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Lake Lanier fishing report: Different strategies working with bass
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Lake Lanier is slightly below full pool at around 1,074.20 feet (full pool is 1,071 feet). Lake temperatures are any where from the low 50s to 60s. The main lake is clear and the creeks and rivers are stained.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is slightly stained. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.


Fishing has been consistantly good and now is the time to get out to lake.

When the trees start to bloom, then fishing gets a lot easier. Most of the anglers I have spoken with say bass fishing is good, but a couple stated that it was tough for them. Just keep trying techniques you have confidence in and you should eventually find them.

There is no replacement for time on the water and it’s hard for most busy people to get out often. No matter how little or how much you fish remember it’s a blessing to be at beautiful Lake Lanier.

We came in second place at last week’s Hammond’s tournament by using SPRO McSticks and Jig head worms. The McStick is really getting hard to find after last week’s TV show with Orlando Wilson and the designer of this lure Mike McClellan. It is an easy lure to use; all you have to do is throw it out and use a jerk and pause retrieve

You can use a quick cadence this time of year because the bass are aggressive. Target coves, points and even docks with these stick baits.

Skipping Jig head Worms around the docks has been starting to catch fish. Most of our bigger fish have not come from around docks, but that will change if we get a prolonged period of warm weather.

Here is the setup I use for skipping jig head worms up under docks:

I use a 1/8-ounce K-Finesse Jighead with a Pumpkin Chartreuse Finesse worm dipped in JJ’s Magic for good measure.

I also super glue the worm at the head to keep it from sliding down white skipping.

I have a 7-foot medium weight Denali Custom Spinning Rod and I use 6-to 8-pound fluorocarbon.

Skipping takes a lot of practice but it is well worth it. I like my sensitive Denali Rods because I am able to actually feel the bites while the jig head is falling. Seventy percent of your bites will come on the fall.

Many other lures and teqniques are also working so take your favorite lure to he lake and you should be able to get a bite.


This report is brought to you by Shane Watson Guide Service and Hammond’s Fishing Center. Warmer days and nights have the trees and flowers blooming around Lake Lanier.

The surface temps are also rising and both stripers and spots are continuing to move up shallow in the water.

Over the last week, our boats have had quite a few 20 to 30 catch and release striper trips. We’ve also had a day or two when they have not bit as well. That’s just the nature of springtime fishing with its ever-changing weather.

Free lined bluebacks and Spro McSticks continue to produce the most fish. Look in the middle to the rear of creeks and keep casting your lures to the bank while free lining.

These Spro McSticks are working very well if you are on the fish. Keep dragging your free lines, make long casts, and you will come across some.

We have gotten many calls and e-mails about how to fish this lure. Our most success has come by casting it as close to the bank as possible. Most days, a medium-to-fast retrieve has worked best on the stripers.

Some days, a medium-to-fast retrieve with a short pause has worked well. Honestly, if you are on decent numbers of active fish, you can’t do anything wrong with this lure.


The fishing remains very strong. Crappie minnows under a float, small crank baits and trolling or casting small crappie jigs and Micro Spoons work best. Look in the covers that have lots of docks and sunken brush.

Trout on the

The fishing is very good on the river below Buford Dam and up in the mountain streams and creeks. Traditionally April 1 is opening day for trout season, but a lot of the streams and rivers offer trout fishing year round now.

The DNR still stocks trout heavily in the spring so you can catch these ignorant trout on inline spinners small plugs, wet and dry flies and live bait (where permitted by law)

Bank fishing

Fishing for crappie and bass continues to be your best bet, but stripers are also up shallow so that is also worth a try. Live bait and lures will both catch fish this week. I have a few readers mentioning that they wish the counties would add more public piers for bank anglers.

Eric Aldrich is a part-time outdoors writer, bass fisherman and is sponsored by Humminbird, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammonds Fishing and Boat Storage. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. He would love to hear from his readers so please e-mail him at or visit his Web site at Remember to take a kid fishing!

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