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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Crappie fishing is heating up
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Lake Lanier is slightly below full pool at around 1,070.6 feet (full pool is 1,071 feet). The lake temperatures are around the mid 40s.

The main lake is stained and the creeks and rivers are stained to very stained. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is slightly stained. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing has been very slow this past week, but we have discovered some fish that are moving shallower.

The bass are feeding well for the spring spawn, but the colder-than-normal temperatures have kept the bite slow.

There is a large amount of dying shad on the lake and that has made for some easy pickings for bass and tough fishing for bass anglers.

Look for where the ditch channels intersect with creek or river channels and other types of cover near deep drop offs.

Watch your electronics to determine if fish are present in these areas.

Fish a jig, drop shot rig, fish head spin or even a SPRO BBZ1 Swim Bait slowly around the places where bass appear on your graph.

Because the bass have been fed so well by the dying shad, you are looking for a reaction bite. This is a term for when the bass react to a lure even if they are not hungry.

Imagine a bug flying around your ear. We instinctively will swat that bug away with our hands. Bass don’t have hands, so when a lure encroaches on their space they will attack it with their mouths and that’s how you trigger reaction strikes from lethargic fish.

The trick is to hit them on the nose, and that often takes many casts and a slow retrieve.

Shane Watson is helping out with this week’s report and states that not a lot has changed this past week, and the striper are biting well.

Free-lined medium shiners, shad body u-rigs, and casting buck tails are your best producers. There are stripers in the backs to the middle of most creeks and in the backs of pockets. Look for the birds diving and keep moving. The north and south end are about equal right now.

Watson will be out fishing a lot this next week so make sure to stop by Hammond’s Fishing Center for up-to-date daily reports along with the best tackle and bait selection in town.

Crappie fishing has been decent and the rivers are holding the majority of the better fish. Go up into the Chattahoochee and Chestatee rivers and target creek arms that have stained water.

Keith Pace of Micro Spoons has been trolling his custom Crappie Jigs.

Long-line trolling basically means putting out several rods with crappie jigs and trolling using the electric motor. Pace says that the fish are deeper, so slow down your troll and when they move shallower, you can speed it up a little.

Check in with Hammond’s Fishing Center to see all of his custom lures.

Trout fishing on the Chattahoochee River is picking up.

There are a bunch of dead shad that are being washed through the dam when they generate water.

I use two types of lures when this happens, a 1/8-ounce Rooster Tail or a silver and black Count Down Rapala.

Fish the Rooster Tail slow and steady and fish the Rapala with a jerk-and-pause retrieve. Live earth worms have been working decently but check local regulations to make sure you can use live bait.

Bank fishing for crappie is the best way to go this week. Target bridges, docks with brush and downed trees near flats where the water is stained.

Use a crappie minnow under a slip bobber and set your bobber stop to about 12-feet deep. Move it deeper and shallower to find the best level that the fish are biting. Also try fishing a Micro Spoon or DeFly Spoon on light tackle around the brush and bridge pilings.

Eric Aldrich is a part-time outdoors writer, bass fisherman and a member of Humminbird’s, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammond’s Fishing Center 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 Remember to take a kid fishing.

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