Water Conditions: Lake Lanier’s water level is very close to full pool after all of the recent rains and is right at 1,070.49 or .51 feet below the normal full pool of 1071. The main lake is clear to slightly stained and the creeks and rivers are stained to muddy in places. The lake temperatures are the mid 60’s.
The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is stained. Please check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Bass fishing has been up and down this past week. Many of the best anglers are struggling. On my last few outings, I have had some good days while at other times it has seemed hard to catch five keepers.
The weather has had a lot to do with how well the fish bite.
On overcast days the fish are more active and up shallow while on sunny days they seem to hug tight to the brush piles and rocky banks. Different parts of the lake are turning over and the fish are scattered both shallow and deep.
The best pattern for my bass fishing has been to get busy early in the day and fish moving lures. Don’t quit until the fish stop biting. A SPRO Little John DD has been a good producer before the sun gets over the horizon. Cast this deep diving crankbait around steep rocky banks allow your lure to stay in contact with the bottom. Other lures like Fish Head Spins, swimbaits, McSticks or Redfins are also good choices.
After the early morning bite slows then it is time to run and gun long points and shallow humps that have brush piles planted on the bottom. Work a Floating BBZ1 4-Inch Shad or your favorite top water plug up around and over the brush piles that are 15 to 30 feet deep. If you get bit doing this than the fish are active and you can just run around and make casts over brush piles in other areas.
If you are unable to draw fish to the surface then switch over to a jig or a Gamaktsu Alien Head with a Flying Squirrel trailer and make casts to the brush. You can also use the afore mentioned lures or try a drop shot and position your boat directly over the brush and make vertical drops while watching your fish finders, I often see fish coming up to intercept my lure on my Humminbird 1158c.
Other methods are working so keep an open mind. You may catch five bass on five different lures. Remember that the spotted and largemouth bass are feeding up as they prepare for winter so if you get a lure close to them you are liable to get a bite!
Striper fishing has been very good some days and just fair on others. Many of the stripers out schooling on main lake are targeting blueback herring. Herring can move surprisingly fast so the stripers that are chasing them must also move fast enough to keep up. It can be tough for us anglers as we watch stripers exploding on bait only a couple of casts away only to reappear 100 yards away in just about a few minutes. Some times you can follow the school fast enough to make a cast into the school but more often than not they will always appear to far away to make a cast.
In fall stripers really react to moving weather fronts. It pays to fish on days right before or during a weather front. No matter what type weather you are fishing during, keep a couple of top water plugs tied on at all times. The stripers are schooling right now and if you can land a lure near the schools on the surface you probably will catch a few.
Live bait is also a very good bet for striper fishing in fall. Live trout, bluebacks and even gizzard shad fished on flat or down lines have been working well. I say this all the time because it is true - your electronics are your eyes below the water and they will give away the large schools of stripers that swim below your boat. Let out a combination of flat and down lines. This week I have graphed stripers everywhere from the surface all the way down to 50 feet even thought the bottom depth exceeds 80 or more feet down below them.
It is a good idea to set out two flat lines or planner boards along with a couple of down lines. The stripers can be almost any where at any depth this week so make sure to cover all of your bases.
The night bite has been OK this week. It is a good idea to take a friend with you when fishing after dark. Seek out the windy shores of Lake Lanier Islands and also the islands in the mouth of Six Mile, Big Creek and Flowery Branch. You will also find stripers in the backs of some of the creeks around lighted boat docks. The best action occurs from 7-11 p.m., so you can get out, fish and still be home in time to get a decent night sleep and go to work the next day.
There are basically three lures I use after dark. A SPRO McStick, Bomber Long A and a Redfin for fishing on calm nights. Make long casts to the windiest banks and reel you lure slow and steady back to the boat. The strikes can occur at any time and they are ferocious! It can be addicting.
Crappie fishing is good and anglers who can work the deeper brush piles can catch some fat, healthy slab crappie for dinner.
Cast small crappie jigs to deeper brush from seven-25 feet deep. You can also down line live minnows around sunken brush. Trout fishing has been a little tougher this week, but that should change if we get some prolonged sunny days.
The recent rains have kept the rivers and streams flowing at higher than normal levels. The trout are eating worms and insects that naturally flow into the streams with this rainy weather. Use bright colored lures and flies to trick the trout into biting this week.
Bank fishing: Anglers can walk the banks with a single spinning outfit to catch a variety of species right now. All you will need is a good fishing rod and reel and a small assortment of lures. Some of the fish are very shallow.
Some good lures to consider are small Rooster Tails, Beatle Spins, small shallow running crankbaits, Plastic worms and even a Zara Puppy top water plug. Make sure you have fresh line on your pole. You will catch everything from brim and crappie on up to bass and stripers!
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 email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at aldrichfishing.com or lakelanierfishing.info. Remember to take a kid fishing!