Lake temperatures are in the lower 60’s and will continue to warm this month with the warmer weather that is forecasted. Lake Lanier continues to rise. The lake is right at 1,063.6 feet and rising and down just 7.4 feet from a full pool of 1,071. The main lake is stained and the creeks and rivers are stained. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Come join us at Hammond’s Customer Appreciation Day on Saturday. They will have some great product give aways including free guide trips along with refreshments and other goodies. I will be there along with several expert local anglers so stop by and say hello.
Many largemouth and spotted bass are spawning. The largemouth are making their nests in the backs of many of the lake coves. There are also plenty of fish that are staging. If you fish shallow this week you may catch a much higher percentage of largemouth than normal. Texas rigged plastic lizards or Jig N’ Pigs will work well for these shallow fish. If you choose to catch bedding bass please return them to their nest as soon as possible so that they can reproduce. With the lake rising all of this newly flooded brush and grass creates perfect cover for these bucket mouths to spawn, and the results may be a better than normal hatch this year. Spotted bass are also spawning both in the creeks and out on the main lake. Spotted bass tend to bed deeper than largemouth and the stained water can make both hard to see.
Many methods of fishing are working well this time of year. As some bass finish spawning and come off their beds others are staging to spawn during the next full moon. Spinner baits and cranks baits are very effective early and later in the day and some times they will produce all day long. As the sun gets up, I skip a ¬-ounce SPRO K-Finesse or Spot Sticker jig head rigged with a Zoom Finesse Worm in Pumpkin Chartreuse or Sand color around docks. A lot of these fish are suspended just under the floats so pay attention to your line and be prepared to set the hook. You will also find bass staging on secondary points or creek channels next to spawning flats.
The bigger spotted bass seem to be out on main lake points and humps. Target areas that have chunk rock or hard clay and stumps. Most of the main lake bass we have been catching are bitting at around 5-to 15-feet and I have been running the Minn Kota Trolling motor on high and hitting as many good looking areas as possible during the day. These fish will bite a number of different lures. Spinner baits, BBZ1 Swim baits, Rooster Tails, Fish Heads Spins and even top water plugs are all worth a try. The top-water bite is just starting and it will get much better in the next few weeks.
I have heard some reports of anglers catching bass with live spring lizards and medium sized minnows from the banks. Hammond’s Fishing Center carries all of the live bait you would ever need and these methods can be extremely effective this time of year.
Striper fishing remains productive and these aggressive fish are in the upper part of the water column up feeding on bluebacks and gizzard shad. Purchase live blueback herring from Hammond’s and get out to the lake because stripers are bitting well. Fish live baitfish on a flat line or behind a planner board for your best results and keep an eye on your Humminbird Electronics to give away the best locations. There are a lot of fish in the creeks and rivers, but Shane Watson says they are also catching nice sized stripers around the main lake channels.
There has been some top water activity this week. Cast a Red Fin around main lake humps or points and reel these lures slow and steady to create a V-wake. The Stripers will really explode on these surface plugs and it can be really exciting. Bomber Long A’s in pink and natural colors are both producing after dark on main lake around the dam and in the lower lake creeks.
Crappie fishing is good. Both boaters and bank anglers are catching plenty of these tasty fish. Continue to target lay downs, docks and any type of cover with crappie minnows and small jigs. They will bite both day and night in the backs of the coves and creeks.
Trout on the Chattahoochee
Trout fishing is very good below Buford Dam and up in the mountains.
Below the Dam use inline spinners or live bait where permitted and mornings or later in the day toward sunset will tend to the most productive times. Fly-fishing has also been very good later in the days as the insect hatches happen.
Check out my website at www.aldrichfishing.com or www.lakelanierfishing.info Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoor writer, bass fisherman and a member of Humminbird’s, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammond’s Fishing Center Pro Staff. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. If you would like to email me please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to take a kid fishing!