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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Spawning bass are biting well at all depths
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s water level has been holding steady and is currently 1,071.33 which is .33 feet above the normal full pool of 1,071. 

The main lake is clear to stained from pollen. 

The backs of the lower lake creeks are stained from pollen. 

The rivers and creeks are stained. 

Lake surface temperatures are in the mid to upper 60’s.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. 

Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466. The trout are biting.

Bass fishing has rated from good to very good. 

The bass are in all phases of spawning. Some fish are shallow, some fish are in the mid depths and other are staging out around shallow brush close to main lake points and humps.

We have ben experiencing a good morning topwater bite. 

If you ask most bass anglers their favorite way to catch bass, probably 90% of them will say catching bass on topwater lures is the best way to go. 

This action has been going on all day and even at dusk.

Working walking lures like a Sammy, Spook, Gunfish or a popping-style lures, like a SPRO Pop 80 or Chug Bug will entice strikes from bass close to the banks and around shallower main lake structure. 

Target the rock and clay banks and keep moving until you find groups of fish, then slow down and fish these areas thoroughly.

There are also a lot of fish spawning in the pockets around docks, out on main lake banks and even in the backs of the creeks. 

Skipping a Gamakatsu Alien Head rigged with either a Lanier Baits Fruity Worm or a Big Bites Finesse worm around shallow docks has been yielding both numbers of fish, as well as some quality bites. Many of your bites will be very light, so it pays to be a line watcher. 

Often you will skip your shaky heads and the fish will strike them on the fall. 

If you see your line, move off then set the hook.

We have been on a strong jerk-bait bite for the past couple of weeks. 

The one factor that seems to help this action is to fish out in the wind. 

Cast lures like a SPRO McStick or a Big Bites Jerk Minnow (a Fluke Style soft plastic) into shallow water and work them at a medium pace. 

The strikes can be explosive.

Other techniques that have been worth mentioning are fishing shallow-to-medium diving cranks banks, small topwater lures and buzz baits in the coves and the backs of the creeks. 

The fishing after dark has been very good. 

Grab a SPRO RkCrawler and go to work after dark on the rocky banks leading into spawning pockets all over the lake.

Striper fishing remains good and the stripers are feeding on herring and shad from Buford Dam all the way up past Lula Bridge in the Chattahoochee River. 

Because the stripers often seem everywhere, they can also seem elusive because there have so many areas that hold bait. 

Utilizing your electronics and also keeping your eyes peeled for any fish or bird activity can make the difference between catching them and getting skunked. 

This is the time of year that artificial lures really shine. 

Hitting main lake and secondary humps and points with Redfins, SPRO Bucktails, McSticks, Mini-Mack’s rigs and fluke-style lures will produce some heart-stopping action.

If you like to fling flies, grab an 8-weight fly rod with floating line and fish Clowser style minnows, streamers or even a SPRO Phat Fly in the same areas where you see fish surfacing. 

I have witnessed a person humiliated by an average angler with a fly rod in spring.

We have seen fish working under the birds out around the main lake islands both above and below Browns Bridge. 

The stripers have been pushing herring up onto the sandy saddles located in between shallow islands and humps. 

Long main lake points and shallow humps are also holding active stripers.

Pulling umbrella rigs, live herring, gizzard shad and trout are all great options right now. 

Because the water temperatures are rising, you can speed up the pace. 

Pulling bait and rigs at 2-plus miles per hour will allow you to cover water and locate some great bites.

I thought the after-dark bite for stripers had slowed, but was (happily) proved wrong this past week. Stripers, bass, crappie and even the elusive walleye can be caught after dark around dock lights, banks where bait is located and out around the main lake islands. 

Get a SPRO McStick, Redfin or Bomber Long A and get busy.

Crappie fishing is good and a lot of smaller males are being caught up shallow. 

There are some larger females in the mix, so get out your bobbers and minnows and set a spread out from your dock or local parks. 


Eric Aldrich is an outdoor writer, marketing specialist and bass angler. You can email him at esaldrich@yahoo.com.

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