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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Bass fishing fluctuates as water rises
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Lake Lanier’s water level has actually risen a notable amount and is at 1,063.03 or 7.97 feet below the normal full pool of 1,071. The main lake and creeks mouths are clear to slightly stained from pollen and rain runoff. The creeks and rivers are slightly to very stained. Lake surface temperatures are right at 70 degrees.

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

Bass fishing ranges from fair to great. We have had to work on finding the best pattern for every new day. Overcast or rainy conditions seem to spread the fish out in between the docks as well as out on main lake. Sunny conditions will concentrate fish around cover.

During cloudy conditions a SPRO McStick is hard to beat. A Chatter Bait, crank bait or spinner bait are also producing some bites for anglers, both up shallow in the coves and creeks as well as out on main lake humps and points.

When the sun comes out, the docks will come into play as the bass use this floating cover to hide and to ambush prey. Two lures have worked best during sunny conditions.

A jerk bait cast down the sides of the docks will trigger bites from some of the biggest fish around. I like a SPRO McStick 110 but long Rapala’s, Pointers or Rogues will all work. These slender lures mimic herring and produce explosive action.

A shaky head or whacky rigged Big Bites Cane Stick will catch numbers of both small and larger bass. Rig a straight tail worm on a 1/8th ounce Alien head and work it around the back of the gang planks.

You can easily learn to skip a Cane Stick rigged whacky style on a Gamakatsu Whacky Head. Skip the whacky rig into shady spots and let it fall on slack line.

Once it hits bottom just drag it with minor movement from your rod tip. When you sense a bite don’t set the hook hard but instead just reel up the slack and let the fish hook itself.

Topwater time has arrived. Cast a small Zara Puppy around the back of the pockets to trigger bites from shallow bass.

Use a larger topwater plug like a Gunfish out around main lake points and rock or clay banks. Cast a bigger swim bait in these same areas.

We have caught a bunch of bass after dark working a Strike King 5 Series or a SPRO RkCrawler around rock and clay banks in the creeks. Dragging a big football head jig with a large trailer or slow rolling a black Colorado Blade spinner bait will produce some big bites up shallow around rocky points.

Striper fishing is about the same as bass fishing, fair to excellent depending on weather and water conditions.

The stripers seem to move daily but they have started to set up in areas outside of saddles and sandy areas out around main lake.

There seems to be different patterns based on what areas where you are targeting stripers.

The stripers up in the rivers or down in the backs of main lake points are mature fish along with some bigger lone fish.

These bigger stripers, especially the solitary fish don’t hang in larger crowds. A large gizzard shade run under a float or your outside planner board will fool the biggest fish in the lake. These are often explosive strikes and a 15-pound-or-larger striper strikes your line!

There are some fish up in the rivers and creeks but there are also large schools of stripers waiting around out on main lake for the herring to spawn.

These fish tend to be smaller but there are some bigger ones mixed in with their smaller brother and sisters. These schooling fish will fight over just about any bait you can get in front of them.

Finding out where the fish are located is a must. Once you locate them pay close attention to where you mark fish on your electronics or where you see schooling activity. Depending on how deep the fish are located choose a flat line or down line to

Trout: In line spinners or small creature lures will work well in this states trout water. If your local laws permit you can also use worms or other live baits on a single, hand held rod to catch trout this week.

Bank Fishing: Bream are moving shallow in local farm and subdivision ponds as well as out on Lake Lanier. The bream will start to nest or bed soon but right now they are feeding heavily and easy to catch.

You can catch bream on just about any method you would use for crappie or trout. Small lures worked around docks and other cover in the creeks, marinas and pockets on main lake will catch these prolific panfish.

Worms under a bobber, small inline spinners and crappie jigs will all work well to entice brim this week.

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 please email him at esaldrich@yahoo.com or visit his website at aldrichfishing.com or lakelanierfishing.info. Remember to take a kid fishing!

 

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