By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Stripers biting well around large schools of bait
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

The CORPs continues to pull water, but God keeps sending rain. 

The current level 1,070.31 or .69 feet below the normal level 1,071. 

Lake Lanier’s surface temperatures have ranged between 54-59 degrees. The main lake is clear to stained and the upper rivers are stained to muddy.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is showing small clues that water quality should start to improve this month. 

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

Bass: This past week brought our region colder temperatures along with cold rain and even a little snow and sleet. 

These changes let us know that winter is not far away.

Late fall is a time of transition for many creatures. 

The same thing happens for humans. 

It helps me to compare the similarities between people, bass and other creatures.

Most people stay indoors and eat more often in the cold months. Fish move deep and closer to cover and rest between feedings. 

For the fish, feeding time may be sunrise, sunset or during active-moon phases. 

During the inactive periods bait moves around slowly in huge schools. 

Then something happens. 

It’s like a light switch turning on: bass will suddenly get active and feed on top or down deep or wherever there is bait.

The same goes for humans. 

We eat breakfast in the a.m. and dinner in the p.m. and often plan to have our lunches on the run based on meetings that run too long or other crisis.

This week’s report has reflected the thoughts above. 

The best bite has been occurring in the first hour of the day in shallow ditches. 

Cast lures like a SPRO McSticks 110 or Aruku Shad to locate the active schools but be ready to move when you don’t get any bites. 

If you see fish that are schooling, switch over to Mini Me Spinnerbait. 

Work it steady below the surface. 

If a fish follows but does bite, then add an occasional ‘pop’ on the retrieve to trigger bites.

As the sun rises, we have been hitting off shore areas in 20-50 feet deep with a variety of lures and locations. 

The best producer by far during the day for me has been a 1/4-ounce Gamakatsu Alien Head Jig Head with a Big Bites Kamikaze Craw or a Chattahoochee Craw. 

Drag this lure down steep rocky banks or brush with deep water access close by.

Striper fishing has been good. 

The stripers continue to move in search of the large bait schools that live in our local reservoir. 

There is a lot of water for these fast-moving predator fish and the prey they feed upon. 

The channels that start shallow and lead all the way into the deeper creek channels. 

Start looking midway back in the creeks. 

If it is early in the day, we have seen more fish shallow, where the water or rain feeds into the ditches. Once the sun quits casting long shadows move out deeper, closer the day, timber lines. 

It’s the same thing as last week. 

Start up shallow but once that sun gets up move out deeper. 

Flat lined herring or shiners work best when the fish are shallower or close to the banks. 

Planner boards will allow you to fish your baits right against the shore.

Once the fish start swimming in water 20-feet deep, or deeper, weighted-down lines will allow you to put a bait right in front of the fish you mark on your Lowrance Electronics.

While these general areas and times of day to most target them are good advice, they are not promises or rules. 

That is why modern electronics make a difference between doing a little fishing and doing a lot of catching.

The best night fishing has been happening around the lighted docks in the creeks where the clearer lake water meets the more stained water from rain inflow.

Target these lights and shut off your big motor a long way off. 

Using a trolling motor to approach them quietly. Some people, myself included, prefer to fish with only artificial lures. 

That being said, anglers who pitch live herring to the lights will usually score good results.

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!

Regional events