Lake temperatures are in the lower 60s to high 50s. The lake is clear to slightly stained. The Lake Lanier level is around 1,052.5 feet or 18.5 feet below the normal full pool of 1,071 feet. The Chattahoochee River is stained.
The cooler weather has bass on the move chasing any food they can find as they feed heavily before winter. You can still catch bass on a variety of lures and presentations so keep your options open. The most productive method this past week has been to fish a dropshot, shaky head or Texas rigged plastic worm in the creeks during the day. Find secondary points in the creeks that are holding bait and you should do quite well. Look for banks that have transition zones. An example of a good transition zone is where the clay banks change to rocks, pebbles or sand. Target the areas where two different types of bottom meet.
The spotted bass seem to key in on this type of structure in fall. I also prefer banks with a little deeper drop off because the bass can move up and down quickly on these steeper banks. The bass will move deeper or shallower so some days you will need to target shallower water in the 5-to-20-foot zone, while other days water in the 20-to-40-foot range will be best. The bigger fish seem to be hanging deeper. Using quality electronics like my new Humminbird 797c side finder unit will greatly increase your abilities to find areas that are holding fish. Some anglers will position their boat directly over the fish and use a vertical presentation to catch fish that appear on the screen. Anther very productive and under utilized method is to cast your dropshot rig to the bank and stair step it down the drops like most people would fish a jig or Texas rigged worm. As stated above other methods are working well too. Try crank baits, topwater plugs, spoons and other lures and let the fish determine what is working best.
Anglers fishing from the shore are doing well. Fish any lures or live bait below a slip bobber for success from the banks. The people who are fishing at night are catching some magnum spotted bass. After dark use a Bill Norman Deep N in navy blue or black and make sure this lure stays in contact with the lake bottom during the retrieve for your best success. Hammond’s is the only place I can find the dark blue version, so stop in for a great selection.
The fishing remains consistently good. There are still some schooling fish appearing throughout the day but this action has been hit or miss. Down and flatlined trout, bluebacks or even gizzard shad have been the most productive methods day in and day out. Hammond’s is offering gizzard shad but they sell out quick. The areas in the mouth of Flat Creek, River Forks Park and Holly Park are all good areas to start. Use your Humminbird electronics to determine the best depth but 20-to-50- feet has been a good range to start out with.
The crappie fishing is good. Use down-lined crappie minnows and fish 10-to-15-feet deep in the creek channels or around any wood cover. Trolling Crappie Jigs and Micro Spoons is working well too. Find the stained water, as this seems to be holding the better schools of Crappie.
Trout on the Chattahoochee
The river is stained and trout fishing is slow. This time of year the oxygen levels are low, and that makes the fish slower to bite. Live worms fished on a 3-foot leaded behind a large split shot will keep your bait in the strike zone longer and may coax these inactive fish to bite. The trout will still hit lures and flies but this action can be slow.
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 email@example.com or visit his new website at aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!