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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Post spawn period can be productive
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Lake Lanier’s water temperatures are between 65 and 70 degrees, and the level is at 1,065.3 feet, which is 5.7 feet below a full pool of 1,071. Lake Lanier is clear on the main lake and slightly stained in the creeks and coves. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing is good, and the bass are mostly in a post-spawn pattern as they leave their nests and start the recovery process. After Lake Lanier’s bass population spawn, they will quickly change their focus from reproducing to feeding.

Many anglers think that bass in the post-spawn period are hard to pattern, but I feel this is one of the best times of the year to fish because so many different patterns will work. The coolest thing about the post-spawn period is that the topwater bite gets red hot.

Target these post-spawn bass by locating the shallow flats where bass make their nests, then look around to see where points or humps intersect or border those flats. Secondary points in the creeks will also hold some good fish this time of year.

As with past weeks’ reports, many lures are working well and you should be able to pick your favorite method and do well. We caught spotted and largemouth this past week on topwater plugs, plastic worms and crankbaits. Our bigger fish are hitting Zara Spooks and other walking types of baits. A Redfin v-waked on the surface is deadly right now for big spotted bass and stripers.

The docks in the creeks are also holding some good fish. A lot of these fish are suspending just below the floats, and they will strike lures that are cast down the sides of the docks. You can also skip finesse jig head worms and catch these same fish. Most of your bites on the worms will occur on the initial fall because these suspended bass will follow your worm to the bottom or eat it on the way down.

The night bite is very good and you can really score some big bass after the sun goes down. Cast dark-colored crankbaits or a big, single-blade spinnerbaits and slow roll them around rocks and clay in the creeks.

Stripers: The striper fishing has been up and down. The guides are reporting that they may catch 20 one day, and only a few the next. Several methods are working well, but the good news is that the topwater action is just really starting because the blueback spawn is starting.

You may encounter some good schools of stripers eating bluebacks on the surface in the mornings and evenings, or even in the middle of the day. A Redfin is an awesome lure to throw, even if the stripers may not be schooling.

Few things are as exciting as a striper busting a Redfin on a calm surface. Other topwater lures will work well too, but don’t be afraid to cast Jerk Shads, Flukes or McSticks to the same fish.

You can fish flat or downlines behind the boat, while working topwater plugs from the front of the boat.

Your electronics are a key tool because not all of the stripers will give away their locations by breaking on the surface. Target the creek mouths, humps, points and even some of the flats in coves and creeks.

My Humminbird 998c is a great tool for finding the most productive areas. With side imaging, I can see fish off to the side of the boat, and I can pick up the bait fish schools and stripes even though they are not directly below the boat.

Your electronics will also show the depth at which the fish are feeding. This is essential for determining whether you need to fish a flatline around the surface, or if a downline would work better. Always fish your live bait slightly above the level where you mark fish on your graph because stripers and bass will move up to eat a bait, but they seldom move downward to strike your line.

Some anglers are trolling umbrella rigs at 15-feet deep in the creeks, and also on main lake humps and points. The night bite has slowed a good bit, but with water temperatures holding below 70, there are probably some areas that are still holding good fish after dark.

Crappie fishing is just fair, but there are some anglers putting together some decent stringers. Shooting small crappie jigs under the docks takes some practice, but it will reward anglers who master this skill. Look on YouTube or elsewhere on the Internet to see how to employ this method. Shooting jigs will allow you to catch fish other anglers can’t reach.

Live minnows fished at 10 feet deep around the bridge pilings and under docks will work OK this week. The night bite should start pretty soon, so get those floating lights ready.

Trout fishing should remain productive for a while. With the spring stocking efforts by the Department Of Natural Resources, there are plenty of trout to be caught below Buford Dam and also in the Wildlife Management Areas.

Fly fishing has been good, and spin fishing is almost always productive. Cast inline spinners, small crankbaits and live bait (where permitted by law) in the pools directly below the rapids.

Bank fishing: Now into the summer is a great time to catch bream. Bream are easy to catch and plentiful, which makes them great for kids and adults alike to target.

The biggest mistake I see inexperienced anglers make is to use too large of a hook or excess hardware like a snap swivel.

Use small hooks and light line to increase your catches. Thread a worm on your hook where it covers it. Earthworms, crickets and small inline spinners all work great for catching bream.

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 esaldrich@yahoo.com or visit his website at aldrichfishing.com.

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