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Lake Lanier fishing report: Bass move deep in cold weather
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Lake temperatures are in the mid 50s and the lake is clear to slightly stained. The lake level is around 1,051.5 feet just over 19 «-feet below the normal full pool of 1,071 feet.

The Chattahoochee River is stained. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing has changed a bit with this week’s cooler weather. The bass can still be caught with many of the methods that have been working recently, but look for the fish to move deeper as the weather turns cold. This is the time of year that the jigging spoon starts to work very well. The reason a jigging spoon is so effective is because it looks like a dying shad on the bottom. The cold weather causes some of the shad to die slowly and drift to the bottom, and the bass just stay deep and wait for food to fall from the surface. Two things are needed to really do well with a jigging spoon. First you need a boat, and second you need high quality electronics to find the fish and to see your spoon actually working on the screen. I use a Humminbird 797c side finder unit on the console to find the areas and fish in the deeper creek mouths at around 30-to-50 feet.

Then I will move up to the bow and use my Humminbird 777c to actually track my spoon down to the level at which the fish are located. My Humminbird units work well on the factory settings, as do most modern day finders. If you are having trouble seeing your lure on you electronics then you may need to increase your sensitivity to around 90 percent. Also make sure you are fishing directly below where you transducer is located. Drop a 1/2-ounce Hopkins or Flexit spoon to the level you see fish then pop the jig up about 3 feet and let it fall and repeat. Most of your strikes will come on the fall. I also like to use 14-to-17-pound test monofilament for this method because the thicker monofilament will slow the fall of your lure.

Other lures will work well for these same deep bass. Try a SPRO Bucktail, Jig N’ Pig or finesse worm for good results.

Just because it is cold in late fall doesn’t mean the bass quit feeding. On the contrary some of my best days have happened in winter and you don’t have to deal with jet skiers.

Target steeper banks and drop offs, as these are where the bass will hang out in winter. Bass like step banks because they can move shallow or deep with very little effort.

On warmer days target shallower cover and on colder days you may want to back off deeper. There are exceptions to this rule but overall these hints will help you to narrow down your search.

If you are bass fishing from the bank this week find the deeper banks and use a live medium minnow on a slip bobber and allow your bait to swim about 15 feet below the bobber.

Shane Watson’s Guide Service reports that striper fishing is excellent.

His boats have been catching many stripers on a combination of flat lined trout and by also casting swim baits to the schooling fish.

These schooling stripers can be very finicky as they are eating these very small bait fish. One lure that will really work well is a smaller swim bait slowly retrieved through these breaking fish. I like the new SPRO BBZ1 Shad or a Tru Tungsten Tru-Life swimbait because they look so real. Once you see one of these swim baits in the water it shouldn’t be hard to entice you to keep throwing it. They look exactly like a baitfish. Other lure will produce, but the thing to remember is that there is a bunch of bait and you will need to make multiple casts to entice a strike.

Night fishing with Bomber Long A’s is hit and miss.

Crappie fishing has been OK. Keith Pace says he has had to move a little deeper with the cold weather. Down line Micro Spoons or a life crappie minnow on humps with timber at around 15-to-20 feet. If you are fishing from shore, stay around the bridges and target the bridge pilings at the same depth as mentioned above. Night fishing requires floating lights, and you can buy some inexpensive or high tech lights from Hammond’s.

The Chattahoochee River remains stained and trout fishing is slow.

Trout on the river will bite year round so a trip below the dam is always a worthwhile adventure. The brown trout have been biting so use a small in line spinner or a nymph on a double drop fly rig. Live worms are always you best bet.
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 our readers so please email him at or visit his new web site at

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