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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Fishing picks up as spring approaches
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Lake Lanier is slightly above full pool at around 1,071.5 feet (full pool is 1,071 feet).

Lake temperatures are in the mid 40’s and the main lake is clear and the backs of the creeks are stained from recent rains. The

Chattahoochee River is clear to stain. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing is picking up, but you will still have to work a little.

Even with the colder-than-normal weather, bass know that spring is just around the corner. On sunny days, the water in the coves and creeks will warm a little quicker than in the main lake. Pay close attention to your electronics’ temperature readings and look for the warmest water you can find.

Baitfish and bass will become more active in these areas. Even temperatures that are only one or two degrees warmer can trigger bass into feeding mode.

We are finding some semi-active fish in the warmer creek and lake pockets and also out on the main lake on the steeper banks next to points.

Try using a Roostertail or a Fish Head Spin with a small Zoom Fluke.

The bites are very light, so make sure you have a sensitive rod and fluorocarbon line. I use a custom Denali Fishing Worm Rod ( and Berkley Fluorocarbon.

Let your lure hit the bottom and fish parallel to the banks to keep in the strike zones. I think these bass eat the smaller lures because they mimic dying shad.

I have also caught a couple good spots with the SPRO McStick Jerk Bait fished with a long pause-and-jerk retrieve. I definitely prefer when they hit the jerk bait worked at a quicker pace. I have had to let the lure just sit there suspended for as long as 10 seconds before getting a hit.

Cast it out, jerk it two times to get it down, take a sip of Coke, check your e-mail, jerk it again, check your voicemail and take a short nap; jerk it again, etc.

It’s a grind but when a four-pound bass loads on the rod it makes it worth it.

For me, the jig and drop shot fishing has very been slow, but other anglers are reporting some success with jigs.

I would think they would hit a shad colored plastic on a drop shot rig but I have just not gotten many bites that way this week.

This week’s striper report comes from Shane Watson and Hammond’s Fishing Center. Watson reports that the stripers have been up boiling on the surface most every morning since the last report.

We’ve caught all of our fish on free-lined medium shiners, white Fat Albert grubs on a lead head, and on white buck tails with a white hyper striper tail. These fish have been boiling on the surface and sub-surface about a foot under the water.

Sometimes you will see a big visible swirl and sometimes it will be a slight boil, as the fish are not always making it to the top. They are feeding on small shad that are trying to come to the surface before dying.

Slick, calm pockets in the middle to the rear of creeks are where we are seeing most of these fish.

The seagulls are more of a distraction right now than anything else, as they are picking up random shad kill. You will see them everywhere picking up single baits and flying on. You want to see them pounding the water, hovering, and staying in a tight group. This is when they have fish under them.

Most of the single boiling fish that we are catching have no birds with them. The store got in a big load of medium shiners this morning and they also have all the jigs and white grubs that you will need for casting.

Crappie fishing has been decent and the slabs are eating well. Keith Pace says trolling Micro Spoons or chartreuse and black Crappie Jigs have been productive. Try fishing the off-colored water up in the rivers and the creeks just off the rivers. Look for brush and also target older looking docks that have exposed Styrofoam, as these are the best areas for holding crappie.

Trout on the Chattahoochee River are biting and this action will improve as the DNR stocks fish in the rivers and up in the mountain creeks. Live red wigglers fished on a bottom rig will work on the river and up in the mountain creeks.

Corn or Berkley Power Nuggets are both producing trout, but check local regulations and switch over to lures in the areas designated artificial only. Cast white and silver Rooster Tails in the rapids and also in the deeper pools below the rapids.

Make sure to check out for the Take a Kid Fishing events calendar and for other angling opportunities in Georgia.

Bank fishing for crappie will still be the most productive way to catch fish without a boat. Look for the bridges to hold some crappie, but if you can get permission to fish docks that have brush than that will be your best bet. Down-line minnows or crappie jigs.

Eric Aldrich is a part-time outdoors writer, bass fisherman and a member of Humminbird’s, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Hammond’s Fishing Center and Denali Pro Staff. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. If you would like to email him please do so at Remember to take a kid fishing.

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