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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Bank fishing for trout working well
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Lake temperatures are in the lower 80’s. Lake Lanier’s water level is good and is just slightly below 1,065.6 feet, which is around 5.4-feet below a full pool of 1,071. Lake Lanier is clear on main lake and in the creeks. The Chattahoochee River is clear.

Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466

Lake Lanier’s spotted bass are moving deeper as summer progresses. Bass fishing has been more of a challenge.

We have had some unusually cooler air and water temperatures.

This can affect how the fish are positioned in the water column, but for the most part your better fish are hanging around at 20- to 30-feet deep this week.

They will move to the surface to feed at almost any time of day so keep a topwater plug tied on for the active feeding periods.

The drop shot rig continues to be our "go to" method for catching these deeper spotted bass. Use light 6- to 8-pound fluorocarbon line with a Ú- to ¬-ounce drop shot weight and work your rig through the brush piles and rocks located around 20-to 30- feet deep.

I have been seeing some bass suspended off the bottom on my Humminbird Fish Finder and these fish will almost always hit a worm or Fish Head Spin dropped down to their level. You can even catch them with a jigging spoon.

Fish Head Spins and Basstrix Swim Baits worked on a Ú-ounce Gamakatsu EWG Weighted Swim Bait Hook are also working very well.

Other sub surface lures like Crank Baits, SPRO Buck Tails and Rooster Tails can also catch bass this week.

Topwater plugs like a SPRO Dawg 100 have been good when the spotted bass are breaking on the surface.

The spot tail minnow bite is always very good in summer and this week is no exception. A good day of fishing with artificial lures is 5-10 keepers.

With spot tail minnows you can easily catch 15-30 fish in an eight hour day if you locate the right areas.

Please use circle hooks so that these bass can be released healthy. Check in with Hammond’s Fishing Center to learn more about how to catch and fish these native minnows.

Striper fishing is very good and the fish continue to bite in the deep, cooler water on Lake Lanier.

Cruise around on main lake and in the mouths of the creeks, both up and down lake and watch your Humminbird Electronics. The stripers will show up as arcs on your Humminbird fish finders if your boat is running around 5-10 miles.

If you slow down and run your Minn Kota Trolling motor, the stripers appear as wavy lines or spaghetti. A lot of anglers will mistake timber for fish.

With quality electronics and some time on the water, you will be able to tell the difference. Timber will show up as a bunch of short lines stacked on top of each other where fish will appear as long wavy lines up off the bottom.

Blueback herring on downlines are the best way to go right now and this will be the case all summer when these stripers are down deep. The deep stripers remain healthy on Lake Lanier in summer because the blueback herring also hang around at the same level and there is a constant supply of bait.

Continue to fish down lines at 30-50 feet over a 60- to 90-foot bottom just off of the river channels. Check out Hammond’s and their website at for inexpensive bait and more detailed information on what the stripers are doing.

Crappie fishing is good for those anglers that can work off shore structure.

The timberline and deeper creek channels with brush piles are holding the fish. Keith Pace, owner of Micro Spoons and Jigs (, says to target these fish at around 20 feet during the day.

The crappie will move shallower at night but you still need to use a downline below lights at 12- to 15-feet deep. The bridges are holding fish but the docks seem a little slower this week.

Trout fishing remains consistent but the better fishing has been early for both the fish on the river and the ones up in the mountains. Start your day right at sunrise.

Bank fishing is working almost as well as float fishing. The trout will eat a variety of natural and artificial baits. Cast 1/8- to 1/16-ounce Rooster Tails, smaller Countdown Rapalas or Yo Suri Pins Minnows on 2-3-pound test around the lower parts of the rapids.

Use live bait in the same pools by positioning an ounce split shot about 2-3 feet in front of a small bait hook rigged with earth worms or other live baits (check local regulations for your specific regulations).

I hear frequently from our readers who don’t have a boat and I never want to exclude anyone. Fishing from the banks of Lake Lanier can be very productive.

This week your best bet from the banks of Lake Lanier will be to target brim with a bobber and small hooks baited with earthworms. Target areas that have rocky banks, or try around the bridges.

You can also remove the bobbers, add a weight and cast deeper to catch spotted bass in these same areas.

Texas and Carolina rigged plastic worms will also work well fished deep on back to the shore.

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 me at or visit his website at Remember to take a kid fishing!

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