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Lake Lanier fishing report: Full lake fishing
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Lake Lanier is actually above full pool at 1,071.2 feet.

Lake temperatures are in the lower 70’s and the lake is starting to turn over.

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

Bass fishing this week has been challenging but the fish are biting and Lake Lanier is a beautiful place to be in the fall.

There is a lot of new water in the lake and this, along with the lake turnover, means the bass can be scattered at any depth or location.

Keep a very open mind because we have caught bass anywhere from 1-foot deep to 30-feet deep this week.

Junk fishing — keeping eight rods on the deck with a different lure on each and using them all — is your best bet this week.

We have caught bass on drop shots, swim baits, topwater plugs and crank baits so keep your options open and know that these fish are in transition.

You may find spotted bass eating in the back of a creek one day and they may be out on the main lake humps the next. It just seems to depend on where the bait is located.

Find the bait and you should find the fish.

The cool thing about this time of year is that you can catch fish using your favorite style and lures.

Whether you prefer to fish shallow with crank baits or you would rather skip docks with finesse worms on a jig head, any method will work.

I have been catching the majority of bigger fish with large topwater plugs and swim baits like the new 6-inch BBZ1 trout.

We have also been catching some keepers with drop shots and finesse worms on a jig head back around docks and creek bends. I have been seeing some bigger fish roaming the shallows.

Not many reports are in about night fishing but the bass are eating after dark.

Slow roll large, black spinner baits or dark colored crank baits and work rocky, secondary points back in the creeks.

The downline bite is giving way to flatlines and topwater fishing.

Keep all methods ready and let the stripers show you what works best.

Downline is a term for weighted live bait rigs for deeper fish where as a flatline is the term for unweighted lines with just a hook and live bait.

The stripers are up on top, they are schooling and the boats are out after them. We call this combat fishing on Lake Lanier.

This refers to when a bunch of boats chase around a single school of stripers and it can get pretty busy sometimes.

I prefer to find an active school away from the crowds.

Remember that they are schooling all over the lake and you will probably need to put in some time cruising around to find them.

Most of these surface feeding fish are eating blueback herring and they will move around chasing these fast moving baitfish.

I leave my Minn Kota Trolling motor on high to chase them.

Use a SPRO Dawg 100, Red Fin or a Super Spook and cast past where you see breaking fish.

The hardest thing to do is to remain calm while fish are breaking around you, but it’s best to calm down and make your casts count.

If you don’t encounter active fish on top, then utilize your Humminbird Electronics and look from the mouths of the creeks on midway and back to find actively feeding stripers below the surface.

Trolling has been working just fair and the night bite is just getting started, but there are not many reports about it.

Use a pink or black and silver Bomber Long A and target the main lake islands for stripers after dark.

Crappie fishing remains good.

Target the creeks and troll or cast crappie jigs and Micro Spoons around docks with brush and other shallower cover.

Once the crappie are located then you can slow down and catch them with live minnows under a float.

They should be in water less than 10 feet this week but watch your Humminbird Electronics to determine their movements.

Trout fishing on the Chattahoochee River is alright, but it has slowed down a little.

Brown trout should be biting a little better than the rainbows.

Use wet flies or live bait (where permitted by law) and target the rapids of faster moving water.

The water pulled from the bottom of Lake Lanier has a little less oxygen this time of year and the trout will hang around the more oxygenated moving water.

Inline spinners and small crank baits will also work.

Bank anglers should have a good chance of catching bigger fish this week because they are moving around at different depths.
Live minnows below a float or rigged on a weighted line on the bottom will catch a variety of fish this week.

Bass, stripers, crappie, bream and even catfish will strike minnows. Small crank baits and topwater plugs will also work well fished from the shore.

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

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