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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Bass are moving into early summer haunts
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Lake Temperatures are upper 70s to lower 80s and the lake level continues to rise. Presently we are around 1,066.2 feet, which is 4.8 feet below a full pool of 1,071 feet.

Lake Lanier is clear on the main lake and slightly stained in the creeks. The main lake and creeks will become stained around the edges on the weekends due to lake traffic. The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing is pretty consistent as the fish are moving into thier early summer haunts. Target the main lake and secondary points and pay particular attention to submerged humps that rise up within 10 feet of the surface with deep water close by. This time of year we tend to stay way off the banks and actually work the areas where most anglers position their boats.

You can catch some fish by "beating the banks," but the better schools of spotted bass are relating to off shore structure from 10-to 20-feet deep.

I pay a lot of attention to my Humminbird Side Imaging unit to locate the most productive main lake areas. These side imaging units actually show a three-dimensional, photographic type view of rocks, brush piles, timber and even old submerged buildings. This technology has been available from Humminbird for a couple of years while other brands are still working on trying to get it to market. Anglers can also try to remember where the humps, rocks and brush were located in the recent past when lake levels were down.

As with last week’s report, running and gunning can be the best way to find the active schools of fish. On a typical trip you may have to fish several areas with limited success before you eventually collide with a good school of active spotted bass. When you find these active schooling bass you can load the boat in a hurry. Topwater plugs like a Super Spook or SPRO Dawg have been my main lures for catching active fish.

Other lures like spinner baits and swim baits have been very productive too, so let the mood of the fish dictate your lure choices. It seems that the best schooling activity is happening on sunny days or when the weather fronts blow in. If there is a limited amount of topwater activity, then target brush and rocks from 10-to 20-feet deep with a Zoom Finesse Worm on a jig head or a Carolina Rigged Lizards fished slowly around main lake dropoffs.

Fishing is probably the calmest during the weekdays and in the mornings on the weekends, but don’t give up on fishing if you are out later in the day or on the weekends.

We have actually seen times when the bass are chasing blueback herring that get stirred up by boat traffic. Anglers can catch bass from the banks with topwater plugs, plastic worms or even live minnows and night crawlers.

Striper fishing is good and anglers should keep an open mind because they are being caught on a variety of methods this week. The most exciting way by far is to throw topwater plugs for active fish. The striper fishing seems best in the mornings, but some times they can bite all day long.

You can catch both spotted bass and stripers by targeting main lake points and humps with Redfins, SPRO Dawgs, Super Spooks or even a Zoom Fluke rigged on a heavy 5/0 Gamakatsu Super Line Hook. These heavier hooks will allow you to cast further and they won’t straighten out if you hook a large fish.

Both down-lined and flat-line blueback herring have been producing stripers and the best method will be determined by where you see fish on your electronics.

You can drag a flat-lined blueback out behind the boat while casting topwater plugs to the points. If you don’t see fish on your finder and they are not bitting, then move to a more productive area, as most of the stripers are located in schools this week.

If you noticed that the fish and bait are down deeper, then drop a down line to just above the level that fish appear on your screen.

Remember that stripers will move up to eat a bait but the seldom move down, so it’s better to position your baits a little too high then it is to position them to low. Trolling umbrella rigs or a large SPRO Buck tail on a Cannon Down Rigger has been working for some of the guide boats.

Both of these methods can be used to locate fish. If you get a bite while trolling you can often go back over the same area and catch more fish on down or flat lines.

Fishing bluebacks and gizzard shad under Hydra Glow Lights in the creek mouths after dark has been working. Stop by Hammond’s to purchase the best bait and they can also help you with the best bait tanks and lights for catching stripers in the warmer months.

Crappie fishing is a little slow during the days and nights. After dark will be your best time to target these tasty fish. Set out lights around the bridges after dark and fish from 10-to 15-feet deep with live minnows, jigs and Crappie Spoons.

Early in the day is the best time to catch trout on the river. Small inline spinners fished on a light line has been productive. If it has been raining then try using live worms (where permitted). Fly-fishing with a black ant, or match the afternoon hatches for your best action both up in the mountain creeks and on the Chattahoochee River.

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


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