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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Bass biting well all day long
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Lake Lanier’s water level continues to rise. Lake Lanier’s level is 1,064.53 or 6.47 feet below the normal full pool of 1,071.

Lake surface temperatures are in the low to mid 80’s. The main lake and creeks mouths are clear to slightly stained. The creeks and rivers are slightly stained to stained. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass: The bass on lake Lanier are biting all day long. They are feasting on herring, spot-tail minnows and shad. If you have done your homework and can get out on a week day, then the topwater action has been crazy good. The action is still great on weekends, but you will probably have to compete a little more with the crowds.

Pick your favorite topwater plug and hit the main lake. Brush piles positioned on humps and points from 10-30 feet deep have been prime areas to target. Chrome or shad colors have been the best colors. Chrome Sammy’s, Gunfish, Chug Bugs, Super Spooks or your other favorite topwater offering.

Cast these topwater lures over brush and move to the next area if they don’t strike in the first few casts.

Having a milk run helps. If not, head out to the main lake points and humps. You can be assured that someone has set brush out just about everywhere anglers fish.

Keep a drop shot rig ready at all times for fish that show themselves below the boat on your graphs. My Humminbird Electronics always offer up a few more fish that I would never catch without them. Let down a drop shot rig with Shakin’ Squirrel or one of my buddy LJ’s Fruity Worms.

Having a quality rod like my Kissel Krafts Custom Rods will make detecting bites much easier.

Other lures like swim baits, big SPRO Little John DD’s or spinner baits are triggering strikes from large Lake Lanier’s spotted bass. These same lures will also coax bites from their largemouth cousins in the rivers and creeks.

After hours, the big spotted bass and largemouths will eat larger lures. Try a SPRO Little John DD in blue/black or even citrus shad colors. Large, single Colorado blade spinner baits or slow-sink swim baits worked around brush will trigger strikes from bass after dark.

Striper fishing has been hit or miss. The fish are starting to set up in their early summer haunts. Target the creek and river channels. Look at your electronics for areas that hold both bait and fish.

There has been a fair amount of smaller fish schooling around the islands and humps near the river channels from the Dam all the way up to Gainesville Marina. The fish will strike live herring, topwater plugs or trolled offerings.

Because the thermocline is just starting to set up, there are still a lot of fish scattered throughout the water column.

Trolling a Captain Mack’s Umbrella Rig on 7 or 8 colors of lead core to hit a 15-20 feet depth is a great way to both search for and catch stripers.

Keep an eye out for surface activity. Also, watch your electronics as conditions change from hour to hour and day to day.

Keep your bait well full of herring and be prepared to set out down lines when you encounter any large schools of stripers. Also, keep a two-ounce SPRO Buck Tail with a Big Bites Suicide Shad or a big Ben Parker Spoon to drop down to any “arcs” or “sketti” you see on the screen.

There have been some stripers biting after dark, both around Hydro Glow lights and bridge pilings.

Crappie fishing is slow during the day. Fishing around the bridges after dark has been producing some decent fishing.

During the day light, target brush located from 15-30 feet deep located near dropoffs. After dark, set out floating lights or Hydro Glow lights around the bridges or deeper brush piles.

Trout fishing has been good. The morning and later afternoons have been best for this kind of fishing.

Cast inline spinners around the rapids in the creeks and rivers. Cast these small offerings on light line. Reel them just fast enough to keep the blades spinning.

Live red wigglers or night crawlers on a bottom rig — where live bait is permitted by law — is a time-tested way to score a limit of trout for dinner.

Bank Fishing: Do not ignore the topwater action just because you don’t own a boat. Lures like a Zara Spooks, Flukes, Jerk Shads, Pop Rs, buzz baits or others will score great action from the banks of both Lake Lanier or your local pond or lake.

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 readers, so please email him at or visit his website at or Remember to take a kid fishing.

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