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Lake Lanier Fish Report: Electronics are key to catching striper
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Lake temperatures are still in the lower 80s. Lake Lanier’s water level is holding well for summer at 1,065.3 feet, which is around 5.7-feet below a full pool of 1,071 feet. Lake Lanier is clear on the main lake and in the creeks. The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

The past week’s weather has put Lake Lanier’s bass on several different patterns. We have seen some large schools of spotted bass thrashing the surface. Keep a topwater plug like a SPRO Dawg tied on and ready for any bass that may surface at any time during the day. Other lures like spoons, Fish Head Spins, Rooster Tails or even a buck tail jig can coax schooling bass into biting. I have also heard reports of a decent shallow bite up on the north end.

The deep brush pile bite has still been consistent most days. This type of angling requires a good working knowledge of offshore structure along with the ability to find brush piles or other deep cover. My Humminbird electronics are essential tools as demonstrated this week by their helping us catch several bass over four pounds from 20-to 35-feet deep brush piles. The drop shot rig has been working but a shaky head or Texas rigged worm can also work well.

Spot tail minnow fishing is still the easiest way to catch spotted bass in the summer. Fish these native minnows on a downline at 10- to 25-feet deep. Check in with Hammond’s Fishing Center. They can help with advice on catching spot tails or you can purchase medium shiners that will work almost as well.

We are blessed with one of the best striper fisheries in the country and the deep summertime bite is very good. Once again your electronics are key tools for locating and catching these deep striped bass. My Humminbird color units have been showing large schools of striped bass anywhere from 30- to 60-feet deep. Once you locate a productive area you can often return day after day and find stripers in the same general areas. Striper fishing has been good both up north as well as below Browns Bridge. Check the deeper flats off the creek and river channels. If you don’t see arcs or wavy lines on your fish finders, then keep searching until you locate these deeper schools.

Blueback herring fished on downlines continues to be the most popular way to catch stripers this month. There have also been reports of a decent trolling bite. Try trolling a 1- to 2-ounce SPRO Buck Tail on lead core line at seven-eight colors, or use a Cannon Downrigger to keep your lure around 25- to 30-feet deep. Keep your boat speed around 2.5 to 3 miles per hour and fish around the creek and river channels.

Crappie fishing has been hit or miss depending on who you talk to. Keith Pace has been working the deeper brush during the day and night. He says to check anywhere from 15- to 25-feet deep and to use a downlined Micro Spoon tipped with a crappie minnow.

The night bite on the bridges and lighted boat docks has only been fair this past week. Continue to use lights and fish crappie minnows at 15- to 20-feet deep. Late evening on into early morning has been the most productive time.

Early morning trout fishing is great below Buford Dam. Even if you’re not an early riser, daytime fishing can be cool and relaxing and you will catch more trout when you get out before the float traffic makes these clear water fish more skittish. On the other hand you can go up into several North Georgia Mountain Wild Life Management areas to avoid the crowds and catch trout all day long. This summer’s rain has been much better for trout fishing than the past dry years have been.

Brim fishing from the banks is very good on Lake Lanier in the summer. Find any area with a rocky shore and use live earthworms or crickets below a bobber to catch brim all day long. A ¬-ounce Rooster Tail on light tackle or fly-fishing will also work very well. There have been some bass biting in the shallows this week so try casting crankbaits, topwater plugs or plastic worms.

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 e-mail him at or visit his Web site at
 Remember to take a kid fishing!

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