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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Trolling for stripers is working well right now
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s water level is still falling slowly. 

Lake Lanier is at 1,069.83 or 2.17 feet below a full pool of 1,071. 

Lake surface temperatures remain in the high 80’s. 

The main lake and creeks mouths are mostly clear. The rivers are clear, but these waters can turn stained to muddy after any significant thunderstorms. 

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. 

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

Bass fishing is okay most days, but a few days we’ve really struggled. 

August is often a tough month to fish for bass and this month has followed suit. 

The good news is we have had some cooler weather this week. 

That can start to activate the bass into striking those topwater lures that anglers love to fish.

We have strayed from some of our recent patterns on the main lake to go fishing in the shallows for largemouth bass. 

With the recent full moon, the bream have been bedding. 

We have found some largemouth bass in the shallow water that are willing to bite.

Buzzbaits, small topwater lures and swim jigs have all worked to entice largemouth bass into biting around bank cover during the day. 

Target flat areas around docks that are located close to creek channels or deeper water where the largemouth bass can slide back as they pick off these brim that are spawning up shallow.

There are still spotted bass to be caught right now. 

We should be on the lookout for better fishing, which usually occurs in late August on into the late summer and early fall months.

There’s already some evidence that the topwater bite is starting to pick up, so angler should keep a topwater plug ready at all times. 

Bass will corral blueback herring from deeper water up into the shallow warmer surface layers as they use the surface to trap herring.

When the topwater bite is not there, which has been the case very often lately, we have had to go switch to tactics that apply in deeper water. 

The dropshot still continues to be our go-to technique over main lake brush in 25-45 feet deep. 

This time of year, braided line is a must for your spinning outfits when dropshot fishing. 

I used Sunline SX1 16 pound line tied to a tiny SPRO swivel with a six-pound Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon leader with a 3/8 ounce dropshot weight. 

We are still using Lanier Baits Tri-Colored Worms in blue or red. 

Your electronics are important tools. 

Keep an eye on your screen and move if there are no lines or arcs showing fish on your screens.

Other lures are producing like Jerk Shads, Spy Baits and even deep-diving crank baits like a SPRO Little John DD. 

Cast these lures over brush or scan around brush with forward live imaging and cast your lures to any fish you see schooling around brush.

The bass are eating after dark. 

You may have the whole lake to yourself now that school has started. 

Target brush in 20-35 feet and use a Georgia Blade Jig to work through the branches of the deeper brush after dark.

Striper fishing has been good and the fish are biting a variety of techniques. 

Anglers can choose their preferred method and catch stripers on most of those.

Trolling has been a mainstay this past week for striper anglers. 

The stripers are biting offerings trolled out deeper. Anglers will need to make adjustments to get their lures down deep enough to provoke strikes. 

Tools like downriggers or trolling with lead core line can help you get your lures down below the thermocline to the level where stripers will strike them. 

Anglers who own downriggers have a distinct advantage because they can put the baits at the exact level they want to fish.

If you don’t have down riggers that’s okay because you can use lead core line to get you lures to run deep. 

Anglers are reporting that trolling at 8 or 9 colors at around 2 1/2 mph is the way to go this week. 

Anglers can troll with umbrella rigs or single large SPRO Bucktail tipped with a live blueback herring. 

You can even use swim baits or plugs on your trolling set up to produce strikes from these hard-fighting predator fish.

The stripers are also biting live hearing on down lines. 

Once you’ve located the large school of stripers with your electronics, you can deploy down lines to levels at which you see fish on your screens. 

The stripers have been located anywhere from 30-70 feet deep this past week. 

Make sure you have plenty of live herring and the right bait setup to keep them healthy during hot weather. 

It’s always better to position your baits above where the stripers are showing on your screen. 

We have even seen some stripers thrashing on the surface this past week, but the appear and disappear quickly. 

Keep a topwater plug or a SPRO Bucktail ready at all times to take advantage of these brief flurries. 

Crappie fishing is still hit and miss. 

You can catch these tasty pan fish in the dog days of summer. 

Cast you crappie jigs around brush located in the creeks and allow them to sink down into the deeper brush. 

Working the small lures through the branches of this deeper brush takes patience. 

You will lose a few jigs, but if you are patient you will be rewarded with some bites if you stick with it long enough.

Live crappie minnows or native spot tail minnows will work well on a down line in this same deep brush. 

After dark, the crappie will move up shallower around the green docks lights. 

Those same jigs or live minnows will catch these nocturnal feeders.

You can email Eric Aldrich at with comments or questions.

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