Lake Lanier’s water level is 1,067.58 or 3.42 feet below the normal full pool at 1,071. The main lake is clear to slightly stained in the main lake creeks. The backs of the creeks and rivers are slightly stained to stained. Lake surface temperatures are in the mid 80’s. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Have fun but be safe this Independence Day. I am a very good swimmer, but I wear my life vest and kill switch any time the big motor is running and encourage all boaters to do the same. You may be a very good captain but never assume the other boaters are. Enjoy your holiday weekend and God Bless America.
Bass fishing has been up and down. We have had some good days and some tough days but any day on the water is a blessing.
Power fishing will yield some big fish for anglers that are willing to put in the effort. Fishing swim baits like the a 4-inch fast sink BBZ1 Shad or a topwater plug like a Zara Spook, Gun Fish or other larger bait will yield good results but the fish are not schooling everywhere.
Running and gunning as many brush piles, long points and humps is the way to catch a 5-fish limit of bigger fish.
Position your boat shallow and make long casts to pull the schoolers towards the bank instead of scattering the schools out deeper where they easily disperse. We have caught schooling fish in water less than 5 feet and out deeper over the creek and river channel breaks on the surface at over 50 foot deep or more.
Keep a watchful eye out for two things. Schooling fish can appear at any moment so have a top water plug at the ready at all times. A well placed cast to schooling fish can increase your success greatly as these spotted bass surface then disappear quickly.
Also, watch your electronics and keep a drop shot rig handy to descend to any “spaghetti” or arcs you see on your electronics. These two methods can change you from a zero into a hero quickly. If you take two pictures of 3-pound or bigger fish it looks much better on your Facebook posts then 20 pictures of some one pound dinks.
Now is a great time to fish with native spot tail minnows on either a drop shot type rig below the boat around brush or a flat line rigged with a light weight, one ounce split behind the boat for suspended bass and a few bonus stripers. You can catch these minnows by chumming a hand full of grits around sandy areas then casting a small cast net.
Check with local tackle retailers for the right sized net and watch YouTube or hire a guide for instructions throwing the net.
Other methods will work. We have caught a few good fish skipping one eighth ounce Gamakatsu Alien Jig Heads rigged with a 5-inch Big Bites Finesse worm in green or shad colors. I am a big believer in dipping ALL plastics in JJ’s Magic, and they are not my sponsor. Jigs will also work around the docks near deeper water. Both large mouth and spotted bass will eat these lures.
Casting a Citrus Shad colored SPRO Little John DD around rocky banks will produce some bigger spotted bass both day and night. I used to only throw dark colored but was questioned once by a pro angler when he asked if the shad changed colors after dark.
Seemed to make sense! Jigs in brush and retrieving large Colorado bladed spinner baits very slowly along the bottom for these nocturnal fish.
Stripers: We continue to graph massive schools of stripers in certain areas over deep flats on the main lake out close to the channel breaks on 70 to 100-foot deep bottoms. You may have to idle around but these fish will group up where they can find a staple supply of bait.
Herring and shad schools will draw in stripers and you can catch them with down lined herring or the Ben Parker style spoons.
I saw a video from Mack Far that showed he and a client dropping big spoons and frequently doubling up on fish from 7 to 18 pounds or bigger.
This method can be deadly for schooling stripers down deep. Just drop the spoon below the fish you mark on your graph and power reel them back to the surface. If you find these concentrations of fish, you can do very well.
It is a blast to reel a huge spoon as quickly as your hand can move, only to have it blasted by a hard fighting fish! After 5 or so fish you may acquire a nice “striper elbow” to remind you of a great day on the water.
Crappie and Bream: Crappie fishing has been slower during the day but the fish have bit well around lighted bridge pilings and docks with bright lights.
Better yet target those awesome Hydro Glow lights! The fish will be a little deeper so use down lined crappie minnows or native spot tails to catch a variety of species including those tasty slabs!
Bream are biting all over the lake. Live earth worms under a float around docks, rocky banks and lay downs will catch smaller fish. Cast a Rooster tail out and let it sink and retrieve along the bottom for the bigger brim that are hanging out in 5 to 10 feet of water.
Trout Fishing: Nothing much has changed. The trout fishing is good on the Chattahoochee River and fair to better where we have had rains in the mountain streams and rivers. Dry flies or small streamers will work if you are a fly angler.
Small Rooster tails or live bait like worms and corn (yes corn is considered live bait) where permitted by law has been working on the Chattahoochee and the mountain streams.
Bank fishing: Here we go again.
The lake will be crowded and most people love to fight big fish so get out your light spinning tackle and get ya some! Yes, the North Georgia Redfish will be biting.
Those big carp love beach areas, camp ground coves and marinas. Chum out some canned corn, hook a few kernels on a small Aberdeen style crappie hook with a small split shot.
Secure the rod and wait for the action! Kids and adults will enjoy the fight and you can release these fish unharmed or use the following simple recipe to enjoy your fresh catch!
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. He would love to hear from readers so please email him at email@example.com or visit his website at aldrichfishing.com or lakelanierfishing.info. Remember to take a kid fishing.