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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Bass bite strong in the morning hours
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Lake Lanier’s water level continues to fall and the lake level is at 1,064.03 or just at 7 feet below the normal full pool of 1,071 feet above sea level. The main lake and mouths of the creeks are stained to slightly stained. The creeks and rivers are slightly stained to very stained.

Lake surface temperatures are in the mid 70s.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is stained due to lake turnover. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing remains good, but like last week they are biting a variety of lures and the versatile angler will reap the best rewards. The lake is starting to turn over, so the bass can be found at all depths in the water column.

There has been a good early morning bite for both largemouth and spotted bass.

If you target largemouths, then shallow pockets and the backs of the creeks will be your best areas.

Cast a Pop-R or small buzz bait and cast to any back or dock cover and keep moving. Keep a Fluke or Jerk Minnow ready to cast to any fish that miss your topwater lures.

The spotted bass have been eating SPRO McSticks, or a spinner bait, early in the day on main lake humps and points. Keep a cast off the bank before the sun gets up and cover water. Other lures that mimic shad or herring will also work.

If the bass are schooled up in an area then you may catch multiple fish, but, if not, keep moving until you find them.

The topwater action seems to come in waves. Some days your best action will occur from sun up until noon while other days we have enjoyed some great mid-day action on surface lures.

A bone colored Spook or a Sammy in Tennessee Shad have been good choices.

Cast these plugs over submerged brush or to any schooling fish you see. Vary your retrieves.

Some days the bass prefer a steady walk-the-dog retrieve, while on other days they seem to prefer a fast- erratic action.

Subsurface soft plastic jerk baits have also been producing some good fish.

The drop-shot rig will account for the most numbers of bites.

We have found fish schooled up around brush in 10 feet and as much as 40 feet so keep an eye on your electronics for good measure.

Bright colors, like a Big Bites Shakin Squirrel in Sunrise or Kriet’s Magic, seem to be grabbing the attention of the spotted bass.

Use a 1/2-ounce drop shot weight to get your lures down quickly to any fish you see on your electronics. Shake these worms in the top of the brush and also on the bottom to trigger strikes.

A crank bait is a great lure for covering water in the fall.

A SPRO Aruku Shad or Rattle Trap will work well all day long right now.

Make long casts and vary your depth and retrieve speed.

Try to come in contact with the top of brush. After dark, a deep diving crank bait worked around rocky banks can yield some big spotted bass from the creek mouths.

Striper fishing has been hit or miss. There has been some schooling activity, especially early in the day.

This action has been happening in the creek mouths and also around main lake humps and points. You may see some multiple fish busting herring on the surface or you may only see one or two on top, but expect more fish to be active below the surface.

While a topwater plug may produce ferocious strikes, a buck tail may work even better to entice these fish. Make long casts and work your lures all the way back to the boat.

Keep a topwater plug or jig tied on at all times as this action can occur at any time of the day.

Trolling has been the go-to technique during the day. Troll a Captain Mack’s umbrella rig or a 1-ounce SPRO Bucktail rigged with a live herring in the creek mouths. Run your lures at around 15 to 25 feet at around 3 miles per hour.

Once you locate the fish, live herring on flat and down lines will account for some bites.

Also try dropping large spoons or even a buck tail rigged with a Suicide Shad.

Power reel these baits back up through the school.

The night time Bomber/McStick bite has just started to occur around the islands and this action will only get better as time goes on.

Cast these long slender lures to the banks and reel them just fast enough to feel the wobble of the lure.

This fishing can be fantastic in the fall and there is very little boat traffic after dark.

Crappie and Bream: Crappie fishing is improving. A couple of methods are working. Casting crappie jigs or down lining crappie minnows around brush and docks in the 15-foot range has been producing some fish.

Trolling or ‘lake raking’ early in the day has just started to produce some bites. Troll small jigs on light line at around 1 mile per hour in the coves that have shad.

Bream fishing has been a little slower, but all of the regular techniques are still working.

Live worms, crickets or crappie minnows under a bobber with a lone leader from 3 to 5 feet. Small in-line spinners cast around any bank cover will produce a variety of species of bream.

Trout fishing has been slow on the Chattahoochee below Buford Dam, mostly due to the greener water. Fishing has been good in the mountain streams and rivers.

Fall is a great time to trout fish and the waters are less crowded because people are watching football or getting ready for hunting season.

Spin or fly fishing can produce some nice sized fish right now.

Cast a Rooster Tail or small minnow imitator on spinning tackle. Use dry flies in the rapids or the pools below the races.
Bank Fishing: Bass and other predator fish can be found feeding shallow early in the day.

Small popping or walking top water plugs or buzz baits will produce some awesome top water strikes for shore-bound anglers.

Make long casts parallel to the shore and cover water. This action will be best early in the day, but can continue all day long during active feeding periods.

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. He would love to hear from his readers so email him at or visit his website at or Remember to take a kid fishing.

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