Water Conditions: The lake level is barely below full pool. Lake Lanier is currently at a very healthy 1,070.71 feet, or .29 feet below the normal full pool of 1,071. Lake surface temperatures are in the mid-80’s. The main lake and creeks mouths are clear to slightly stained. The creeks and rivers are slightly stained. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Bass fishing has been hit or miss, but the fish are biting fairly well for August. We have had slightly cooler air and lake temperatures over the past couple of weeks than in years past, and this has made a difference to the fish. Use your Lowrance maps and sonar to find the most active locations.
Start your day around main lake points and humps that have brush in 20 to 35 feet. Cast a top-water plug like a big Chug Bug or a Gunfish. If the fish are actively eating on the surface, you will know pretty soon. Don’t camp on any one spot, but be willing to move to find active fish.
Keep casting top-water plugs after the sun gets up over the horizon. The bass will bite on the surface all day long but only in certain areas. Run and gun the brush piles until you find actively feeding fish or when you see the arcs and lines that indicate fish around and in the brush. The drop shot is still the go-to bait, but other techniques like casting jigs or even spy baits to the brush have also been producing some good action.
Try several different techniques until you dial in what is working, and then duplicate these efforts in other areas. Water generation periods and active feeding times will turn on and off during the day, so be willing to change up techniques until you dial into what works best.
Since school has resumed, there is almost very little traffic during the week after dark, and the bass are biting well after the sun goes down. Cast a SPRO Little John DD around rocky banks that have deep water located close by. Slowly retrieve these deep diving lures and allow them to make contact with rock and brush to score some big spotted and largemouth bass after dark
Striper fishing remains good for anglers that can find the active schools of fish. Quality electronics like my Lowrance Carbon Units or the new Lowrance Live units are a tremendous asset for finding these deeper fish.
Trolling is a great way to cover water while you search for fish, and it may provide you with better action than live bait fishing. Troll a large, 2-ounce SPRO Bucktail on seven to eight colors or lead core, or set your down riggers to the level where you are marking stripers on your Lowrance Electronics. Try other lures on your down riggers like jerk baits or even a SPRO 6-inch BBZ1 Trout. Troll your lures at around 2 mph, and vary your depth based on where your graph shows fish. A lot of the stripers have been well below 35 feet deep on down to as much as 100 feet deep.
If you find a big school of fish, then it may be time to deploy herring or native spot tail minnows on a down line. Not many anglers use spot tails for catching stripers, but they not only work well but they may be easier to keep alive than herring right now. The herring are not lasting very long, so make sure to check baits and switch them out often.
The power reeling bite is still good but the normal large Ben Parker type spoons have not worked as well this year as the smaller, Lake Fork style flutter spoons. Another great choice for power reeling is a large SPRO Bucktail with a Big Bites Suicide Shad. You can use your electronics instead of a line counter and watch your lure as it falls through the water column. Reel these lures as fast as possible up through the schools you see on your screen. You simply cannot reel a lure faster than a striper can swim, so this technique creates some aggressive strikes.
Crappie fishing remains slow, but some anglers are still catching them with small jigs around deeper brush at 20 to 35 feet deep. You can also try down lining crappie minnows or native spot tail minnows to catch a mixed bag of crappie and bass.
Fishing after dark under lights around the bridge pilings is still probably your best bet to load the coolers. Set out a combination of bobbers and down lines with minnows and pay attention to the depth at which you get bites. Once you dial in the most productive depth, then change the rest of your rods to that same depth.
Bank Fishing: For most kids and even some adults, catching fish is the main goal during a fishing outing. One of the easiest and hardest fighting fish on Lake Lanier is the carp. While most Americans do not eat these bottom feeders, they still provide a heck of a fight on light tackle.
Simply take a spin casting or spinning reel with a small Aberdeen Style Hook, a small split shot and light line. Take a can of corn, and throw about a third of it out from the bank then bait up your lines with a few kernels and cast it out to the area you chummed with corn. Carp have a strong sense of smell, and they will come in from a fair distance to eat your corn. Secure your rods well and wait. If you don’t get a bite, then move to a more productive location.
Eric Aldrich is an outdoor writer, marketing specialist, guide and bass angler. He is currently booking teaching trips for Lake Lanier’s spotted and largemouth bass. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. Aldrich would love to hear from his readers, so please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Remember to take a kid fishing!