By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Fish around post-spawn patterns
Placeholder Image

Water Conditions: Lake Lanier’s water level is holding steady at 1,063.10, or 7.90 feet below the normal full pool of 1,071. Lake surface temperatures are in the upper 70s to lower 80s.

The main lake and creeks mouths are clear-to-stained. The creeks and rivers are slightly to very stained. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river by calling 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing ranges from fair to very good. Dock skippers and people working the bank can score good numbers of fish, but most heavy weight bass have been harder to score up shallow. Anglers who can move and make adjustments will rule the day.

I have gassed up my Nitro with its 250 HP Mercury, and it’s time to play — running and gunning is the order of the day.

If you power-fish, you know the deal. If not, you want to stow your lightweight equipment and spool up your heaver outfits with 12-to-20-pound Sunline. Be prepared to move until you find them.

There are still a few spawning bass remaining in the pockets and creeks, but the majority of the fish are in post spawn mode. These fish have finished spawning, and they are tired, exhausted and very hungry. If you can find a wolf pack of these fish, you can fill your live well or Facebook and Instagram reports with some awesome photos.

Top-water lures are really coming into play. Target shallower brush, docks and other cover close to dropoffs and creek channels.

Cast a Gun fish, Pop R, Redfin or a Spook over brush and rock. Then you should run and gun main lake and secondary humps and points. Other lures like a fluke, McStick, jig or shaky head will produce bites when the fish are present.

Brush and dropoffs in 5-to-20 feet deep will hold good numbers of hungry post-spawn bass this week. Cast a top-water plug or swim bait across any promising cover. It’s hard to beat a Chug Plug or 6-inch BBZ1 floater around shallow cover just outside spawning flats. Work an area quickly then stow your gear for a run to the next spot.

Hitting as many areas as you can efficiently fish is the key to success in a running-and-gunning plan. This type of fishing isn’t for everyone, but it is worth a try.

Use faster-moving lures like swim baits, crank baits or large swim baits. Other anglers may choose to make one or two pitches with a jig or large worm to the best cover before running to the next spot.

An angler that usually fishes one or two areas in a day may want to increase his plan to fish four-to-six areas a day. Anglers that fish five-to-10 areas a day will be benefit from increasing their odds to 10-to-20 areas.

If you know the “sweet spot” for your best areas, you should be able to run and gun to produce big bags.

If fishing fast is not your deal, you should be able to catch plenty of fish on a shaky head worm around docks and bank cover. Small crank baits, inline spinners and live bait will work well in these same areas.

Striper fishing is good, and there are a lot of fish both up and down lake. The majority of striped bass have finished up all hopes of spawning, and these line-sided creatures are on the prowl for food.

The top-water activity is awesome early in the morning, later in the day and sometimes during the middle of the day. Keep a Storm Chug Bug, Super Spook or Redfin ready to cast to any surfacing fish. You can see these fish busting herring on the surface around shallow humps and points in the mouths of the lower lake creeks.

The majority of striped bass are in water under 30 feet deep. Pulling live bait on flat lines, planner boards and shallow down lines have been producing good results around main lake islands and humps.

The herring are still spawning on main lake humps and points. Pull live bait up shallow around main lake humps and points. Flat lines with herring, trout or live gizzard shad will entice some explosive strikes from these shallower stripers.

Trolling Umbrella rigs is a good way to cover water while you look for fish feeding on the surface or down deeper on your graph. Setting up one or two umbrella rigs will take a bit of education, so consider hiring a guide to increase your trolling knowledge.

Crappie fishing is slow for big fish but very good for smaller fish. Cast a minnow below a bobber for crappie around bridges, brush, docks or other bank cover.

The bigger fish have pulled out deeper around brush in 15-to-25 feet. Fish offshore with small jigs, or try down lined minnows. A small Hal Fly with a curly trail fished deeper around submerged brush will produce bigger post-spawn females to bite. Small minnows on a down line will also produce big fish.

Trout fishing remains very good. Just about all the normal techniques are working great this week. Live bait (where permitted by law) and artificial lures are working both below Buford Dam and up in the mountain streams and rivers.

Dry fly’s PR, a double drop rig, has been working well in the mountain rapids. The trout are biting in the morning and then again in the afternoons.

Bank Fishing: A jerk bait is basically a minnow imitator, and there are many types. A Rapala, McStick, Rogue, Long A or other long minnow imitators are great lures to cast from the banks of Lake Lanier.

These long slender “minnow” imitators match the herring that we have on Lake Lanier. Cast these lures around the banks close to Buford Dam to catch stripers, bass and other species of fish.

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. He would love to hear from his readers so please email him at esaldrich@yahoo.com or visit his website at aldrichfishing.com or lakelanierfishing.info. Remember to take a kid fishing.

Regional events