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Lake Lanier fishing report: Stripers can be found all over the lake
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s water level is down a foot from last week and is at 1072.18 feet or 1.18 above full pool of 1071. Lake surface temperatures are in the low 70s.

The lake below Browns Bridge remains clear in the creek mouths and stained from pollen in the back of the pockets. The upper lake is stained in the creek mouths, creeks and in the rivers. Check generation schedules at 770-945-1466 before heading out to the river below Buford Dam.

The bass are still in all stages of spawn, so fishing has been good. Pick your favorite bass weapon and go catching. That being said, certain lures and techniques will work better than others.

The bass have been everywhere and sometimes seemingly nowhere. This is the one time of the year that beating the banks can produce numbers and occasionally good-sized bass in the shallows. With the high water this year, bass have been spawning in different areas. Some stretches that have historically been good may be too deep, while areas that are normally dry may hold spawning bass.

Start the day targeting top water fish in the shallows on main lake humps and points. A Jerk Shad, Fluke or Gunfish have been producing some explosive strikes that bass anglers live for. There has been a decent bite on topwater plugs, and this action will just continue to get better and last throughout the day as late spring and early summer set in. 

As the day sets in and the sun heats the shallows, we have been catching both largemouth and spotted bass in the coves and around the docks. A Big Bites Finesse Worm or a Lanier Baits Fruity Worm on an eight ounce Alien Head Jig Head will produce a lot of bites in the shallows. Another great lure to cast is a Senko rigged whacky style Gamakatsu Whacky Head. This is one of the easiest lures to skip around docks. Areas around gangplanks and in between the docks are holding shallow bass right now.

Working crankbaits, small jigs, topwater’s, jerk baits, worms or whatever you pleasure will produce bites right now, so get out your bass gear and go fishing.

Striper fishing remains very good, and the fish are all over the lake. There has been good schooling action in certain areas from River Forks on down to the dam, but locations change daily.

It’s best to deploy a combination of herring and shad on flat and planner boards, casting top water plugs and SPRO Buck Tail Jigs while covering main lake and secondary points and humps. 

The herring are very close to spawning, and it may be happening in certain areas. Any hard cover like sand, clay and rock will provide spawning habitat for herring. 

Unlike the shad spawn, herring will spawn all day long. When this is happening, a top water plug or a swim bait like a SPRO BBZ1 4-inch Shad, a Sebile style Magic Swimmer or a SPRO McStick 110 are my go-to lures. No need to work these lures too slow as herring will move around quickly when pursued. 

Cast your moving lures around main lake humps, points and saddles between the islands while pulling live herring on flat lines and planner boards. Planner boards allow you to cover a wider area therefore increasing your odds of a hook up.

Pulling a Mack Farr Umbrella Rig is also a good option for covering water and finding active fish. Run your rigs around two miles an hour, and keep them at around 10 feet in the water column. Cover water and deploy live baits when you find concentrations of fish. 

Your Lowrance Electronics are essential this time of year. Set your Structure Scan to 50 feet on both sides when exploring shallow water under 20 feet. Keep an eye out for both fish and the bait fish they are chasing. I run a combination of Structure Scan and traditional 2/D with my Lowrance Carbon 16 while scanning under water. The larger screen and advanced imagery definably give my boat an advantage for finding fish. 

The crappie are finished with the spawn, producing mostly smaller fish in the shallows. You can still fish crappie minnows under a float to catch a few fish in the shallow coves and creeks. The better fish are rehabilitating under docks with brush.

The brim are beginning to spawn, so you can catch some bigger fish in the shallows this time of year. 

Brim on Lanier spawn in water a little deeper. Cast a live red wiggler placed 3-feet under a float. If you know there are concentrations of fish, you can eliminate the bobber and just cast a worm on a small Aberdeen style hook to areas where the brim are bedding.

Bank fishing: Now is a great time to grab a minnow bucket or a can of worms and hit the banks of Lake Lanier. Fishing from the banks with a bobber is a time-tested way to catch fish. Bass, crappie, brim and even stripers are cruising the shallows in spring.

Remember to take a kid fishing! 

Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. He would love to hear from our readers so please email him at esaldrich@yahoo.com 

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