Lake temperatures are dropping into the upper 50s to lower 60s. The lake level remains steady from last week at around 1,067.9, or a little more than three feet below the 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 very good and the spotted and largemouth bass are bitting both shallow and deep.
Many anglers will be out during this holiday weekend and they should expect to do pretty well. There has been a really good dock bite back in the creeks and in pockets off the main lake. Target the pockets that have small feeder creeks with running water.
We have been skipping Spot Remover Jig Heads with Big Bite Finesse Worms up under the docks to catch good keepers. Some days they will be shallow on the backs of the gangplanks and on other days they will be out toward the fronts of these same docks. Always pay special attention to isolated docks and also the first or last ones if there are a group of docks.
Other lures are working well around docks and also on the steeper rocky banks both out on the main lake and in the rivers and creeks. I have been working the new SPRO McRip around these areas with a jerk-and-pause retrieve. A Fish Head Spin, Jig N’ Pig, Rooster Tail or even a buck tail are all good choices. Work these lures close to the bottom, watch your electronics and adjust the depth to the level which you see fish on the screen. Most days they will be close to the bottom or cover, but some days they will suspend out away from the banks. Target the windy banks whenever possible.
Many striper anglers are catching big spotted bass on down and flat-lined blueback herring. Also try a live night crawler on a jig head or rigged in the middle with a small Gamakatsu drop shot hook.
For stripers, there is still some decent topwater activity on the south end. Cloudy, rainy days have been the best time for topwater action, but you may also find them on sunny days too. If the weather is going to be sunny, get out early or late for your best topwater action.
Areas around the dam, Cocktail Cove, and in the lower lake creek mouths have all been good choices to find topwater fish. Cast BBZ1 shads, buck tails, redfins and even a big bite jerk shad around any surfacing fish.
If no topwater action is present, then look to your fish finders to give away the best locations. Some anglers are trolling umbrella rigs to help search for the active schools, while others will just observe their electronics and then drop flat and down-lined trout or blueback herring where they see fish on the finder.
The guides report that trout are working best, but I spoke with a few people who are doing just fine with bluebacks and threadfin shad caught with a cast net.
Look for the gulls, and also start looking north in the rivers up around River Forks, Latham Creek, Holly Park, Wahoo Creek and Little River. The stripers will move up into the rivers and into the backs of lower lake creeks as winter approaches.
The Bomber Long A’s bite after dark has been really off and on this year, but very few anglers are getting out after dark so it’s a great time to go.
Like the bass, the crappie this week can be found both shallow and deep. Target the docks and lay downs in the backs of the coves and either troll crappie jigs and Micro Spoons or cast to this cover with a crappie minnow or threadfin shad fished three feet below a bobber.
There are also some good crappie on brush piles in 10 to 20 feet. Target the brush close to the creek and ditch channels.
Trout fishing is ok, both on the Chattahoochee River and in the mountain Wildlife Management Areas.
Live bait is your best bet, but make sure to check with local regulations as some areas allow only for artificial lures. Try a red wiggler earthworm on a small hook with a split shot crimped on your line about two to three feet from the hook.
Fly and spin fishing have also been working fair.
Bank fishing remains decent if you find the active areas. Even if you’re bank fishing, I would recommend moving if you haven’t caught a fish within an hour.
You can use trout below a slip bobber and also on a bottom rig. Cut bait will catch a big striper and I like to chum up and area to try and bring the fish in. You can use chicken livers or cut up baitfish for chum. Make sure to secure your rods very well as even a small striper can pull a rod into the water before you can say “oops!”
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. I would love to hear from our readers so please e-mail me at email@example.com or visit my website at aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!