Lake Lanier’s water level is 1,071.72 or is .72 feet above the normal full pool at 1071. The main lake is clear to slightly stained down lake and clear to stained up lake. The creeks and rivers are clear to slightly stained in the mouths and stained to very stained in the backs. The lake temperatures range from the upper 40s into the lower 50s. The Corps continues to pull water from the Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Bass: It’s early February, but the bass are acting, or should I say reacting, to lures more like they would during mid-spring fishing. We have had several warm and wonderful days mixed on down into cold and bitter, but it just seems like some bass have started to hunker down on predominant bottom features. Unless we get a significant shad or herring die off, the bass may remain on these structures and/or cover until the spawn begins.
There have been two types of areas that have been working well from my Nitro Z8 this past week. The first example is targeting bluff wall banks that have quick access to both shallower flats and deeper water like a creek or river channel.
An excellent example would be where there is an almost vertical rock wall that ends up changing into a subtle area with a shallow flat. Fan cast a small crank bait like a Little John Baby DD and allow your lure to make contact with the water or a SPRO McRip. If your moving lures are not getting bites, then try slowing down and casting a plastic worm or a jig around the transition zone.
We have found some bass recently relating to the inside timber lines. I had heard of some anglers catching fish this way in the past few weeks, but we found a very large concentration of fish in a couple of different areas, so just figured it would be a great tip to add. Lake Lanier’s timberlines can be found scattered and the general rule of thumb is that any trees 35 feet below the surface. Try a drop shot rig, Finesse worm on a jig head, a jigging spoon, or give your own ideas.
There are reports that some anglers are catching some quality largemouth bass on slow rolled spinnerbaits, jigs or casting a Fat John shallow running crankbait around any shore line.
Striper fishing has rated from fair to very good depending on the weather and water conditions, and if the active feeding periods. The stripers have been biting both up and down lake, but there seems to be more stripers up around. Start your day trolling and checking the coves and pockets just off the creeks or river. Small to medium trout, Blueback herring or medium-sized gizzard shad have all been working.
The fishing during the day has also been good, but the stripers tend to pull out away from the banks and deeper, so this is when there is lag. Some anglers are dropping larger trout or gizzard shad to the same depth to where you see fish on your graph. If there is very little wind and you can keep your boat from drifting, then try hooking a larger bait under the dorsal fin, because that will cause your bait to struggle and create a lot of commotion.
Crappie fishing has really started to pick up. Some reports claim that the trolling bite is the best way to catch them, while others claim shooting docks is getting very good.
Start fishing in the creeks where the water has a little color to it, but not chocolate milk colored. Trolling or dock shooting small flies, jigs or even ultra-small get is a great way to catch your limit of crappie.
Trout fishing below Buford Dam is better left for slow generation period. Better yet, take a trip up to one of North Georgia’s Wildlife Management Areas. Many of the parks, like Rock Creek Fish Hatchery also have holding and reproductive which most kids would love to see.
Fishing in the mountains and the northern dam tail races continues to be slow. Use wet flies and small plugs or in line spinners on light tackler to fool these slow moving fish. The trick is to cast and retrieve your offerings very slow.
Bank fishing: Most anglers that see a 30-pound plus fish would bet against fish that size even live in Lake Lanier. Now there is a bounty for a striper 50 pounds or larger that could help a local angler. It is a well-accepted fact that stripers, especially trophy stripers eat cut bait after dark. If you add the $50,000 prize, then it just may be time to go fishing.
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. I would love to hear from our readers so please email me firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at aldrichfishing.com or lakelanierfishing.info. Remember to take a kid fishing.