Lake temperatures are in the mid to high 50s. Lake Lanier’s water level is .32 feet above full pool of 1,071. The lake is clear and the creeks and rivers are clear to stained. The Chattahoochee River is stained below Buford Dam. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Bass: This past week’s fishing has been tough for some anglers, but very good for others who can unlock the patterns that bass are doing at certain times. The deep bite has started to prevail, but there are also a few spotted bass up shallow biting around docks. These shallow fish seem to be smaller, except for an occasional largemouth.
Keep an open mind this week as the bass fishing seems to change from day to day. Keep a jig n’pig and a jerk bait ready and use your electronics, as they are key to locating what works best. Steep rocky banks are holding the majority of fish, and if you can find a dock with deeper rock than that is a great place to start.
The dock fish may be directly under the black pilings absorbing heat and also looking for an easy meal.
The deep bite is getting even better this week.
Early in the mornings you can use deep diving crank bait around rocky points and humps. Bang these lures into the rock to trigger bites.
I use a SPRO Little John DD, which I can get down to 18 feet deep on 10-pound Sunline Sniper Flourocarbon. This helps me to feel the bites, plus fluorocarbon allows a crank bait to run deeper due to the high density of the line. As the sun gets up, find the rocky banks where the waves are hitting the shore and cast a MacStick 110 jerk bait to get some of your bigger bites.
Stripers: Striper fishing is good and there are still large schools of stripers surfacing all over the lake. When these fish are chasing the small threadfin shad they can really be hard to catch. Use smaller baits like a very small silver DareDevil or Castmaster spoon and keep casting, as it can take 20 or more casts to trigger a bite. This is because the stripers have so much bait to eat and the schools of these fish can be hard to catch, so persistence will pay off.
Crappie: Very few people are fishing for these tasty critters ,so you may have the whole creek to yourself. Like the bass, crappie are biting well both shallow and deep. There are crappie down in brush piles set out at 25 feet.
You can get above these fish or cast through them. The shallow crappie can be caught lake racking (trolling with as many as twelve rods at a time) or you can cast bobbers between the docks where dock owners have set out brush.
The fish up lake tend to be shallow, while the down lake fish seem to be deeper.
Trout: Trout fishing is just barely fair on the river, but it continues to be great in the mountains. With the recent rains we have had, try an earthworm on a weightless hook and allow it to wash down stream to mimic the natural food for these trout. Just check local regulations to make sure you can use live bait.
Bank Fishing: Bank fishing is good right now and it is almost hard to choose a specific bait or fish because you have a good chance to catch a mixed bag of fish.
Eric Aldrich is an outdoors writer, marketing specialist and bass angler. His report appears weekly.