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Outdoors: Lake still dropping
Be cautious of obstacles when running the lake
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Lake Lanier is down 16.4 feet and is clear and 63 degrees.

There are lots of humps, rock piles, tree stumps and long points exposed lake wide with the lake down over 14 feet. Be careful running the lake. All the lakes ramps will go out of the water at 20 feet below full pool.

Black bass are more active, especially midday until dark. This week’s cold fronts and high pressure dropped the water temperatures six degrees. Expect the bass to move up shallow afternoons. There is a stained up lake and the afternoon sunlight on the off-colored water has some bass feeding. There are some good shallow bass areas above Gainesville and past the Little Hall area that have small fingers off the rivers and have shallow cover close to the banks. So watch the water temperature all day and find the warmest water.

All blue and all black Ø-ounce Stanley Jigs with either a Zoom salt trailer or an Uncle Josh pork trailer can work. Try swimming the jigs on and around cover then drop them into the cover after a few swimming casts. This week there has been a fair shallow water bite with the jointed Shad Raps in bright colors. Cast the baits right on the bank and use a stop and go retrieve. The DT 6 Rapala is also working on 10 pound test on hard clay banks. The bass will react to a moderate stop and go. Start in the creek mouths early and work your way all the way to the back with the sun on your back. Use a little deeper bait like the Bill Norman Middle N in the perch pattern.

Spotted bass fishing is in a junky mood but the fish can be caught. Just be prepared to use a lot of techniques. They will take crank baits, worms, drop shot rigs, top water and jigs. There are a lot of fish 27 feet deep in brush piles. Humps, brush piles and deep points are your best bet for landing spots.

We did see a few sea gulls on the lake this week in Big Creek. If you see birds working the water, go to that area and throw as many different top water baits as possible. Some big stripers are going to be there first but monster spots are sure to be right underneath. Spooks and Chug Bugs along with Sammy’s are a sure bet for landing a striper or huge spot. These areas will hold schooling fish first before they move into shallower water. Wind blown points up either of the two main rivers are also holding bass. Something in green is always a good color for Lanier this time of year but let’s not overlook white as a good backup color.

This week we found several schools of spots chasing tiny baits right on the bank around the mouth of the major creeks. Early and late each day these main lake reef markers especially on the east side of Shady Grove Park, hold some good spotted bass. Make a few casts and go to the next one. Use a Spot Sticker to feel the light strikes and the spots will pick up this lead head and hook combinations and swim of with the whole rig in their mouth. Drop shot rigs are accounting for some good fish and this is an easy rig to use. Just be sure to keep your line tight while fishing the baits. Zoom mini lizards are also good lure to use on the drop shot. Watch the Lowrance and you will see some of the bigger spots in the trees. Small to medium chrome and blue top water lures can draw the spots but the key is to move around and make only a few casts to each location. If the fish don’t cooperate keep moving. The fish like the large Chug Bug and silver blue back is the color. Fish this bait fast.

Stripers are actively feeding but the forage is small thread fin shad. If you see fish on the surface, use small spoons and small top water baits. Keep a buck tail ready for any surfacing fish. Keep a good set of binoculars and also keep an eye on the birds as they start to move on to the lake. The birds will always be very close to schools of bait all day. Mid lake in the creek mouths are feeding fish also. Live bait is still a great way to get the fish in the boat. Flat lines and planer boards are the best technique with a few fish biting down lines. With the stable weather, get into the middle of the lower lake creeks and idle around and look for the stripers on the Lowrance. There are a few schooling fish. Every now and then there may be three or four fish feed on the surface but they are coming up then feeding down instead of feeding on the surface.

Have a Sammy 115 top water and an all white «-ounce buck tail ready and get to the fish when they surface. After the early feed, the stripers head to the standing timber on main the lake river channels and can be tough to get. A few more sea gulls have made an appearance so keep a lookout in case you see them and search the surrounding area for bait and stripers as well as some big spots mixed in. Blue backs, trout, shad and shiners will all work. Use a long leader and a medium Kahle hook and place the bait straight down on the main lake humps and points. The river fish are biting large jigs pulled 110 feet behind the boat. Watch under the boat on the depth finder and you might see a school of stripers out off the banks waiting to attack these same baits. Cast in front of and behind the boat for the bigger fish. Keep a «-ounce Flex It spoon ready in case the fish are on the bottom in the middle of the deeper brush and old natural cover.

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