By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Combat fishing popular during the fall months
Placeholder Image

Lake Lanier temperatures are in the mid to lower 70s. The lake level is 1,062.38, which is 8.62 feet under full pool of 1,071.

Lake Lanier's water is clear to stained. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass: Fall is here and that means that the fish are moving into more shallow water where they are easier to catch. Bass fishing this past week was very productive and fall is one of my favorite times to fish.

A number of techniques are working so pick your favorite lures and get out to the lake.

We fished the Camp Sunshine tournament and they raised approximately $40,000 for this great cause.

There were many five-fish limits brought to the scales and it just confirms how great a resource we have in our backyard.

The bass we caught this past week were all fat and healthy. I have had my best luck with two lures this past week, a SPRO Dawg 125 and a 1/2-ounce silver and white Rooster Tail.

Most people know how to work a Dawg or Spook, but the fish this week wanted the plugs worked with a slow and steady walk-the-dog technique.

I also have a special lure in my tackle box that I use to catch suspended, non-active fish. It is a 1/2-ounce white and silver Rooster Tail.

I use a medium-to-medium-heavy Denali Rose Wood bait caster rod, and a use 10-or 12-pound Sunline Fluorocarbon.
Cast the Rooster Tail out to where you are marking fish on your electronics.

This lure sinks fast at about 2 to 3 feet per second, so you can count it down to the level where the bass are positioned. Other lures like SPRO Bucktails, Fish Head Spins or crank baits can work well in this situation.

We also caught several largemouth bass around docks in the rivers and backs of the creeks and pockets down lake. These largemouth bass hit buzz baits and jigs in under 10-feet of water.

Cast your buzz bait on the bank and reel it into the water.

I believe that bass think this is a small animal or large shad and the strikes will often occur just a few feet off the bank.

These largemouth bass were hanging around some kind of cover like downed trees or the backs of the docks around the poles and gangplanks.

Many people who are targeting stripers with live bluebacks are catching huge spotted bass. If you choose to use live bait for bass, then try a Gamakatsu Circle hooks to help prevent the bass from swallowing them.

Striper fishing has also been very productive this week and we are starting to see some schools of the fish exploding on the surface.

The stripers are also chasing blueback herring down under the surface, so they can be caught on a variety of methods.

Many anglers will troll an umbrella rig or a large bucktail jig behind the boat while watching their graphs and also paying attention for the schools of fish in the surface.

They will troll around until they find the schools and then put out flat or downlined bluebacks.

Often, trolling can be the most productive method. Have a game plan in place before you get out on the water, but be prepared to change as the fish dictate.

When you locate the schools of fish that are down deeper, then drop a fresh live blueback or gizzard shad to entice these fish to bite. Position your live baits just above where you mark fish.

We are very close to that time when combat fishing will be in full force. Combat fishing is a term that refers to when many boats are working and following the same school of fish.

When a big school of stripers appears, one boat may be lucky enough to have it all to themselves.

What often happens is that other boats see the same action and come join in on the fun.

Two or three boats can work the same school without getting in each other's way, but when more than three boats come in that is when things get interesting.

Just remember that anglers are just trying to enjoy the action, so take it all with a grain of salt and enjoy.

There has been an OK night time bite for stripers. Cast Red Fins, Bomber Long As or SPRO McSticks to any windy banks around the Islands down the lake.

Make a long cast and reel these lures back with a slow and steady retrieve.

The stripers will hit your lures hard and then pull. It's a fun way to fish and not many boats are on the lake after dark.

Crappie fishing is good. There are some decent crappie being caught by shooting crappie jigs up under the docks. Shooting jigs takes some practice.

There is a bunch of information about how to perfect this method on the internet and websites like YouTube, Facebook and others can offer anglers the information they need.

Night fishing around lighted boat docks or under your own lights on the bridge pilings toward the backs of the creeks can be very productive.

Use a live crappie minnow and pinch a small 1/8-ounce split shot about a foot above the hook.

Trout fishing has been good. The Department of Natural Resources stocked the Chattahoochee River and some of the mountain creeks with trout recently because of last week's free fishing day.

These newly introduced trout are dumb and hungry so if you get a lure or bait in front of them, you can expect to catch them.

Use a 1/8-or 1/16-ounce inline spinner like a Rooster Tail or Mepps. These small spinners have been around for years and they work. Fly fishing with dry flies in the morning or afternoon have been working well.

When all else fails, try a live earthworm because these are what most trout eat.

Just make sure to check the local regulations before using live bait.

Bank Fishing: This is a great time of year to fish from the banks.

Most of the game fish are shallow and many of them can be caught while fishing from the banks. Both live bait and artificial lures will all work well for bass, stripers, crappie and even catfish.

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


Regional events