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Fishing report: Bass anglers must be willing to adapt
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Lake Lanier’s water level has barely dropped at 1,070.06 or .94 feet below a full pool of 1,071. Water temperature are also lower than normal for August in the lower 80s, which has helped the fishing. Lake Lanier is clear on the main lake and clear in the rivers and creeks.

The Chattahoochee River is clear below Buford Dam. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing remains very steady for the anglers that are willing to adapt. Some days the run-and-gun pattern has been best while other days anglers may want to slow down and work soft plastics like a drop shot or jig head worms in the brush and around docks or steep rocky banks.

It seems that the elements have played a big part in the fishing this week. With a full moon and some bream bedding up shallow, the largemouth fishing has come into play. The bream beds on Lake Lanier are a little harder to see but you can bet the largemouth bass know where they are located. Start your mornings with a Prop Bait like a Devils Horse or white and silver buzz bait. Work the banks and shallow pockets in the backs of the creeks. Some of the strikes from the bass have been explosive. Fishing for big largemouths can be addictive.

As the morning sun rises high in the sky, the spotted bass fishing on the main lake seems to heat up too. Hit the points and humps with brush located from 20-30 feet deep. On cloudy days, the bite seems slow but when the sun is bright the spotted bass seem to turn on. Make a milk run and sample several areas with more aggressive lures, like a chrome Super Spook or Sammy or go after the bigger spotted bass with a SPRO BBZ1 eight-inch trout.

Some anglers are intimidated with these larger lures but you can bet a spotted bass can inhale baits a good deal larger that these eight-inch lures.

Work your topwater plugs with a quick, steady walk-the-dog retrieve for some aggressive strikes.

When it is overcast or if you just can’t find the actively feeding fish, slow down and pick apart the brush piles with dropshot rigged with a ¼-ounce Tungsten Skinny Weight and thread a Big Bites Shakin’ Squirrel or a five-inch Can Stick on a smaller Gamakatsu Straight shank hook.

I like to rig these worms Texas Style to cut down on the snags but you will get more action from your lure by hooking it through the nose.

There has also been a decent crank bait bite. A variety of lures and depths are working. Try casting a Little John Baby DD or a Bill Norman Little N and dig these lures into the bottom around rocky areas or deep bluff walls. An angler asked me once why his crank baits didn’t work.

I told him to cast them into areas where they would get snagged. Since he didn’t think they would work, it would be no great loss if they got hung up. He reported later that the crankbaits were some his best producers because he had started to put them where bass lived in brush piles, rocks and lay downs.

Stripers: The summertime striper action is still in force. Stripers are hitting a combination of downlines or trolling buck tails and umbrella rigs. There are some good groups of stripers just inside the creek mouths on the main lake from Gainesville Marina on down through Browns Bridge and down to the Buford Dam. One reports says the fishing above Browns Bridge is decent, if you find the right areas. The thermocline has set up around 25-30 feet deep and the bluebacks are relating to those depths and deeper down into the water column.

Use your electronics to find the best areas. Set your Side Imaging to 120 feet and you will be scanning an area almost 240-feet wide. Experienced anglers will see the balls of bait on the screen. You can then move your cursor to where you see the bait and mark a waypoint.

Once you have an area, drive around until you see arcs or wavy lines. Then set your down lines just above where you mark fish.

Some of the striper will be window shopping and they just don’t seem to want to eat.

Use the power-reeling method by dropping a bait down through the school, then reel it up quickly. The strikes will just about break your arms but you will be rewarded with some bigger, aggressive fish. Make sure to use the proper ice and slat or chemical mix so that your bait stays active.

Troll umbrella rigs or single buck tails with a Hyper Tail or live herring. Keep your presentations down around the 30-35 feet range.

Set your lead core line out to nine colors or set your Cannon Downriggers to the exact depth you want to fish.

Make sure to troll around two miles per hour. Pay attention to where your strikes occur. Sometimes when you are turning the boat, your lure will slow down or speed up. That is when you will get a strike. Sometimes these strikes just occur because your lures cause reaction strikes, while other times it is just the stripers telling you what presentation they prefer. Adjust your trolling speeds and coarse accordingly.

Crappie fishing remains slow to fair, except for the experienced perch jerkers, who can pick apart the brush midway back into the creeks with jigs or down-lined minnows. The fishing after dark has been decent but you will experience plenty of slow times. Use your lights and net some spot tail minnows to increase your odds.

Trout fishing remains very strong below Buford Dam and in the North Georgia mountain streams.

Pick your poison and go fishing because the trout will bite just about any lure that is presented well. The trout fishing is usually better in the mornings and right before sunset on pressured waters. The remote streams and rivers that receive little fishing will hold aggressive fish all day long.

Bank Fishing: The bream have been building nests this week and bream fishing has been very good both on Lanier and on smaller ponds in the subdivisions and farms.

Thread half a night crawler on your hook or use a cricket and bobber and you should do quite well. If you do not get bit in the first five minutes move on down the bank until you do get some bites. Bream beds look like craters on the moon. Bream will attack just about any bait or lure placed around or in their nests.

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. Contact him at or visit his website at

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