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Aldrich: 'Finicky bass' give some anglers issues
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Eric Aldrich is a part-time outdoors writer, bass fisherman and is sponsored by Humminbird, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammonds Fishing and Boat Storage. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. He would love to hear from his readers so please e-mail him at or visit his Web site at Remember to take a kid fishing!
Lake Lanier is slightly above full pool at around 1,071.1 feet (full pool is 1,071 feet). Lake temperatures are in the mid 40’s and the main lake is clear to stained and the backs of the creeks and rivers are stained to muddy from recent rains.

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

Bass fishing continues to be good or tough depending on who you talk to. The majority of bass anglers are finding the bite to be slow, but we have still been doing pretty well by targeting the deeper winter fish.

This is the time of year where rattling crank bait starts to work well. Of course I am biased to the SPRO Aruku Shad but Rattle Traps, but other similar lures will also be productive. Cast these lures out deep and let them hit the bottom, then reel them slowly up hill and try to make contact with the bottom of the lake. You will lose a lure or two by fishing tight to cover but that is also where you will catch the most bass.

The bass we have been catching have been mostly deep, but they still continue to rise up and hit stick baits. Use a SPRO McStick or a Smithwick Rouge and target the steeper banks that are close to the river or creek channels. I also prefer the rocky banks. If the wind is blowing up on them then that can actually make the fish more active.

Keep using fineness plastics or Jigs N Pig, watch your electronics and look for suspended bait pods or bass relating to the

Live baitfish will work to catch these finicky bass.

Hook your baitfish through the lips and fish it on either a down line or a slowly fished flat line

This striper report is brought to you by Shane Watson Guide Service and Hammond’s Fishing Center. Watson says they have had some great jig fishing at times. We’ve also had some great free lining when the fish have been active and up in the water column.

These patterns have worked best in the early morning and late afternoon before the passing of a cold front. After a front passes, or if the fish are down, shad body umbrella rigs are your best bet.

There are a lot of birds midlake and south, some on the main lake and some in the creeks. Keep moving until you find some active fish or active seagulls with and without loons for better numbers.

If you can’t find any active fish or birds, pull your free lines around the bank and cast a white lead head fluke or a white 3/8- or 1/2-ounce bucktail, to as many points, banks, and boat docks as you can. Don’t be afraid to cast up into a foot or two of water.

There are some big, loner stripers to be caught on a jig right now that are up cruising the bank. Use a white fluke trailer, a white hyper striper tail, or a white Fat Albert grub on your bucktail for best results.

Most of the time, you won’t see these big fish rolling; you won’t even know they are there until they slam your jig. Check in with Hammond’s Fishing Center to hear the latest reports and to buy the freshest bait.

Keith Pace says the crappie fishing is still a little slow but that it will pick up any day now.

Target deeper docks where the muddy or stained water meet the clearer main lake water and start fishing on back into the creeks. Avoid the muddy water, but stained water will hold baitfish and the crappie will be close by.

Trout fishing is getting better as the DNR starts their spring stockings. Continue to use live earthworms because a lot of natural worms wash into the river during the heavy rains. Make sure to check local regulations to make sure you are not in an artificial only zone. Countdown Rapalas, Rooster Tails and wet flies are all working fair.

Striper fishing from the banks remains the most productive method for those anglers with out a boat. Crappie fishing from the docks or banks near the docks will start to get very good as early spring approaches.

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