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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Bluebacks lingering near the surface
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Lake Lanier temperatures are in the mid to upper 70s. The lake level is up slightly at 1,065.05 feet and is 5.95 feet below full pool of 1,071 feet.

The main lake and creeks are clear with a slightly stained color in the pockets and the Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass: Bass fishing has been good and there are some big bass biting.

Both largemouth and spotted bass are interested in one thing right now: Eating. While there have been many reports of a strong topwater bite, I have not personally encountered the furious action where you can keep your boat in one place and catch a bunch.

We are catching at a few decent spots on top and I think we are right in the beginning of the best action, because we have seen a few big schools of bluebacks on the surface this week.

We have been running and gunning main lake submerged humps and throwing a combination of topwater plugs or swim baits and bottom bumping worms, shaky heads and jigs. Our bigger fish have been hitting top water plugs and BBZ1 Swimbaits over the brush and the strikes have been furious.

If you don’t get a bite on moving lures, then slow down and pick apart the brush that is in 15-to 25-feet of water with a plastic worm on a shaky head or drop shot rig.

We have also been catching a few while dragging worms over the humps in 10-to 20-feet of water.
You can also do well on other lures, and there is decent action in the creeks and in
the rivers.

Spot tail minnows on a down line are also deadly for the spotted bass right now. Hook a spot tail or medium shiner through the lips on a down line or drop-shot style presentation. Fish these minnows on any point or hump around brush for some fast action.

After dark, Lake Lanier’s spotted bass continue to feed. A dark colored crank bait or spinner bait worked around rocky points or secondary points will work very well for some big bass.

The secret to catching fish after dark is to slow down your presentation so that your lure gives off the most vibration.

You also want your crank bait or spinner bait to make contact with the bottom.

Many of your bites will occur right when the lure breaks free of the bottom.

Stripers: Striper fishing remains good. In the morning, as throughout the day, you may encounter some great fishing by using a combination of topwater plugs worked from the front of your boat, while dragging flat lined bluebacks behind your boat.

A striper will crush a bait or lure worked on the surface. Stripers often slap a lure or blueback with their tail first to disable their prey. If you get a strike without a hook up, don’t pull your offerings away too quickly.

Stripers often come back to eat the bait they wounded in just a couple of seconds. If you are casting a topwater plug, it can be really hard not to jerk it away on the first take.

Don’t stop your lure but keep it going at the same speed and hold on. Very few freshwater bites equal the ferocity of a Lake Lanier striper.

As with last week, you can catch stripers on a variety of lures and live bait. Trolling an umbrella rig that runs 10-15 feet deep is a good bet when the fish are around.

Both down lines and flat lines are working well. Blueback herring and gizzard shad are the best live baits to use right now, and they can be rigged on flat and down lines.

The after-dark bite has slowed with the Bomber Long As, but the live-bait bite in the creek mouths will be getting started soon. Get your Hydro Glow lights ready.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is OK and they are eating artificial and live minnows around brush and docks from 5-to 15-feet deep. Down line a spot tail or crappie minnow around brush midway in the back of the pockets, in the creeks and up in the rivers. Anglers adept at catching crappie are working small crappie jigs and Micro Spoons through the brush for some decent slabs. There are some crappie showing up around the bridge pilings after dark. Get your floating lights ready.

Trout on the Chattahoochee: Trout fishing remains very good both below Buford Dam and in the mountain streams.

These newly stocked trout will strike lure and live bait (where permitted by law). Cast small Rooster Tails to the rapids or cast an earthworm with a Ú-ounce weight to the deeper pools.

Bank fishing: Bream are biting very well and these little critters are easy to catch.

Take a Zebco 33 rod and reel outfit and attach a small inline spinner. Cast these around any rocky points for some fast action.

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

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