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Lake Lanier fishing report: Less boat traffic on Lanier
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Lake temperatures are in the lower 80s and Lake Lanier is just less than two feet below full pool at 1,069.19 feet.

Lake Lanier is clear on main lake and stained in the creeks.

The Chattahoochee River is clear.

Check generation schedules before heading out to the river by calling (770) 945-1466.

Sunrise happens at around 7:15 a.m. and sunset is around 7:51 p.m.

Bass: Fishing has picked up and boat traffic has subsided. Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest times for the lake so now that it has passed, anglers should have much less traffic.

The topwater action is heating up, so make sure to keep a SPRO Dawg or Super Spook tied on at all times. Big schools of bass feeding on blueback herring have occurred recently. All though there are some larger schools on the surface, smaller wolf packs of three to six spotted bass are more the norm. Anglers with a keen eye, who know the off shore areas well can catch some magnum spotted bass. Look for swirls, long baitfish or even fish breaking the surface and be prepared to fire a lure towards this activity.

When the surface activity slows or is not present, other moving lures like crank baits, spinner baits and swim baits can work very well. Often, catching one good-sized bass can give away a large school of fish. When you catch a bass, remember to work an area thoroughly before giving up. When you get a school “fired up” you can catch several before the school moves away or settles down.

Drop shots, Texas rigs and especially jigs with curly tails have been working in brush piles and also on rocky banks. Several spots caught this week had crawdads down their throat, so a jig would be a great crawfish imitator.

Live spot tails are still working, but have been a little harder to catch. Striper anglers have reported catching very large spotted bass on down and flat lined blueback herring. If using live bait for bass, use a circle hook so the fish can be released to fight another day.

Stripers: Fishing remains strong and the fish are staying locked into the deeper water, but a few are coming up shallower as the water cools. Striper fishing is still very good.

Trolling a one to two ounce SPRO buck tail on a lead core line at 2 1/2 to 3 miles an hour at eight to nine colors has been working well to locate the schools and to also catch a bigger striper.

One striper angler is catching some nice stripers trolling BBZ1 Shads on a downrigger set to 35 feet.

He is trolling over the main river channels and in the lower lake creek mouths and has been catching them well.

Down-lining live bluebacks remains the most productive method. Pay close attention to your electronics and make sure you are over active fish before setting out your lines. Some schools have been moving around while others will stay put for a while.

Some of the stripers have been surfacing, but seem to be in small groups of one to three fish and are up and down very quickly. The topwater action for stripers should be appearing very soon.

Crappie: On a recent trip, crappie master Kieth Pace used a catch deeper crappie in the middle of the day. He caught 10 times more fish that way. He was fishing a new 1/16 Crappie Jigs with a custom trailer. The crappie were holding in brush at 20 feet where the creek necks down. Use small 4, or even 2-pound test and work your jigs slowly through the brush.

Trout: Fishing is still very good and the Department of Natural Resources is restocking the river for the kid’s event in two weeks. It will host Free Kids Fishing Day on Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the lower pool just below Buford Dam off Buford Dam Road. This event is for kids 15 and under and there will be helpers on hand to assist parents and children.

If you don’t have a rod, a few loaners will be on hand. Bait, life jackets, drinks and food will also be supplied.

Bank Fishing: Fishing is picking up. Keep using a live minnow fished below a slip bobber and set your bobber stop at around 7-to 10-feet deep as the fish are starting to school. You can also use other types of bait. Another great fish to catch from the bank are catfish.

You can use live night crawlers, livers or even dead minnows. Cast these around the banks with a bottom rig and you may do quite well.

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. Email him at or visit

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