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Aldrich: Scenery, fishing both fine on Lake Lanier
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Lake temperatures are right around 60 degrees. The lake is clear to slightly stained and the lake turn over is about complete. The Lake Lanier level is around 1,052 feet or just around 19-feet below the normal full pool of 1,071 feet. The Chattahoochee River is stained. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466

Fishing remains consistent ,and there is no better place to be than on the lake when the leaves are changing.

The scenery is awesome and fishing is good if you are willing to adapt.

This time of year can be feast or famine, and while the numbers of fish may be slightly down, you can catch some trophy spotted bass in fall.

Because the spots and largemouth are eating two different sizes of baitfish, you will need to adjust your lure selection accordingly. The threadfin shad are around one- to three-inches long, so smaller silver or shad-colored lures will work best when you are casting for bass that are keyed in on these smaller baitfish.

Blueback herring, on the other hand, are averaging around five- to six-inches long, so jerk baits and topwater plugs will better mimic this fast moving forage.

Pay close attention to the bass you catch as they will often have baitfish in there mouths which can quickly help you determine what type of bait they are keyed in on.

A great choice for the shad eating bass is a 1/4- to 1/2-ounce silver and white Rooster Tail. Cast this lure out and count it down to the level where you see fish on your Humminbird Fish Finders, then reel it slow and steady back to the boat or shore.

If you find the bass are keyed in on bluebacks then use a long, slender jerk bait, Zoom Fluke or SPRO Dawg topwater plug.

The threadfin bass like a slower retrieve, while the blueback eating bass will chase faster moving lures.

The other method that is most consistent this week is to fish soft, plastic worms on the bottom. I use a drop-shot rig or a shaky head worm most of the day, and these techniques will catch fish year round.

Lake Lanier is one of the finest striper fisheries in the world and you should be able to catch quite a few if you are in the right locations using the right baits.

You can actually cruise around early in the mornings and look for the active schools of stripers on top.

Look in the lower end creek mouths. Flat, Young Dear, Big, Flowery Branch and Six Mile creeks are all good places to check out.

The stipers seem to be schooling well this year, and you will often encounter an acre-sized school of stripers busting bluebacks on the surface. This can be quite exciting so it is important to slow down and make accurate casts.

Very often anglers will be in the middle of a school and won’t catch any.

The biggest mistake I see is that people will throw a good lure three to four times and then switch because they figure that they should be getting a bite right away.

Humans also tend to be very excited and, because of this, will fish faster than they should. If you slow down, take a breath and work your bait with a steady retrieve, you will out-fish these other anglers who fish fast and change lures constantly.

There are many lure selections to use for schooling fish but here four of my favorites: 1/2-ounce SPRO Bucktail Jig, Bomber Long A or Redfin, SPRO Dawg 125 or Super Spook and a Rooster Tail or Fish Head Spin. Hammond’s Bait and Tackle stocks all of these lures and has the best selection of live bait on Lake Lanier so make sure to stop in for great values and up-to-date fishing information.

Live bait is always your easiest and best method for catching fish. The stripers have been hitting both flat and downlined bluebacks and trout.

If they are schooling on top, then pull a flat line behind the boat while you cast to the schoolers with lures from the front.

If you are not seeing fish on top then use your Humminbird Finders to locate the fish and to determine the proper depth to drop your downline.

This week, the stripers seem to be in 50 feet or less of water.

Bank anglers are starting to report some decent catches, and these anglers are using both slip bobbers and downline rigs cast out from the bank.

There has been some hit and miss nighttime action with the Bomber Long A’s. If you venture out at night, find the main lake islands and cast your Bomber Long A to the bank, then reel back with a slow and steady retrieve.

Keith Pace of Micro Spoons is reporting that he is catching some nice slabs of crappie up in the rivers this week.

He is targeting brush in four to eight feet of water and is using either a Crappie Jig or Micro Spoon and just dropping it into the brush for some decent action.

These same fish will bite crappie minnows fished under a bobber or even small crank baits.

The bridge pilings towards the backs of the creeks are holding crappie day and night.

The Chattahoochee River is still stained and trout fishing is hit or miss. I have heard a report that there are some decent brown trout being caught all over the river, from the dam all the way inside the perimeter. Cast flies and nymphs to any moving water, or use small lures or live earth worms where permitted.

Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoor 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 new Web Site at Remember to take a kid fishing!

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