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Aldrich: Bass, crappie fishing 'tough'
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Eric Aldrich is a part-time outdoors writer, bass fisherman and a member of Humminbird’s, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammond’s Fishing Center Pro Staff. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. If you would like to email him please do so at esaldrich@yahoo.com. Remember to take a kid fishing.

Lake Lanier is above full pool at around 1,071.8 feet.

Lake temperatures are in the upper 40s to low 50s, the main lake is clearer and the backs of the creeks are stained.

The Chattahoochee River is clearing.

Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466

The bass fishing has been tough except for those anglers with an extensive knowledge of deep winter patterns.

The bass are deeper and grouped into tight schools during the non-active feeding times and these fish can be caught on spoons, jigs and soft plastic worms worked slowly around the bottom.

Watch your electronics closely and look for schools of shad with the tail arcs below them to find the prime locations.

During active feeding times, use other lures like SPRO McStick jerk baits, crank baits and even a Zoom Fluke on a Scrounger or a jig head.

Striper anglers have also been catching some magnum spots of live trout and bluebacks.

The striper fishing is good and cold weather brings these hard fighting into the shallows.

They can be caught on a variety of lures.

First you must locate the active stripers, and there is a simple way to do this: Follow the birds. Seagulls and Loons are both great indicators that bait fish are close by.

You can bet the stripers are also in these same areas, and live bait is probably your best bet.

Hammond’s Fishing Center can tell you if trout, bluebacks or gizzard shad are working best and they get daily reports from Shane Watson, so stop in for up-to -date information.

I saw several large concentrations of stripers in the lower lake creeks this past week and good areas to target are Bald Ridge, Six Mile and Flat Creeks.

There are also reports of good fish being caught up the Chestetee and Chattahoochee rivers. Little River, Wahoo Creeks Holly Park are also good areas to check.

Trolling Umbrella Rigs and casting SPRO Buck Tails to rolling fish are both great methods to use if you prefer to target stripers with artificial lures.

Lead Head Flukes and jerk baits will also work well if you can find active fish close to the surface.

Not a lot of reports are coming in about the crappie, so assume that fishing will be a little slow.

I did witness an angler catching crappie from inside his boathouse at around 20-feet deep.

He said they were in the brush and that they would barely nibble on a crappie jig tipped with a live minnow.

Keith Pace has been shooting these same types of docks with a Micro Spoon and he is watching for the very light hits as these small spoons flutter down.

Trout fishing on the Chattahoochee is slow, but the river has cleared up quite a bit which means the fishing will be a little better with artificial lures.

The brown trout have been biting small minnow imitations like a Yo Zuri Pinns Minnow or small Rapala twitched around the bottom of the rapids.

Small in-line spinners and fly-fishing is also worth trying, but line bait (where permitted by law) is going to work best.

I am seeing quite a few striper anglers fishing from the banks both up and down the lake.

This type of fishing is a waiting game, but if you catch even one large striper it can make for a great day.

Use live trout below a large slip bobber and find banks where the wind is blowing out so that your baits will stay out deeper.

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