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Lake Lanier fishing report: Let the fish dictate the best choice of lure
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Lake temperatures are holding around the mid 50s. Lake Lanier's water level has been very healthy and is above full pool at 1,071.1 feet. Lake Lanier is clear to stained on the main lake and stained to almost muddy in the creeks and the rivers. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass: We are entering what most anglers feel is the best time of the year to fish. The pear trees are blooming and the dogwoods will be right behind them very soon. That means it is defintely time to go fishing. This past week's rain has created some stained to muddy areas in the creeks. This colored-water warms quicker than the clearer water on the main lake. The water temperatures may only be a couple of degrees warmer in the creeks, but that slight difference can turn your fishing trip to a catching trip.

In this past week's outings, we have had some great days, but struggled a little bit. Junk fishing, or using a bunch of different baits, can often be your best bet in spring.

Pay close attention to when you get your bites and let the fish dictate what lures you should use. You may catch a good fish off a dock with a finesse worm in the morning only to return in the afternoon and find that the bass have moved up and are swimming in the shallows. The fish often get fired up on sunny warm days.

When you find warmer lake temperatures, try using a quicker lure like an Aruku Shad or a Fat John 60 crank bait.

There is still a lot of the old submerged bank growth that grew on the shore when the lake was down. The fish really keyed in on this submerged growth last year, and we have noticed a similar pattern is developing again this year.

The secret to getting bites in this situation is to try and get your crank bait to actually contact the submerged growth. The Aruku Shad is the perfect lure in this situation because you can run it at any depth.

Cast the rattling crank baits over the flats and count them down the bottom. Then, use a medium speed retrieve, and when your lure hits the submerged weeds, you can rip it quickly and it will pull loose without any vegetation hanging on the hooks. This is when most of your bites will occur as the bass react to the deflection of the lure hitting things on the bottom.

Plastic worms rigged on a jig head or a Texas Rig probably account for the most bites for anglers in the spring.

Cast a Squirrel Tail worm on a jig head up under the docks in the pockets. Target both the first docks leading into the pockets and the last docks at the backs of the pockets. This week most of our bites have been very shallow. Try using Jerk baits or even a Rooster Tail around the sides and middles of the same docks.

Anglers targeting crappie have been catching a lot of bass too. A small minnow under a float is hard to beat this time of year and you will catch a variety of species with this method.

The stripers are still shallow and they should be there for the next month or so. You should try using two methods for these shallow stripers. Cast a jerk bait like a McStick or Bomber Long A from the front of the boat while you pull live bait behind.

Some days the jerk baits will actually out produce live baits. Cast these blue back imitating lures to the banks and reel them back slow and steady.

Because these lures only run a couple of feet deep, the strikes can be ferocious.

Live bluebacks, trout and gizzard shad have all been good choices for the shallow stripers. Use either a flat line (just a hook and no weight) or rig these baitfish behind planner boards to get them out away from the boat and next to the shore.

Hook these live baits through the lips so that they swim naturally as the boat moves forward.

Some anglers prefer to hook them through the backs because it causes the minnow to swim erratically, which can trigger striper action.

The night bite has been pretty good this past week and the stripers are up shallow in the creek pockets and also around the dam. The secret is to check out an area in the creek while it is still light out.
You want to target areas where the stained or muddy water meets the clearer main lake water. We call these "mud lines". These areas where watercolor variances occur can account for your best catching.
Crappie fishing is very good and these tasty pan fish are up in the shallows and also staging in the creek and ditch channels. The water color can affect crappie in a positive way. Muddy or stained water warms quicker than clear water, so target areas that are stained to muddy. Trolling small crappie jigs and Micro Spoons behind your boat is a very productive way to fish. We call this fishing spider rigs or lake raking.

When trolling, you will want several different length rods so that you can set out a spread of baits.

Position your shorter rods to troll directly behind the boat while using your longest rods to get your jigs or spoons out beside the boat.

A quality rod holder is a must for trolling.

The docks and shallow lay downs in the pockets and creeks are all holding good crappie right now. Start out your day fishing a little deeper and move up shallower on warmer days. Fish crappie minnows below a float around these same areas for some great catching.

Trout fishing is good. Cast a small Rapala Count Down or a Baby BBZ1 and reel these lures slow and steady around the rapids and also in the deeper pools. Live earthworms and even corn can work very well in Spring. Make sure top check your local regulations for the open season and to verify whether live bait is permitted.

Many species are available for banks anglers this week and there are plenty of fish moving shallow.
You can fish from the dam all the way up into the rivers and catch fish from the banks. Use a bobber with a live crappie minnow or earth worm or cast small crank baits or plastic worms around lay downs, bridges and in the backs of the pockets.

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 readers, so please email him at or visit his website at Remember to take a kid fishing!



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