quickly. 

These lures have small, but very sharp hooks so the fish will hook themselves and setting the hook will only decrease your landing rate.

Many other techniques have been working. 

Cranking rocky humps ad points out on the main lake with a SPRO Little John DD has been producing some good fish. 

Topwater plugs have been producing a few fish, so even though the subsurface techniques have worked better, it is still a good idea to keep a topwater plug ready for any surfacing fish.

Striper fishing is good and we have even seen some schooling activity on the surface which is not the norm for August. 

The milder-than-usual water and air temperatures seem to have these large predator fish willing to trap bait on the surface before returning to the cooler water below.

While some stripers are schooling, the majority of the striper schools will be spending the majority of their time below the thermocline. 

Start you day fishing downlined herring where you mark fish on your Lowrance Electronics. 

If you are not locating fish, then start your day trolling Umbrella Rigs or a single large SPRO Buck Tail, while searching for the large schools of stripers.

The stripers can be found almost anywhere on the lake. 

We have seen stripers from the dam all the way into the Chattahoochee and Chestatee Rivers. 

The best areas seem to be in the creek mouths below Browns Bridge. 

There are a lot of stripers within sight of Buford Dam.

As usual, make sure you start your day with several dozen herring or you can even net your own shad or native spot tail minnows. 

Switch out baits frequently to make sure your bait offerings are healthy and active. 

Healthy bait can make the difference from fishing and actually catching.

Power fishing with larger spoons has been working. 

Recently, we have had better success with the smaller Lake Fork Spoons or a large SPRO Buck Tail with a larger swim bait attached. 

Drop these lures or even your live bait rigs down to the bottom, then power reel them as fast as you can to trigger bites from otherwise lethargic stripers. 

Crappie and Brim: Crappie fishing remains tough during the heat of the day. 

The better fishing has been early in the day or after dark. 

Locate brush in 20-35 feet of water. 

Fish small crappie jigs or down load live minnows down to the brush to catch these tasty fish before the sun rises.

After dark, lighted boat docks and setting out floating lights and fishing around bridge pilings will produce enough fish for a batch of fish tacos or sandwiches.

Brim will bite anywhere around the banks or docks. 

A minnow or worms under a float will coax brim and other panfish to bite all day and night long.

To contact Eric Aldrich, email him at with comments or questions.

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