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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Night fishing working well for bass and stripers
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Lake Temperatures are in the low 70's. The lake level is 1,060.96 feet, which is right at 10 feet below full pool of 1,071.

Lake Lanier is stained and the Chattahoochee River is very stained. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

The water in Lake Lanier is going through turnover or stratification. Turnover is what happens in the spring and again in fall when the different temperature layers of water start to equal out to the same temperature and then the mix or turnover.

Fish often relate the thermocline, which is where the warmer top water layer meets the cooler lower layer. When the lake turns over the thermocline dissipates and anglers often have a hard time finding the fish because now they can be at any depth.

The good news is that we have been catching a lot of bass and stripers this past week. Earlier in the week, the wind was really blowing and we caught fish from the mouths on into the backs of the creeks.

Large topwater plugs and subsurface lures like Jerk Baits, Fish Head Spins, Rooster Tails and Crank Baits were working best.

Our best fish were coming out of shallow water that had deep drops nearby. We threw an assortment of lures, but the most productive were Super Spooks or SPRO Dawg 125s, McSticks and Large Rooster Tails.

If you can find the bass schooling, you may be able to catch your five fish limit in five casts, but most of the time we are getting one here and one there.

When you catch a bass, make sure to work the entire area, because the fish are really grouped up in the fall.

Later in the week, the wind calmed down and the bass seemed to want smaller offerings during the minor feeding periods.

The large lures will also catch bigger fish, especially during major feeding times, water generation or when the wind and rain kicks in.

Night fishing for bass and stripers is very good. Large deep diving crank baits, Bomber Long As, Red Fins and McSticks will produce some very large fish after dark.

Striper fishing is very good and should remain that way for the next month or two.

I caught stripers during the day, while bass fishing plus we have been chasing some huge schools of fish out on the main lake.

These stripers are gorging themselves on blueback herring.

Bluebacks move very quickly, so once the school appears and then sounds, they will usually come back up several hundred feet or yards away.

A lot of anglers will work the same schools and some even leave their big engines running because the schools can come up and down quickly.

If more than two or three boats are working a single school, it can turn into combat fishing. It is usually better to find another school when that happens, because there are always some undiscovered schools thrashing the surface.

I have noticed that a couple of my friends that don't fish a lot were having a hard time picking out the schools of stripers, especially when the white caps were rolling.

There are some hints that the guides use. Look for white birds that circle over an area of water.

These are not sea gulls, but I think they are white turns that come inshore early before the gulls. Gulls and turns eat bait fish that are forced to the surface by hungry stripers.

I also stare at one single large area of the lake and I don't move my head and just look for something different on the surface. You can often see the stripers over a 1/4-mile or more away.

Sometimes when these schools appear, it look like its raining bowling balls, while other times you may just see the water ripple with bait fish, while the stripers swirl or barely break the surface.

Crappie fishing is good and the crappie are fat and healthy as they feed on the larger threadfin shad in the backs of the creeks.

Trolling Hal Flies, Micro Spoons and crappie jigs around the flats, just off of the creek or stream ditches has been working well. Shooting jigs under docks with brush is also working.

Trout: The river below Buford Dam is very stained because of lake turnover. There are still trout and they still have to eat, so fishing can still be good.

Use bright colors for you lures and darker colors on your flies. These color combinations help the fish to see the contrast of your offerings in the off-colored water.

Fishing up in the mountain streams should be pretty good after recent rains. This fresh water draining into the creeks increases the oxygen levels and also washes worms and other food into the water, which activates the trout to bite.

There were several fishing events in September and October and the DNR stocked trout in most of the streams and rivers so get out and enjoy fishing in the fall colors.

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. Contact him at or visit his website at


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