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Lake Lanier fishing report: Find the best bass in shallow waters
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Lake temperatures are from the mid 60s to around the low 70s in some of the pockets. Lake Lanier is over full at 1,071.3 feet and the rains could add to that.

Lake Lanier is clear or slightly stained on main lake and stained in the creeks and in the rivers mostly from pollen. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing has been very productive and the fish are shallow where most anglers can catch them.

Even during times when some people are catching a bunch, some people struggle, but don't get discouraged.

It is harder to stay on fish when you can only get out a few times, but that should just make those times more special.

I was supposed to be breaking in my new Nitro's Mercury, but I just couldn't help stopping and watching the fish up shallow this spring.

I had a couple days when I only caught three or four bass, but instead of sight fishing, I ended up just watching bass spawning along with bream, smaller fry, minnows and even the carp and gar.

Sometimes watching all of this is as much fun as catching them cast after cast.

Look on Youtube at gar spawning on Lake Lanier for a cool video.

That being said, I did break in the new motor and covered a lot of water.

You can catch bass on most every type of bank, and almost all conditions, and the bass can be about anywhere, but they won't be everywhere.

We caught them cranking small plugs on steep rocky banks, worms in shallow grassy coves and other areas in between. They were some areas that seemed void of fish in between those stretches too.

If you're fishing from a boat, keep your MinnKota moving and when you get a bite, slow down and work that area and pay attention to similar ones further down the bank.

One day you may get a bite on a rock and others days they seem to want a mix of rock and clay, or they may be spawning in the sandy pocket.

The good news is some fish move up, while others move out and there are even some bass schooling, so topwater time is very near.

If all else fails, there are a few really good fish and lots of smaller ones on the docks. Target docks that are midway on the backs of the pockets.

A buddy of mine shared that he was catching some magnum spotted bass by skipping a Fluke under the fronts of the deeper docks.

Meanwhile, I have been getting a lot of bites skipping finesse worms on a light jig head under the gang planks, but a lot of these fish have been smaller buck bass with a couple big ones mixed in, too.

Casting a Zara Puppy or SPRO Dawg around the coves toward sunset has accounted for some decent topwater strikes, and this will only get better in the next couple of weeks.

Striper anglers are reporting catching big spotted bass on flat lines and planner boards.

Striper fishing remains good. Continue to use the liveliest bait possible.

I would use live herring from what I have seen with the stripers chasing bluebacks, but some anglers who think that they produce bigger stripers prefer gizzard shad or even trout.

Whichever you choose, pull your baits along the creek or riverbanks on into the main lake coves and points and you should eventually connect with a striper.

There are some big fish in the 30-pound class that were caught last week so get out, hook up the boat or hire an experienced guide and go catch that trophy. The cool thing is you can now take a picture and build an accurate replica if you want to release them.

Keep your topwater plug tied on and ready. BBZ1 Shad and Trout or Red Fins V-Waked on the surface are starting to catch a few stripers and spotted bass. This action is just starting and will get much better in the next few weeks.

Crappie fishing is a little slower from the banks, but they are still biting minnows under bobbers. Some of the better slabs are being caught shooting jigs under docks.

My buddy Keith Pace says he shoots jigs and Micro Spoons under certain docks, and is doing quite well.

I can't say exactly what type of docks those are, but if you see a shiny new dock with new black floats under it, those are not the ones.

Trout fishing is very good in the mountain creeks and below Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River.

Rock Creek Hatchery and the surrounding creek are great place for beginning anglers, and provide a cool hatchery and easy access areas to fish and camp or picnic.

Take your kids and a Zebco 33 and a few Rooster Tails and you should have a great family outing.

Bank fishing: Kid and adults who enjoy peaceful bank fishing should be able to cast a minnow or a worm below a bobber around docks, coves, flooded trees or rocky areas for a variety of species.

Casting lures from the bank can be very productive right now for bass.

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. Email him at or visit his website at Remember to take a kid fishing!


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