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Aldrich: Fish settling in for the summer
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Lake temperatures are in the mid 80’s. Lake Lanier remains around 1,066.6 feet, which is 4.4 feet below a full pool of 1,071 feet. Lake Lanier is clear on main lake and slightly stained in the creeks. Please be safe and courteous with the upcoming 4th of July weekend because it will be busy on the lake.

The Chattahoochee River is clear.

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

Bass fishing is good and they have settled into their mid summer patterns.

Remember that my fishing reports are based on what close friends and I do to get the best results.

Many other anglers can come up with different patterns that work just as well.

I remember one hot August day years ago, I witnessed several large spotted bass attacking brim in under five feet of water around a marina when the surface temperatures were in the 90’s.

We had been fishing 40-feet deep all month long and just barely catching a few. Keep an open mind and pay attention to what the fish tell you.

The secret to successful fishing on Lake Lanier is to locate the brush piles.

During summer you will want to target brush piles that are 20-30-feet deep. I idle around with my 797c side imaging unit at around three to four miles an hour and I can actually see brush and rock piles, then I can put a cursor on them to see how far to he left or right of the boat they are located.

This will help you quickly find the best spots to target.

Once you locate these brush piles mark them on your GPS and you can return later in the day or even throughout the year and catch many fish of the "secret spots".

No mater if you work topwater plugs, swim baits, drop shots or live spot tails the brush piles are your best bet for success.

The topwater bite has been very good at times while other days it is just fair.

Pay close attention to any surface activity. Even a few baitfish moving quickly across the surface can mean that bass are actively feeding on the surface. Work SPRO Dawgs, Zoom Flukes, Super Spooks or other topwater plugs for explosive strikes.

Most of the time an aggressive quick retrieve has been working the best.

Unlike other lakes when Lanier’s spotted bass miss a topwater plug you should actually speed up your retrieve. This is because bluebacks will run away quickly when being attacked.

Working a swim bait, crank bait, Fish Head Spin or even a Rooster Tail around these same areas will work well even when the fish are not surfacing. The water is very clear on main lake and spotted bass will often come out of deep water to attack lures.

When the fish are in a more lethargic mood, use a drop shot rig and work it vertically over the brush piles.

Here is another thing that most anglers do not try but it works well for me.

Try casting out to the rock drop offs and stair step a drop shot rig on down into deeper water. Make sure to use sensitive fluorocarbon line no matter which way you work your drop shot rigs.

The absolute best way to ensure success right now is to fish spot tail minnows on a downline over the brush.

You will need a cast net with a fine mesh or you can also use a minnow trap but these don’t work as well.

Chum out grits or cracker crumbs around any beach area and you should draw in plenty. Check in with Hammond’s Fishing Center to get a great net or you can by medium shiners that will work almost as well.

Striper Fishing is very good. The topwater fishing has slowed but you may find one or two during the day on the surface. For the most part you will need to move out deeper this week.

According to Shane Watson and Hammond’s Fishing Center the downline striper bite is very good this week and it should stay that way for a while. Good electronics are essential for this type of deep fishing and if you have trouble this time of year than it may be a good investment to hire a guide.

Use fresh blue backs and fish them on a down line about 30 to 40 feet over a 60 to 80 foot bottom.

The fish up lake seem to be a little more plentiful but the ones they have been catching down lake are better quality.

I have heard from another angler who is catching decent stripers by trolling a two-ounce SPRO buck tail with his Cannon Down Rigger at around three miles an hour at 25-feet deep in the river channels.

He likes to tip these buck tails with a live blueback or a Hyper Tail for the best results. Other reports say the night bite at 30 feet below HydroGlow lights is working very well.

Target the mouths of the creeks. The mouths of Flowery Branch or Big Creek in front of Holiday Marina have been good areas to try.

Crappie fishing during the day has been slow but Keith Pace of Micro Spoons says that fishing after dark has really picked up.

Get out way after dark and target the bridges, lighted boat docks and even standing timber mid way in the river and creeks.

Use floating lights or better yet try HydroGlow lights and target these tasty fish at around 10-feet deep with crappie minnows or spot tails fished on downlines. Midnight or later is best for this action.

Trout fishing on the Chattahoochee River is good but getting out early is the best way to catch a limit.

That being said, floating down the cool Chattahoochee on a hot day is hard to beat. The water temperatures are around 60-65 degrees even in the summer and it acts like natural air conditioning.

The easiest way to catch these trout is to cast a ¬-ounce Rooter Tail on four-to six-pound test.

The same techniques along with fly-fishing will work well in the mountains and the WMA streams are a little less crowded this time of year.

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 email him at or visit his Web site at Remember to take a kid fishing!

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