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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Use your electronics to have the best chance at catching a large haul of crappie
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier is above full pool and rising at the time of this writing at 1,072.10 or 1.10 feet and rising above the normal full pool of 1,071. 

Lake Lanier’s water level continues to rise as the CORPs continues to pull water.

The main lake clarity is everywhere from clear to very stained. 

The creeks and rivers are stained to muddy. There is a lot of trash like pine needles and small twigs on the surface to keep anglers clearing their lines.

Lake Lanier’s surface temperatures are in the uppers 60’s. Lake turnover continues to occur as is usual for the fall in Georgia.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is muddy from tropical storms and lake turnover. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass: The recent tournament trails offer an insight to how the bass fishing has rated on Lake Lanier. 

Some anglers are catching them well, while others are scratching their heads and wondering if there are any bass still feeding on Lanier.

Trust me the bass are still there and they are eating well.

Find the right scenarios and find the fish that are feeding up for winter. These patterns are in action. Anglers in the know will experience great results.

The topwater action is still great for some. 

That being said, this is time I switch from surface lures to a crawfish pattern.

Start your days with surface lures like a Zara Spook or larger swim baits to score some great bites. Be prepared for this action to come and go.

I have switched over to crawfish imitators like a jig and craw or even jig head worms around shallow docks and brush piles located in 10-25 feet of water. 

Anglers who beat the banks can have exceptional or dismal results, depending on where the fish are eating.

The jerk bait bite will start to get better and better as the water cools.

Cast a SPRO McStick around steeper banks. Keep moving until you get bites and work the areas thoroughly.

After dark, you will have the whole lake to yourself. 

Work mid-to-deep diving lures like a SPRO little John DD or RkCrawler to catch some big limits of spotted bass around rocky after day areas in the creeks and rivers.

Striper fishing is good. Anglers who can utilize their electronics will score some great action. Both flat line and down lines will work in the right locations.

Consider casting topwater plugs like fly fishing with streamers or casting subsurface lures like SPRO Buck Tails or Captain Mack’s Mini Rigs to fish that are busting on the surface. If this is your preferred method, be prepared to move around to locate the active fish on the surface.

Target the mid lake areas and fish the schools for active stripers fish on the surface. Look at the areas from the Lake Forks areas from River Forks Park on down past Browns Bridge.

The big news is that there are a lot of stripers feeding on the surface. 

Many anglers will forgo catching striped bass on live bait and cast lures like Sammy’s, Spooks and McSticks. Who can blame them?

Live blueback herring have been your best baits to use this past week. That should remain the same for a few weeks at least. 

Start your days with a bait well full of lively herring. You will have a great opportunity to catch at least one or many trophy stripers that will give everyone a story for a trip that of a lifetime.

Watch your fish finders and also pay attention to the strikes you get on your trolling rigs. If you locate a big school of stripers with your electronics, then it is time to drop your herring down to catch these fish.

The night fishing has started to improve, so get out after dark. 

You will have the whole lake all to yourself and your options are many. 

Cast Bomber Long A’s or a SPRO McStick 110s around the islands or hit the lighted boat docks in the backs of main lake creeks.

Crappie: The crappie fishing has been very good for anglers that can find these elusive schools. 

When you catch one fish, then there are many more in that same area.

Shoot small crappie jigs or weighted minnows around docks with brush where you get one bite. Crappie school in groups so where when you catch one, you have the opportunity to 'load the cooler!'

Bank Fishing: With water temperatures in the high 60’s, you can bet there are many species or fish that can be caught from the shores of Lake Lanier or your local farm or subdivision pond.

Pick your favorite lures or buy a bucket or minnows or some night crawlers and go catching.

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 readers, so please email me at

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