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Bass feasting for upcoming months
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Lake temperatures are around 70 degrees. The lake level is 1,068.7 feet, which is slightly more than two feet below full pool of 1,071 feet.

Lake Lanier is clear to stained on the main lake, stained in the creeks and the rivers, and the Chattahoochee River is stained. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing is good. Now is a great time to fish. The fall colors are starting to really show and the fish are eating lots of food for the upcoming colder months. You can fish several different patterns, and they may all work if you are at the right place at the right time.

Having a fish explode on a topwater plug is one of the most exciting ways to catch fish. Few things in life get an angler’s blood pumping more than a big fish coming out of no where to engulf a topwater plug. Fall is one of the best times to use topwater lures, as the majority fish are shallow enough to see lures on the surface.

I have experienced two types of successful topwater fishing this week.

The bass on the main lake are eating blueback herring, so a large plug, like a SPRO Dawg or Super Spook will work best. The bass in the creeks and pockets are feeding mostly on threadfin or gizzard shad. A white and sliver buzz bait is a great fall lure to throw in the creeks and in the rivers for Lake Lanier’s spotted and large mouth bass. Work this noisy lure on the surface and vary your retrieve until the bass let you know the right speed.

I always start out fishing a buzz bait as slow as possible and then I speed it up if the bass don’t react. Throw these lures all the way to the bank and fish steady on back to the boat. The drop shot is working well in brush piles and around deeper banks in the creeks. Target brush in 10-to 25-feet and work your soft plastics slowly through the branches of the submerged brush. I use a Big Bites Finesse Worm in a green color and I dip the tails in garlic flavored chartreuse JJ’s Magic just to get an extra edge.

Other lures like a jig and pig or deep diving crank baits can also be worked around brush. I like to find the brush piles that have tops that are 10-to 15-feet deep. I work a Little John DD plug over and through the brush.

It does take a little practice to work a crank bait through limbs, but these lures come through this stuff better than most people think. Just work your deep diver at a slow and steady pace, and if your lure gets snagged, then don’t pull on it.

Most of the time, the plug will simply float over the object that you got snagged in. If they don’t, then try moving your boat to the opposite side of the brush and  pulling it out. The bass are eating after dark, and we have caught some on Bomber Long A’s while striper fishing.

Dark colored crank baits and spinner baits will also work well for those late biters.

Striper fishing is hit or miss, but the guides seem to be doing very well.

You definitely get an advantage when you are out on the lake several times a week because you will be able to keep in touch with where the best locations are.

There is a fair bit of schooling happening this week, so keep a topwater plug tied on at all times.

When stripers are up on the surface, they can be easy to see, but you need to rely on your electronics when they are down below.

Most of the anglers are pursuing the topwater action, as there are few things that equal a striper blasting a plug.

Cast large topwater lures that mimic bluebacks around the main lake humps and points. Use lures that are four inches or larger in a natural shad color, as most of the bluebacks are at least this big. The trolling bite continues to be a good way to catch and find the stripers. Try trolling a large SPRO Buck Tail while watching for schoolers on the surface. Trolling also allows you to cover water and a lot of anglers use this to their advantage. Pay close attention to your electronics and GPS.

Both flat and down lines are working well as the fish can be shallow one day and deeper on the next. Your electronics are essential tools for determining the right depth at which to set your baits.

Bluebacks seem to be the best bait this week but trout and jumbo shiners or gizzard shad will coax some big fish into biting.
Crappie fishing is picking up and, as with the bass, the fish are hitting several different patterns. Target brush at 10-to 15-feet during the day and then fish a little shallower at night.

Troll, cast or jig Micro Spoons and Crappie Jigs around the most productive areas. If you fish after dark, use a Hydro Glow or floating light to attract the baitfish and crappie.

Trout fishing is slower and the river below the dam is starting to show that green tint that tells us that the lake is turning over.

Trout get a little lethargic when the river is stained, but they will still bite well. You can just about pick your favorite way to trout fish and most methods will work this week. I prefer to cast a Rooster Tail about 80 percent of the time and that is because they work. Target the rapids and the deeper pools below the rapids, as the moving water will hold the most oxygen.

Eric Aldrich is an outdoor writer, marketing specialist and bass angler. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. He would love to hear from our readers so please e-mail at or visit his website at Remember to take a kid fishing!

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