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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Striper fishing starting to improve
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier is holding almost steady at 1,071.90 or .9-feet above the normal full pool of 1,071. Lake surface temperatures are rising slowly into the mid to upper 80’s. 

The main lake and lower lake creeks mouths are clear to stained. The upper lake creeks, pockets and rivers are slightly stained to stained.

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

Bass: Hit your best area at daybreak. Cast a Sammy, Spy Bait or your favorite swim bait across the ends of long points or the shallowest areas on humps. Make several casts and pay close attention to any fish you see on sonar. You should be able to determine pretty quickly if an area is dead or alive.

Then the work begins and we basically turn to one or two patterns. Running and gunning docks and deeper brush, while keeping an eye out for fish or large bait schools either on the surface or on my electronics. Several times recently we have caught bass that were suspended by dropping to their level, engaging the reel and just jiggling the dropshot in place.

The spy bait has been working down lake during active feeding periods. This pattern has worked well where you see herring or larger shad. The art of working a spy bait is to get it down to the level where the fish are located. These slender lures have tiny props at the front and back and a fall rate of around a foot to a foot and a half per second. Make a long cast, count down your lure to the levels of brush or bottom and reel them slowly to get bites.

It’s hard to beat fishing with native Spot Tail minnows during the summer. Start with a fine-meshed net, chum out some grits. and cast your net around beachy-looking areas. Hook these minnows through the lips on a drop shot rig and drop them down around brush at around 15-feet deep      

We have been catching bass on a SPRO Little John DD 70 while fishing after dark. Cast these deep divers into shallow water at around five feet. Work shallow, rock and clay banks and retrieve your lure slowly out to 20 feet deep. Many times, your strikes occur as or after the lure breaks free as it ascends back to the surface.

Striper fishing has taken a turn for the better. The fish are really setting up, starting from the thermocline all of the way down to 100-feet bottom. Pay close attention to your Lowrance electronics and keep moving if you are not marking fish.

Stripers are relating to the deeper ditches and the ends of the creek and river channels. Down-lining herring or an occasional gizzard shad when you mark these schools has been working well, once you have located fish. Set your baits down from around 30-60 feet deep. You can drop your live bait above or about halfway into the school. Never fish below the school. 

Use a long leader down line and switch your live baits often. Remember to drop the live bait down to the bottom, then power reel it through the school to trigger a power-reeling reaction bite.

Crappie: The crappie fishing is slow and there have been no reports, so if you have something, let me know.

Trout Fishing: Fishing in the mountains has been good. Dry flies, midges and ant patterns have been working well for fly-anglers.

A Rainbow Trout Colored Rooster Tail, a Countdown Rapala or live worms (where permitted by law) are all working well.

Bank fishing: It’s time for a carp report. Bugle-mouthed bass or Georgia Redfish are fancy names for the underappreciated carp. These larger-than-average fish are related to the gold fish.

Carp, unlike other species of fish are attracted to human activity. Areas close to beaches and campgrounds are great places to try. Start out by chumming Wheaties dough balls or you can also chum with canned corn. Hold on to enough bait to use on your hooks.

Take a Zebco 33, add a small Aberdeen style hook with a 1/4-split shot. Place some bait on your hooks and cast out to the area where you chummed before. Secure your rods and get ready for some 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 him at esaldrich@yahoo.com Remember to take a kid fishing.

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