By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Best crappie bites are in the rivers
Placeholder Image

Lake Lanier water level is 1.18 feet over the normal full pool of 1,071. The water remains clear to stained on the main lake and clear to stained or very stained in the creeks and rivers. Lake water temperatures are right around 80 degrees.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear, and the corps continues to pull a lot of water. Please check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing is good, and the late spring to early summer patterns are just starting to set up well. Usually mid-June is slightly past the date for peak topwater season, but I believe the best action is still to come.

The temperatures are still cooler, so continue to fish more shallow than normal for this time of year.

Casting large topwater plugs like a Super Spook, Sammy and Redfin are great spotted bass lures to use right now, so keep one ready at all times.

Swim baits like a Sebile Magic Swimmer or a six-inch SPRO BBZ1 in natural herring colors will also work well during active feeding periods.

There is still evidence that the blueback herring are hanging around shallow sand and clay points and saddles between the islands in the creek mouths and out on main lake.

Don’t venture out too deep just yet.

With the unusual weather comes unusual patterns, so keep an open mind.

On days when power fishing would usually be best, we have had to switch over to finesse plastic worms and soft jerk baits on the main lake.

This week the best depth has been from 10-25 feet on main lake points, humps and in the creeks.

I feel the reason for this is because a lot of the flooded bank vegetation that grew during the drought is starting to decay, which provides a meal for the smaller threadfin and larger gizzard shad.

The blueback herring are also mixed up in these same areas, and there is no reason for spotted or largemouth bass to move away from the abundant shallow forage.

Sample the fishing in multiple areas, and if the fish don’t bite, then move on to more productive water.

My Nitro Bass Boat is getting a workout, but it also gets to rest when we do find active fish.

The bass seem to be pretty concentrated in certain areas this week.

Slender hard and soft jerk baits like the McStick, jerk shads and flukes are still good choices both during the day and after dark.

The live spottail minnow action is also heating up, and this is a very productive way to catch bass, instead of just bass fishing.

Striper fishing remains good, and the stripers are still shallower than normal.

Depths from the surface on down to 35 feet are best this week.

Look for the flat line bite to give way to deeper down lines as the water warms into the mid 80s.

When the corps is generating water, the action improves, and that means almost all week long right now.

What a blessing to have these above full pool water levels in comparison to the far too plentiful drought years that our fishery has experienced in the last two decades.

The guides continue to report very good results, so if you are struggling on your own, consider making the investment in a reputable professional to quickly advance your knowledge of Lake Lanier’s world-class freshwater striper action.

Blueback herring and gizzard shad are the stripers natural forage so make sure to have a well prepared bait tank with plenty of oxygen and some ice to keep your bait in top shape.

Lively bait is one of the guide’s biggest secrets to successful fishing.

The topwater striper action continues to be hit or miss, but keep a Redfin or shallow running swim bait tied on and ready to cast because they may surface and sound quickly at anytime during the day.

Unprepared anglers may miss an opportunity to catch stripers or bass, while prepared ones can hook the fish of a lifetime in mere seconds.

Of course, that same fish will keep anglers entertained for a while and these fish stories will last a lifetime.

Crappie fishing is slow down lake but the fish are biting better up lake and in the rivers.

Continue to use crappie jigs and minnows around cover down 10-15 feet deep down lake and even shallow up lake.

Docks, brush piles and bridge pilings are holding some nice crappie.

Trout fishing is good in the mountains and also on the Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam during slack water periods.

Rooster Tails, Rapalas, fly-fishing and earthworms or corn, where permitted by law, are all good choices.

Continued rains will keep our streams and rivers healthy on into early summer.

Bank fishing: A live night crawler threaded onto a small or medium Aberdeen hook with a ¬-ounce split shot on light line will catch a vast variety of fish in just about any lake, pond or stream.

This is an excellent choice for kids and adults to enjoy the sport of fishing.

A Zebco 33 or open faced spinning reel and medium-weight rod secured in a rod holder is an easy and relaxing way to fish.

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. Contact him at or visit his website at

Friends to Follow social media