Lake Lanier is still almost a foot above full pool right around 1,072 feet. Lake temperatures are in the low 50s and the main lake is clearer and the backs of the creeks are stained.
The Chattahoochee River is stained. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Bass are definitely making the move to the deep ditches and creek channels.
We have caught a few shallow, but the better bass are relating to areas that have deep water or at least close access to the same.
Baitfish are the main attraction for these fish, so keep an eye on your Humminbird Electronics to find the bait schools.
Use those electronics to track your lures to the level that the fish are showing on the screen. Modern electronics enable anglers to actually see the small lures and fish on the screen.
It’s like playing a video game but much more fun!
One of our best patterns in winter is to work jerk baits on wind blown bluff walls.
Even though these lures may only get down to 5 or 10 feet bass will come from deep water and attack them.
The strikes are very aggressive and it’s an exciting way to fish. One of my favorite new lures this past year for almost any season has been the SPRO McStick Jerk Bait.
I have compared blueback herring to this lure and they match them perfectly in size and action. Cast these lures out and reel them back slow and steady. If that does not work, then use a stop and jerk retrieve.
As the water cools, you will need to pause the lure longer, and most of your strikes will occur while the lure is standing still, so make sure to watch your line closely. The next pattern to look for is bass relating to the bottom. Use a jigging spoon, dropshot rig or a 1/2- ounce jig with a pork or plastic trailer, work these lures down steep banks and in the ditch and creek channels where you see baitfish and bass on your electronics.
Stripers are moving shallow into the backs of the creeks. Many methods are working well. Hammond’s carries a wide selection of bait like trout, blueback herring and even gizzard shad so you can cover all the bases. This week, small to medium trout on both down and flat lines are working well. Keep an eye on your electronics and watch for gulls and loons to give away the best locations.
Trolling 4-arm umbrella rigs with SPRO Buck Tails with a Hyper Tail is also working in these same areas. Casting SPRO Buck Tails to rolling stripers is also a great way to catch these hard fighting game fish.
Crappie fishing has been a little slower and they are relating to the 15-to 20-foot range back in the creeks.
Shooting docks or down-lining live crappie minnows is working OK for the tasty fish.
Trout fishing is slow on the river but people are still catching them. This time of year the river is pea green so the oxygen levels are lower which makes fishing a little tougher.
Live bait or Berkley Power Nuggets are your best bet but make sure to check local regulations, as some portions of the river are restricted to artificial lures only. Striper fishing from the banks is still the best bet this week. Use a live trout or gizzard shad below slip bobbers in the backs of the creeks and also out by the parks is working well. Set your bobber stop to about 15-to 20-feet to allow the baits to move around naturally. Try cut bait and (use gizzard shad) and fish these on a bottom rig for a chance to get a trophy striper.
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 his readers so please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his Web site at aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!