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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Fall colors signal good fishing
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Lake temperatures are in the low 70s. Lake Lanier’s water level is at 1,062.69 or 8.31 feet below a full pool of 1,071. The main lake is clear to slightly stained. The creeks and rivers are stained due to lake turnover. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is still very stained. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass: Bass fishing is good and fall colors signal changes in fishing. Lake turnover is in effect and conditions can change day to day. Keep an open mind and you should be able to catch a good limit.

We continue to run and gun and are finding fish around brush and rock in water anywhere from the surface down to 30 feet. The topwater and swim bait bite continue to work well but we have been using other methods too. A Sebile Magic Swimmer or SPRO 6 inch BBZ1 are good choices for your bigger bites. 3-to-5-pound spotted bass are not uncommon on any given day. Experiment with different retrieve speeds and let the fish bites determine which are working best.

If the swim bait or topwater bite isn’t working, try using a drop shot rig, fennec worms or a small jig-n-pig in the same brush piles.

Live herring on a flat line are producing bigger spots on main lake humps and points. There are also some good spotted bass and largemouth bass migrating into the creeks.

The nighttime bite for spotted bass is extremely good and no one is out there, so you will have the lake to yourself. Continue to work crank baits, large spinner baits, or black curly tail jigs around rocky areas midway back in the creeks.

Stripers: Striper fishing is hit and miss depending on who you speak with. Due to the lake turnover stripers can be just about anywhere. We are on the verge of one of the best topwater bites of the year so keep a top water plug at the ready.

Flat line herring are out producing down lines, but rely on your Humming Bird electronics to determine the best depths.

The night time bomber bite has really started to turn on. Target windy banks with a Bomber Long-As. Main lake islands, points and areas around the damn are worth trying. Slow roll these baits at a steady pace and hold on because these hard fighting fish can strike at any moment.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is good. Continue to use live minnows on flat lines, under bobbers or on down lines beneath the docks with brush.

Other methods will work. Lake raking, spider rigs or trolling multiple rods with crappie jigs have been producing some decent slabs in the stained water midway on back into the creeks.

Trout: Trout fishing below the Buford Dam has been tougher due to the pea green water color and low oxygen levels. Live earthworms (where permitted by law) on a bottom rig is your best bet.

Recent rains have improved the bite up in the wildlife management areas in the north Georgia Mountains. A variety of methods have been productive. Dry and wet flies, small artificial and live earthworms are producing well. There are few things more enjoyable than spending a fall day with the beautiful colors on a peaceful trout stream.

Bank Fishing: Bank fishing is good for a variety of species. Pick your favorite species and methods and go catching! Keep your options open and being willing to try different methods and change locations until you have success.

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

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