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Lake Lanier fishing report: Fishing could be incredible soon
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Lake temperatures are in the low to mid 70s. Lake Lanier is slightly above full pool at 1,071.3 feet. The main lake and creeks are stained to clear and the Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing is good. Most of Lake Lanier’s spotted and largemouth bass have spawned and are moving out and recovering from this tedious process. Many of these bass will have sores and look skinny. This is a normal occurrence and they will recover quickly. Recovery means that these fish will be very hungry and fishing action should really be incredible this month and next.

Start out in the mornings with a topwater plug and fish it until the bass quit biting. They may hit topwater all day long, but let the fishing action determine your lure choices. When the fish do settle down you will want to switch over to a lure that can get down into the 10 to 20 foot range.

A Big Bites Squirrel Tail Worm on a Spot Remover is a great choice and this “tail up” action will entice bass to hit. Both the SPRO Little John Medium and deep-diving crankbaits are really good tools to catch these post-spawn bass. Make sure to have your lure actually bump into the bottom.

The SPRO Little John DD will run up to 20 feet deep and you can work it in under 10 feet as it is designed to not roll over at lesser depths. Most of your bites will come as you crawl this lure up and over rocks and brush. Fish these crankbaits on the lightest line you can get away with. I like 10-pound Sunline Fluorocarbon for deep cranking.

The fish are already moving out offshore, and beating the banks will work less and the offshore bite will get stronger as the weather warms. I have been working with some guys from who filmed the whole lake when it was way down.

Their videos are available on memory cards that insert into your fish finder unit. DVDs are also available so that you can research the best offshore structure and set up a gameplan before you get to the lake. These GPS waypoints and videos are extremely valuable information about deeper brush piles, rocks, and other offshore structure and cover. Knowing how to fish deep offshore cover is the key to being a successful Lake Lanier angler.

When fishing the deeper offshore cover, try using a topwater plug or swim baits and cast out first above these honey holes before you get over them. If you don’t entice any fish with the faster-moving lures, then position the boat directly over the brush, rocks, ledges, etc.

Use your electronics to hold the correct position and work a drop shot, jig head, jig or Texas-rigged worm through the object to entice these less active fish top bite.

Stripers: Lake Lanier fishing guide Shane Watson says not much has changed since his last week’s report. He states that his boats have been out on trips every day both north and south and the fishing has been very good overall. Mid-lake and south, we are seeing some schools of busting stripers early, and free-lined bluebacks, Redfins, Spro Dawgs, and Spooks are all working.

There are also fish up shallow on reef poles and points early each day.

After the sun gets overhead, we have done well on down-lined bluebacks fished 20 feet deep over a 25 to 30 foot bottom on and just off secondary, slick bottom points. Up north, the water is warmer and your numbers of school size fish will be better, if you start down-lining on points at daylight. There are a few big fish up both rivers and free-lined gizzard shad will work best up there.

Crappie are in deeper water, but they are catchable if you know the right offshore spots. Use small jigs or minnows on a down line and work your baits around offshore brush.

If you don’t know where the offshore stuff is then you may also be able to catch some on the deeper docks in the coves and cuts. Look for docks with lights and fishing pole holders that are located in deeper water. Most of these docks will also have brush on them. The crappie will come up around the lights at night, but will tend to settle down into the cover during the day.

Night fishing below floating lights or, better yet, a Hydro Glow and you should do well.

Trout fishing has been very productive both up in the mountains and below the Dam on the Chattahoochee River. Use inline spinners, flies, small crankbaits and live bait like worms (where permitted by law).

The trout should be healthy and hungry this week and there are few things that compare to spending the day on a beautiful trout stream or river, away from the hustle and bustle of today’s hectic world.

Bank fishing: Some anglers may give people a hard time, but fishing for carp can be a blast! Carp are also known as bugle mouth bass or North Georgia redfish. This is a great way for kids to catch big fish during the hot and busy summer on Lake Lanier and other waters. Carp are naturally drawn to human activity on Lake Lanier. They fight hard and are relatively easy to catch.

Find an area like a beach, campground or marina and throw half a can of corn out into the water to bring in the fish. Save the other half for fish bait. Uses small hooks and thread two to four pieces of corn on to the hook. Add a medium-sized split shot weight about two feet up your line and cast it out to where you chummed up the water. Make sure to secure the rods and wait for the fish to bite. Carp will show up in numbers to eat the corn and they are a bunch of fun to catch.

Eric Aldrich is a part-time outdoors writer, bass fisherman and is sponsored by SPRO, Gamakatsu, Hammonds Fishing and Boat Storage, Humminbird, Denali Custom Rod, Big Bite Baits, Sunline and 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 or visit his website at Remember to take a kid fishing!

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