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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Stripers biting hard on the surface
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s water level is above normal pool at 1,072.52 or 1.52 feet above our normal full pool of 1,071. 

Surface temperatures are in the low 60s. The main lake and creeks mouths are clear to slightly stained. The creeks, pockets and rivers are slightly to very stained from pollen. The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466. 

Bass fishing has been very good. Some bass are starting to spawn. The majority of Lake Lanier’s bass population can be found in 20-feet of water or less. Many of the fish are very shallow.

Start your day fishing the secondary points that lead into the pockets with moving lures, like a SPRO RkCrawler or a Mini Me Spinnerbait. The bass will be around the reef-pole markers and close to the banks. You can run-and-gun secondary points and shallow humps with moving lures and score some good fish.

As the sun goes up and the air warms, it is time to start heading back into the pockets and around docks or clay banks. The bass are starting to spawn and you can fish finesse lures, like a Big Bites Baits Straight Tail Worm on a 1/8-ounce Gamakatsu Alien Head. 

Skip these finesse worms under the gang planks and around the shallow parts of the docks. You should catch a bunch of small-to-medium sized male bass.

Other lures will work to entice shallow bass into biting. Try casting a Big Bites Baits Jerk Minnow or a fluke around the same areas mentioned above. Moving lures like a spinnerbait, buzz bait or even a small topwater plug can fool a big fish. Keep an open mind and go fishing.

Striper fishing has been good. These fish are starting to surface, so get your topwater plugs ready and get out on the water. The fish have been at all depths. Your best bet may be to move into the pockets and creeks. Up lake seems to be better than down lake this week, but there are always some fish on the main lake below Browns Bridge.

Start your day pulling both flat lines and planner boards with a downline thrown into the mix. The fish have been in the upper part of the water column in less than 35-feet. You may need to add a split shot to your flat lines as the sun gets higher in the sky.

Herring have been the best baits.

Large shiners or small trout are a good backup. 

Pull these offerings around the coves and creeks. Keep an eye on your Lowrance Electronics and make adjustments, as needed, based on what you see on the screen.

Keep a Jerk Minnow, Fluke or Redfin ready at all times in case the fish surface within casting distance. A subsurface lure like a SPRO McStick or Buck Tail is also working well when the stripers appear on the surface.

Crappie fishing has been good and the fish have moved shallow where they are easy to target. Shooting jigs under the docks is still a viable pattern. Look for the shallow docks that have brush located close by. Shoot or cast your small crappie jigs around and under them.

Now is the best time to use a minnow and bobber around any shoreline cover. 

Buy a few dozen crappie minnows or small shiners and load up your minnow buckets. 

Use a small No. 1 Gamakatsu Aberdeen Style Hook and position it 2-3 feet below a bobber. I like the weighted bobbers because they cast the best. Place a very small splitshot about six inches above your hook. Hook a crappie minnow through the back or lips and cast it to any shoreline cover. If you do not get a bite within 15 minutes, move on to more productive areas.

Bank Fishing: All you need to have a successful day fishing from the bank is a bucket of small-to-medium shiners, a light-spinning or spin-casting rod and reel and a few bobbers. Get out to the shores of your local pond or Lake Lanier and go fishing.

Fishing from the bank is how most of us started out fishing. It is a great time to take a kid or parent fishing. Spool up your spinning or spin casting reels with some fresh 6-8-pound Sunline monofilament. Spray a little Reel Magic on your reels and line. Wipe down your reels so they are ready to go.

Don’t just go anywhere on the bank. Instead, seek out places where clay banks meet a rock pile or find a big tree that is laying in the water. Any cover will hold shallow fish right now, so find the most productive looking areas and fish them. If you don’t get a bite within 30 minutes, move on to the next good-looking spot and give it a try.


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

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