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Lake Lanier fishing report: Now's the time to catch big bass
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The lake level is 1,068.1 feet or a little under 3-feet below the full pool of 1,071 feet. Lake Lanier is clear to stained on the main lake, stained in the creeks and rivers, and the Chattahoochee River is stained.

Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

For the most part, bass fishing has been very good and the lake has been a lot quieter, so you can have some great areas to fish all to your self. You may find bass in 2 feet or 40 feet this week, so keep an open mind.

The past week’s stable weather has the fish on the move. Fishing during stable weather periods can be hit or miss, but if you are lucky enough to fish a few times a week, you can often find a consistent pattern.

We are still mostly running and gunning to find the aggressive spotted bass on the topwater.
SPRO Dawgs, Super Spooks and Jerk baits like the McStick and McRips are all great lures because they mimic the blueback herring that these aggressive schools are chasing.

This can be an all or nothing pattern, but if you find an active school of spots, then you can catch a big limit in a hurry.
Often you will catch stripers in these same areas. This weekend’s weather front should make for some great topwater fishing both before and during the cloudy weather.

If you are unable to find these open water schools or you just prefer a slower pace, then target brush piles and steep rocky banks in the middle to the backs of the creeks.

Brush at 15 to 30 feet should be holding good schools of bass, if the bait is around.

Quality electronics can show the productive brush piles before you even drop a lure down. Look for lines and arcs around the brush to give away the best areas.

We position the boat directly over the piles and can often see the fish as they come out to eat a drop shot, jig head worm or jig while watching the screen.

Almost like playing a video game, but a lot more fun.

My third pattern has been to find steeper windy banks with rock and clay both on the main lake and in the creeks and rivers. Cast jerk baits, like a McRip or a slow roll deep diving crank bait and make long casts parallel to the banks.

Here are a couple of outside the box methods for catching bass: Night fishing has been very good for spotted bass, work a large dark colored crank bait or spinner bait around the main lake and rocky banks, and make sure your lure stays in contact with the bottom to get the most strikes.

Striper fishing remains good and there are some big schools busting on the surface out on the main lake, in the creeks and even up in the rivers. As with the bass, these schools of stripers are on the move. This weekend’s weather front should have the stripers up on the surface so keep a topwater plug, jerk bait or a SPRO Bucktail tied on at all times. These surface feeders can go up and down very quickly and it can be a challenge to stay on these fast-moving fish.

Over the years, I have learned to try and pattern schooling fish. One example is to pay attention to areas where the schooling fish surface and if they come up more than one time in the same area. It often pays to hang out around that area and wait for them to surface again. Another way is to pay attention to a moving school and try to predetermine where they will surface next. If they come up 100 yards away, then sound only to surface 150 yards away you may want to position your boat anther 50 yards ahead of the direction they seem to be going.

If there are big schools, you will often share them with other anglers. This can be fine if everybody is courteous, but you can be assured if they are surfacing in one creek there will be other schools in other creeks.

Live trout, blueback herring and even Gizzard shad have all been working well. Gizzard Shad or trout on planner boards have been working well. Make sure to cover both the points and pockets and keep an eye on your fish finders and make adjustments accordingly.

Down lake the stripers have been both up on the surface eating flat-lined bluebacks, while other anglers have done well with down-lined bluebacks and trout. Quality electronics are essential tools for deciphering what the fish are doing under the water. Some anglers are trolling either single big SPRO Bucktails on lead core or Umbrella Rigs with success.

Fishing after dark with a Bomber Long A’s and Redfins has been on and off this fall. The night bite can be great or slow depending on the locations you fish. I like to target the main lake islands with windy banks. Cast these plugs all the way to the banks with a slow and steady retrieve.

Crappie fishing is good and anglers are reporting good catches of these tasty pan fish. Trolling crappie jigs in the pockets towards the backs of the creeks is working well.

You can also anchor or cast off the docks or shore to lay downs and brush piles at around 10-12 feet deep. Some night time fish can be caught around the bridges that are in the backs of the creeks.

Trout fishing is fair on the river and in the mountain streams. Anglers have been doing pretty well below the dam in the Chattahoochee with live worms and also Rooster Tails and Rapalas. Try a jerk and pause retrieve with your Rapalas to entice a reaction strike.

Sorry I have left out the bank reports but bank fishing is good right now. You can catch crappie, bass, catfish and even those hard-fighting stripers.

Stop by your local bait stores to find out the best areas and techniques to use.

Here are some good areas to try: West Bank, East Bank, Van Pugh, Big Creek, Wahoo Creek Bridge, Six and Two Mile Bridges and Holly Park are all good areas to fish from.

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 e-mail him at or visit his website at Remember to take a kid fishing!

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