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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Topwater action for bass remains a good option
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

The rains this past week helped Lake Lanier’s water level. 

The water level is at 1,070.14 or .86 below the normal pool of 1,071. 

Water temperatures are around the mid-80’s.

The main lake and the lower lake creeks are clear to slightly stained. 

The upper lake creeks and rivers are slightly stained to very stained from recent rainstorms. 

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 has been pretty good this last week. 

We have seen a good bite early in the mornings and also again throughout the day during active feeding times. 

Lake Lanier’s spotted and largemouth bass will turn off and on as conditions change. 

Try fishing slower during the lulls. 

Start your days in the creek mouths or in the rivers around areas that have long points or shallow humps with brush located near deep water drop offs. 

The best locations have been around brush and rocky areas located from 20-40 feet deep close to deeper ditches. 

The topwater action is still happening. 

It’s been the same old thing that never gets old. 

Running the brush and casting over it with topwater plugs, swim baits, spy baits and crankbaits. 

Water clarity and surface conditions have varied in different parts of the lake. 

The main lake may be choppy and clear while your next stop in a nearby feed creek cove finds the surface slick and the water very stained from recent rain inflow. 

Because of this, we anglers should always keep a combination of aggressive topwater lures that include a chugger like a SPRO E-Pop 80 or even a buzz bait for when the water is stained or the waves are rocking. 

Changing colors can also make a difference.

When the lake surface is calm, smaller to medium-style walking baits may produce better if the water is clear. 

Casting a Lanier Baits or Big Bite Baits Fluke Style lures may produce better in mild water conditions. 

After we fish over the top of the brush, we move in and usually employ a dropshot rigged with a Lanier Baits Fruity Worm in the Blue Lilly or LJ’s obsession colors.

We’ve even had some slow periods that required that we stashed the topwaters and switched over to finesse baits. 

Even inactive fish can be coaxed to bite. 

Anglers with fairly new fish finders and a basic working knowledge get spoiled as they can watch the fish react to their lures.

If you see multiple arcs or wavey lines close to or around brush below your boat, then switch over a medium-action Kissel Krafts Spinning Rod with a Shimano Reel spooled with 5-pound Sunline Fluorocarbon. 

Experiment with a combination of drop shots, shaky heads or cast a Lanier Baits pill head style head rigged with a 3 1/2-inch Little Swimmer around the boat. 

When you see fish with your electronics suspended above the brush or bottom, drop a bait down and see if they follow it. 

We had success dropping the Little Swimmer to entice bites from inactive suspended fish.

My fishing partner was surprised I wanted to meet at Tidwell Park recently for a largemouth trip. 

Largemouth bass are often caught schooling along with their spotted bass cousins on the main lake. 

We targeted the backs of larger creeks below Browns Bridge. 

The best largemouth fishing seems to happen in the creeks that have a decent water flow entering from the back. 

Run the banks with a jig and College Craw Trailer or a Texas Rigged worm. 

Switch over to a buzz bait to cast around lay downs for a big bite.

Striper fishing remains good. 

The best action will happen for anglers who can read their electronics and locate the larger schools of stripers in the summer months. 

The bigger schools are setting up in the cooler water down deeper than 25-feet deep. 

Always start by having a casting lure like a Redfin or SPRO Pop 80 ready at all times. 

The spoon bite is just starting. I would also recommend keeping a Lake Forks Flutter Spoon ready to drop to any fish you see on your electronics.

Start your trip close to the main lake river and creek channels. 

Idle around or troll as you use your Lowrance Electronics to find the baitfish schools and stripers that are relating to water from 25-feet down to the bottom. 

Areas where small ditches meet larger ditches or creek channels that intersect the main river channels.

Some of the anglers continue to pull umbrella rigs, while they either search for the larger schools of stripers. 

If you plan to fish with live bait, make sure to start out by following the bait shops directions to keep them live. 

A couple anglers I have spoken with are trolling all day long.

When you locate a large school of stripers, deploy your down lines. 

You can also use a planner board to increase the width of your rigs or try running a couple of flat lines with a 1/4-ounce split-shot attached a couple feet above your herring. 

Brim: Pan fishing has been decent and they are striking a variety of bait and lures. 

Many anglers first catch was a panfish. 

As we age and if we are blessed we will get to form many more memories of our kids, grandchildren and friends fishing accomplishments. 

Even when it’s only a six-inch sunfish.

Fishing for brim is easy, at least for the little ones. 

Catching them is also not that hard, but sometimes fish don’t bite. 

If you are ready to try fishing for the first time or to rekindle childhood memories, then get going.

Purchase a medium-priced, closed-face spin casting or open-face spinning reel rigged with light line. 

A Zebco 33 is a time-tested favorite. 

If you haven’t cast in a while, find an open area, tie a small washer on to your line and practice casting. 

Always check behind you before casting with a hook.

You can dig up worms easy this year because the soil is wet. 

Add a round weighted bobber rigged with a small Aberdeen Style hook and bait your hook with a live earthworm.

You can email Eric Aldrich at with comments or questions.

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