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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Target deeper offshore brush for best chance at 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 very steady this summer and is at 1,069.90 or 1.10 below the normal pool of 1,071. 

Water temperatures remain in the mid-80’s.

The main lake and the lower lake creeks remain clear, but heavy holiday boat traffic has caused water close to the banks around the busy creeks to become stained on weekends from heavy boat traffic. 

The up-lake creeks and rivers are clear to slightly stained but overall, the water quality looks good.

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 remains good for anglers who can break away from the banks and target offshore brush in 25-40 feet deep. 

We have also been getting way offshore over deep timber that tops out in 35-feet over a bottom of 75 feet on out deeper to over a 100-foot bottom. 

The best areas will be located in close proximity to shallower humps and points.

Anglers are always looking for secret places, the most modern technology and newest intel on how to fool bass better. 

There is even a term for anglers that capture information from other people called the “bent-pole pattern”. 

How can you ignore what’s up when you see another boat that seems to consistently catching fish out over open water? 

It happens often and the verdict is still out on how moral or appropriate it may be, but humans follow and learn from others. 

It is just a form of survival. 

If we all treat each other with respect, then I have grown to understand that just comes with the territory. 

We have been starting our day casting topwater plugs, spy baits and soft plastic swim baits around the most obvious and time-tested community holes. 

I like to exploit a prime community hole first thing in the day, but we may still leave and visit them again throughout the day.

Large, freshly-built brush piles seem to have a special alure to bass. 

If the brush has been planted several years ago, it will start to break down. 

It may still hold a big school of bass, but freshly planted brush can yield excellent results. 

Anglers who only find the established brush may miss some of the best fishing by a mere 100-foot difference.

Casting a Sammy, Gunfish, SPRO Pop 80 or your personal favorite over any brush you have marked on your GPS. 

When the water has been calm, walking lures like a Sammy or Zara Spook seem to work best. 

If the wind is blowing or you have heavy boat traffic, a popping-style lure like The SPRO Pop 80 will attract fish that may not see the more subtle presentations. 

If the surface is extremely calm, try switching to more finesse style lures like a Lanier Baits Fluke, 3.5 Swimmer or a SPRO Spin John 70 worked just above the brush may produce best.

This past week dropshot fishing has taken some otherwise slow days and made up for them in numbers of fish. 

Watch your sonar. When you see a group of fish on your graph, drop a Lanier Baits Fruity Worm on a drop shot rig in LJ’s Obsession or Blue Lilly Colors to the level where you mark fish. 

These fish will appear like wavy lines or arcs. 

When you mark these fish, have your dropshot rigged and ready to drop down to the fish you see.

We have moved into the backs of the creeks and rivers on busy days to escape the heavy boat traffic and to also tie into a decent largemouth bite. 

We have caught largemouth on shallow crank baits, buzz baits and jigs around any shallow bank cover where fresh water is running into the lake.

Striper fishing has been decent and the best periods seem to be from first thing in the morning on through the afternoons during peak wildlife activity times and water generation periods as well as during the incoming weather fronts.

Start your days with a bait tank full of healthy herring. 

Use oxygen and a quality air stone along with bait saving chemicals, chlorine free ice and salt. 

Check with your local bait store to help you. 

Follow their advice and use the best methods to keep your herring lively all day.

Make sure to be on the water at safe light and either start by trolling U-Rigs or by casting buck tails or topwater plugs and running and gunning main lake humps and points located close to the deeper river and creek channels. 

This time of year is when your electronics earn their investments.  

Make sure to keep a constant eye on what your sonar shows and trust what they show you. 

Don’t bother to drop live herring until you see both bait and stripers on your screen. 

Continue to use your ‘eyes under the water’ and either move if nothing shows or stay and catch them when the screen gets loaded with baits and predator fish.

Fish with live herring on down lines all day long. 

Your longer leaders and bigger weights are starting to matter. 

Increase your sinkers to a two-ounce lead weight with an 8-12 foot leader of Sunline Fluorocarbon. 

I use a Palmar knot whenever I am setting up, but that involves tying up with your leader rig backward. 

Tie on the hook first, then the swivel. 

Then run that leader rig through the Palomar knot loop, attaching the swivel your main line. 

After dark, you can anchor in the creek mouths or out around the islands and set out a Hydroglow light from your boat. 

These lights will attract the bait fish, which in turn will attract the predator fish. 

In this situation you will want to hang around for a while because fishing will improve as more bait fish are attracted to your lights. 

Set down lines with a lively hearing below the lights. 

Watch your fish finders and set your bait at the level where you marked fish.

Brim & Crappie: Fishing the bridges and lighted boat docks after the sun sets has been working well for crappie this past few weeks. 

Live crappie minnows or freshly-caught spot tails are your best bait options.

Brim will strike a variety of artificial lures and natural baits. 

Rig some light line (4 to 6-pound test) on a spin-casting rod and reel and cast either a Rooster Tail or a Beetle Spin or try live either worms, grubs, crickets or even power baits and fish them either on a sinker and bottom rig or a light Aberdeen Hook a couple of feet under a bobber.


Email Eric Aldrich at with comments or questions.

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