By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lake Lanier Fishing Report: No better place to be than fishing…shallow
Stripers will travel shallow when sun level is low.
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier is above full pool at 1072.61 feet or 1.61 above full pool of 1071. Lake surface temperatures remain in the mid 50’s with warmer water in sun filled pockets pushing water temperatures closer to the mid- to upper-50s.

The lake below Browns Bridge is clear around the main lake and into the creek mouths and clear to stained midway into the back of the creeks. The creeks and rivers up lake are clear in the mouths but slightly stained to very stained in the backs, while the head water rivers are slightly stained to muddy.

The CORP is pulling a lot of water, but they are allowing some quiet times, where fishing below Buford Dam should be good. Make sure you check generation schedules at 770-945-1466 before heading to the river below Buford Dam.

Bass fishing has been up and down for some anglers while others are staying on fish nearly all day.

Junk Fishing (casting six or more different rod and reel combos with different lures) is the order of the day until you find a pattern. Keep an open mind and tie on any lure type that worked well in the spring.

I saw or caught fish that hit crank baits like a SPRO Little John DD or a SPRO RkCrawler, spinner baits with natural herring/shad colors, jerk baits like the McStick 110, casting and dropping Lanier’s Baits Worms on a shaky head.

Try to search a pattern early. The bass have been setting up from mid-depth points down lake on into the shallower pockets with docks later in the day. Fishing seems to be best around secondary points and into shallow ditches close to docks later in the day.

Use SPRO Crank Baits after dark. The RkCrawler works best to plow up the shallows, bounce off rocks on steeper rocky bluff walls and deflect long rocky points. Crank banks like the RkCrawler call fish in with their vibration. 

Striper fishing has been good, but the changing fronts and sunny versus overcast days has affected the fish. For the most part, spring stripers will move shallow when sun levels are low, meaning overcast weather, rainy days or at night are best. The fish can become very active after dark, early in the day and during active feeding times. Cloudy skies and current flow also have an effect.

Start your days looking towards the backs of the pockets and in shallow depth very early in the day. If you found an active group of fish in an area earlier in the week, then try to arrive there again before sun up. 

Planner Boards and flat lines are the order of the day. Pull live herring close with a larger trout or Gizzard Shad on a shallow running planner board to score a bigger fish. Hook your herring and shad or trout through the lips, so they look natural while driving 2-3 MPH.

On sunny days, the stripers will move deeper in the creeks. Here is where your electronics can help, It can help find fish and locate areas that are similar in producing. When the sun is high in the sky, look in the 25- to 40-feet range, where the fish will often group up on your Lowrance’s Screen or Structure Scan. If you place a lure or live bait in front of their noses, then they will most likely bite it.

Keep hooks sharpened on your Bomber Long A’s and McSticks. There are fish in secret spots (lighted boat docks, long flat pockets towards the back of the creeks, Flat Creek-ops). Cast lures to the banks, reeling them slow to medium steady.

Crappie fishing remains good, and the fish remain up to 10-foot deep. Hook a minnow on a light spinning bait reel and rod (even though most anglers will want at least 5!). Grab some small crappie minnows and cast these below a bobber around any submerged Christmas trees, shallow brush or laydowns in the backs of the pockets.

Bank fishing: There is good striper fishing at the parks dams close to the Buford Dam. Most of these parks are open only during day light hours, so be aware of the hours.

Get a heavy fishing rod with at least 12-pound monofilament fishing line. A slip bobber is a bank anglers’ best friend. You can condense the live bait and bobber into one compact cast. 

Make sure to secure your rod with a professional rod holder or use a long piece of PVC thick enough to hold your rods. 

Grab a lively minnow, set your bobber stop at 5 to 15 feet, and cast to the best-looking fishing areas. Watch your bobber to see if the bait is getting attacked. Let your rod stay in the strike zone until the rod pulls over, then set the hook.

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 Remember to take a kid fishing.

Friends to Follow social media