Lake temperatures are ranging from 65 to 75 degrees. The lake continues to fill and up is around 1,070.7 feet and is just barely below full pool.
The main lake and creeks are stained from all the pollen and the Chattahoochee River is clear.
Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Hammond’s Fishing Center will officially have a grand opening from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 24 at the new store at the corner of Hwy 306 and 369.
There will be all kinds of goodies, giveaways and food along with several angling experts that will be demonstrating lures, tackle and techniques (including yours truly).
Bass fishing has been good. The warmer weather really makes spending the day on the lake enjoyable.
The bass are presently in all stages of prespawn, spawn and post spawn so you can pick your favorite method and catch fish on just about any technique.
We have boated bass this week on everything from top-water plugs to deep diving crank baits.
Water temperatures have everything to do with how bass react.
If you locate water temperatures in the mid 70’s, than aggressive fishing methods should prevail.
Cast small top-water plugs like a Zara Puppy, SPRO Dawg 100 or Hydro Pop and work these lures around any bank cover, dock or rock.
The spawning bass are in the middle of their reproductive cycle, and you can see fish bedding and cruising in the shallows. If you sight fish for bass, then all of the pollen on the surface may be an issue.
You can spray almost any brand of fish attractant out onto the water to help dissipate the pollen on the surface for better viewing.
Some professional anglers spray Dawn dishwashing soap on the surface for the same effect. I like to use the fish attractant because it’s better for the ecological system, plus I believe it can make the bass interested because it gives off scent.
Back way off the beds and cast soft plastic lizards with Fluorocarbon Line and a sensitive rod — like my Denali Customs — to detect these light strikes.
My best method for big bass this week has been to cast a SPRO McStick all the way to the bank and work it in the shallows around the backs of the pockets and also around rock and clay banks on the main lake.
I want this lure to actually hit the bottom and the rocks.
Spotted bass will spawn as shallow as one foot and as deep as 15 feet.
The SPRO McStick mimics a blueback herring, and the spots will attack this stick bait when it gets anywhere near their nests.
Most of these protective bass will only be hooked by the last treble because they are just nipping at the lure.
I have had my heart broken by some of the huge female spots we have lost this past week because they were barley hooked.
We boated some spots that were almost six pounds and we lost a few that felt even bigger.
Other methods will also be productive. Finesse worms and lizards on jig heads, Carolina or Texas rigs will work very well. Crank Baits and Spinner Baits are also working well around secondary points in the creeks.
Live bait will also produce when all else fails.
Many crappie anglers are catching big bass on live crappie minnows fished below a bobber. Live minnows on flat lines have also worked well.
Striper fishing is very good. Check in with Hammond’s Fishing Center this week for up-to-date reports and bluebacks for only $4.99 per dozen.
Use live bluebacks on flat lines and planner boards.
As the sun gets higher, check in the backs of the creeks and work your way into the middles of the creeks.
A lot of the stripers are very shallow so make sure to fish your bluebacks up close to the banks. Using planner boards will allow your boat to cover a much wider area then if you just use regular flat lines.
Cast SPRO McSticks from the front of the boat while you are pulling around your live baits. The stripers have been exploding on the McSticks in water less than 10-feet deep. There are still some reports that say the night bite with Bomber Long As and Redfins is still good, but this will fall off as the water temperatures get over 70 degrees.
Crappie fishing is good. There are plenty of crappie spawning close to the banks.
Fish Micro Spoons, small crappie jigs or live crappie minnows below a float right up next to the banks up in the flooded brush that has grown up while the lake level was down.
Keith Pace, crappie guide and owner of Micro Spoons, says that Wahoo Creek, Little River and Latham Creek have all been productive.
He is also catching some good fish after dark on Micro Spoons cast around lighted boat docks.
Trout fishing is very good both up in the mountains and below the dam, and these freshly stocked trout will eat just about any lure or bait.
Make sure to check local regulations to make sure you are in compliance with any restrictions on live bait.
Pick your favorite method and get out on the water at daybreak for your best action.
There are many opportunities for anglers to fish from the banks for trout in North Georgia.
The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is a great place to take your family, and there are several parks located from the Dam all the way on down into Atlanta.
There is also the Buford Dam Trout Hatchery, which is a great place to tour and see how they raise trout and to view the thousands of fish that will soon be stocked throughout North Georgia.
Anglers can also visit the many WMAs (Wildlife Management Areas) up in the mountains for a relaxing and productive day of fishing without needing a boat.
Eric Aldrich is a part-time outdoors writer, bass fisherman and is sponsored by SPRO, Gamakatsu, Hammonds Fishing and Boat Storage, Humminbird and Denali Custom Rods. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. He would love to hear from his readers so please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing.