By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lake Lanier fishing report: Better bass fishing around the corner
Placeholder Image

Lake temperatures are in the mid 40’s. Lake levels are rising at around 1,056.8 feet and the lake is 14.2 feet from the full pool of 1,071 feet. The main lake is clear to stained and the creeks and rivers are stained to muddy. The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.


Fishing has been slow, but warmer weather and better fishing is right around the corner. The good news is that this is the best time of year to catch a trophy spotted or largemouth bass. These early season bass are full of shad and eggs, and they will weigh more in late winter than any other time of year.

There are some large schools of bass showing up from 25-to 35-feet deep in the mid-to-backs of the creeks, but getting them to bite has been tough.

Down size your offerings from a spoon to either a drop shot rig or Ú-ounce SPRO Buck tail and finesse these deeper fish. Pay close attention to your Humminbird Fish Finders and concentrate on both water that is slightly warmer than main lake and baitfish.

Most of the creeks are stained to muddy from recent rains and this colored water warms quicker than the clear water on the main lake.

Try to think outside of the box when fishing is tough.

Crank baits, SPRO McStick Jerk baits and even slow moving topwater plugs can work during the oddest times like winter. My electronics show many deep fish, but I wouldn’t completely rule out the shallows because big bass can cruise around in under 10-feet deep at any time in the winter.

Live minnows fished under a float around docks, bridges and lay down trees are a great way for kids and adults alike to catch bass, crappie and stripers.


This week’s report is brought to you courtesy of Shane Watson Guide Service and Hammond’s Bait and Tackle at 770-888-6898.

The last few days the striper bite on Lake Lanier has been very, very good. Our customers have caught many fish on Capt. Mack’s four-arm u-rigs fished 120 feet out at 3 mph.

We are catching our fish in the middle to the rear of most creeks.

We have been on some huge schools of fish that are down 20-to 40-feet deep. Our fish have ranged from 5-20 pounds the last few trips.

When you mark them on your graph, if you are halfway close to the right depth, you will double up in every big school you come across. U-rigs have out produced live bait 10-to-1.

The action has been fast and the fish have stayed active for three to four hours at a time. Overall, the Lake Lanier trolling bite is as good as it gets.


Fishing is starting to pick up and should continually get better as the late winter and early spring approaches.

Keith Pace of Micro Spoons and Jigs states that while he is not catching large numbers of crappie, the ones that he is catching are quality fish.

Pace recommends trolling or casting from the banks around the creeks up lake. Wahoo Bridge is holding some nice slabs. Cast jigs to the pilings or cast a minnow under a slip bobber in the channel.
Target depths around 8-10 feet.

Trout on the Chattahoochee River

Fishing on the Chattahoochee River is getting just slightly better but it’s still only fair.

Continue to use live earthworms (where permitted by law), inline spinners or small crank baits and jerk baits.
Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoor writer, bass fisherman and a member of Humminbird’s, SPRO, Gamakatsu and Hammond’s Pro Staff. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. If you would like to email him please do so at

Friends to Follow social media