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Aldrich: Lake turnover is scattering fish
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Lake temperatures are around 70 degrees. Lake Lanier’s level is around 1,053.9 feet, just over 17-feet below the normal full pool of 1,071 feet. The lake is dropping close to an inch a day and we could really use some rain! The Chattahoochee River is stained due to the start of lake turn over.


fishing remains very good, but the fish are moving around a lot.

The lake is in the process of turn over. Turnover is when the warm, upper layer of water cools down enough to equal the temperature of the lower, cooler layer of water and they mix.

Turnover can scatter fish, but it is also a big motivator for bass to feed because they know winter is approaching.

The main key for finding active bass is to find the bait, as stated in last week’s report.

Use your eyes to pick up on small details in the water that indicate baitfish or schooling bass. In addition high-quality electronics like my 777c and 787c color units will really increase your chances of finding fish.

Because these schooling spots and largemouth bass are so active you should select a lure that you can fish aggressively. I like to throw a large SPRO Dawg 125 and bring it back to the boat with an erratic, quick retrieve. These baits are designed to "walk the dog," which means to zig zag.

You don’t have to do this perfectly, in fact this week the fish seem to like a sloppy, faster retrieve.

Other walking baits will also work.

V-waking a Red Fin is a great way to bring up aggressive bass and stripers from the depths.

Many other lures will also produce so keep a spinner bait, crankbait or whatever your preferred move lure is accessible.

There are some better fish down deep, so a drop shot or deep-diving crankbait can produce a trophy spotted bass right now. A lot of big spotted bass are being caught by striper anglers on live bait, so try fishing some blueback herring or even a live trout on a downline or under a slip bobber cast from the bank.

For striper fishing, the topwater action is best early or later in the day and there have been some huge school of stripers surfacing out on main lake.

Just about any topwater or subsurface lure will work when you encounter a big school.

Try to use a lure that mimics a blueback herring or bait fish.

A SPRO buck tail cast to these schooling fish is an almost guaranteed hook up! Make sure to have medium to heavy tackle with high-quality line or else you will loose your lure.

Another suggestion is to take a deep breath before making a good cast. A lot of anglers get very excited and mess up the first cast and miss the opportunity when the fish sound.

Live bait fishing remains very good. The stripers seem to prefer downlined bluebacks this week but a flat line will also produce. Use your Humminbird Electronics to determine the depth and set your baits out accordingly.

One technique guides use when they see fish on their electronics and can’t get them to bite, is a method called power reeling. This simply means to drop your bait on a downline all the way past the fish and reel up through the school.

This often triggers a reaction bite.

Trolling buck tails on lead core or down riggers has been working and is a great way to locate the large schools of stripers.

The Bomber Long A bite has been very slow so far.

The crappie fishing is good and Keith Pace continues to troll the creeks with his Micro Spoons at around 10 feet. The depth will probably change with the cooler temperatures so keep an open mind and pay close attention to your Humminbird Fish Finder to unlock the proper depth.


fishing has been slow due to the "green" water coming from the dam. This greener water is due to lake turnover. Live bait (where permitted by law) are working best but you can still catch trout fly-fishing or casting small lures.

Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoor writer, bass fisherman and 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. I would love to hear from our readers so please email me at or visit my website at Remember to take a kid fishing!

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