Water Conditions: Lake Lanier’s water level is up again from recent rains. Lake Lanier’s level is 1,064.31 or 6.69 feet below the normal full pool of 1,071 feet. Lake surface temperatures are in the upper 70’s. The main lake and creeks mouths are clear to stained from recent rains. The creeks and rivers are slightly stained to very stained. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Several methods are working well, but who cares when the top water action is so good? Lake Lanier’s spotted bass are thrashing the surface, chasing blue back herring and other forage like spot tail minnows, gizzard and threadfin shad.
Find a main lake point, hump or drop off near both shallow and deep water with brush, then you should have the perfect storm for top water fishing. Spool your reels with fresh line so you can make long casts, grab your favorite walking or chugging lures and go fishing!
Running and gunning is the best way to truly experience Lake Lanier’s top water action in June. This type of fishing is not for everyone, but if you want to show off multiple 3 to 5-pounders on your Facebook or Instagram pages then you may wish to give it a try. Start by developing a milk run of 10 or more spots that have been productive in the past. Make sure to mark the “sweet spots” on your GPS. Make your best 5-10 casts to each area, then move on if the fish do not show themselves. Trust me, you may be tired after the first 8 areas don’t produce. But when you catch a couple of big fish off the next spot, your excitement will be revived.
You don’t have to own a 20 foot, 70-plus MPH bass boat to run this pattern. Kayaks, John boats and smaller craft will work fine. Even bank anglers can move on down the bank to find the best areas too.
As mentioned above, other patterns are working well. Skipping jig head worms around slightly deeper docks will produce good catches. Moving lures like spinner baits, swim baits and crank baits will catch fish that are reluctant to come up to the surface. Night fishing with dark colored lures are also working well.
Striper fishing is good for anglers that can pattern these hard fighting fish. Like the bass, stripers are thrashing the surface as they attack the herring that are also schooled up around main lake. That being said, they are also being caught down deeper, so watch your electronics and keep an open mind.
Start your days early. Try to be on the lake and be prepared to fish at first light. The stripers will feed close to the surface early in the day and during active feeding periods. Start out early by pulling flat lines behind the boat while making long casts with a Redfin or Salt Water Chug Bug. Target long points and shallow humps near the river and creek channels.
Keep an open mind and let the fish signals dictate your methods. If stripers are schooling it’s easy to determine that a flat line or top water plug are the methods to use. The same feeding that we get so excited about when we see it on the surface also occurs at various depths and your electronics are your eyes under water. If fish are in the upper 30 foot of the water, column a mixture of unweighted (flat) lines or weighted (down) lines. You can pinch a quarter ounce split shot a few feet ahead of a flat line to get it down slightly deeper.
The stripers can be found deeper during the day and there are some fish setting up in that 40 to 80-foot range. Make sure you have a quality bait tank, the proper amount of ice and salt and, of course, lively herring from a reputable bait shop. Use a heavy one to two-ounce weight to get your baits down deep quickly. Use a long 12-pound test fluorocarbon leader to increase your hook up rates.
Trolling either a single 2 ounce SPRO Buck Tail on a down rigger or a Captain Mack’s Umbrella rig on lead core line are both worth a try this week.
Crappie fishing is fair during the day but there are some anglers catching slabs before daylight and after sunset under lights around the bridges that are doing well.
During the daylight, target brush located from 15-to-30 feet deep located next to the creek and ditch channels where threadfin shad are located. Increase your jig weight to as much as one sixteenth of an ounce so that you can feel your lures down deep.
Trout fishing remains good and the rain is a welcome change this year. The rain does a lot of good for North Georgia Trout Streams and rivers. More water means more oxygen and the rains also wash nutrients and forage into the water.
Dry flies early and later in the afternoons are working well. Live red wigglers fished on a bottom rig or the old reliable lures are all producing decent catches this week.
Bream are a great fish to target in summer, especially for the kids! Lake Lanier, farm and subdivision ponds are full of them and they grow big! Digging up earth worms can be half the fun for the kids. Look in mulch piles, gardens or any good soil. Turn it over with a shovel and collect the worms, placing some soil in a coffee can or Tupperware. Use a lightweight spinning outfit or Zebco 33 with 6 to 8-pound test line. All you need is a bobber or cork, small Aberdeen style hook and a worm. If you cast it out, move along if you don’t get a bite pretty soon. Bream will be up pretty shallow in water less than 10 feet deep on local ponds and Lake Lanier.
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 email@example.com or visit his website at aldrichfishing.com or lakelanierfishing.info. Remember to take a kid fishing!