Lake temperatures are in the lower 80s. Lake Lanier is holding steady right around full pool at 1,070.8 feet. The main lake and creeks are stained to clear and the Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Bass: Bass fishing is very good. We are averaging anywhere from 10 to 30 keeper bass per trip and some of those have been more than 5 pounds. Lake Lanier’s spotted bass are really setting up on their summer patterns from main lake and midway back into the creeks.
Power fishing has been the way to go. I have been running and gunning, which is a term for fishing several areas quickly and moving on to the next until you run into a school of active fish.
We may fish more than 25 areas in an eight-hour day and this type of fishing is not for people who want to relax. My dad says that running and gunning is like working. If that is the case, it’s a labor of love for me!
When you run and gun, timing is everything. Fish go through active times and they also rest. I have fished an area with no success and moved on only to return and hour later and find the fish schooling on top.
I basically use three baits when power fishing. The first choice is usually a large walking top water plug like a SPRO Dawg 125 or a Super Spook. Cast these large plugs out over the brush or cover to draw the fish up to the surface. We will often see a whole school of fish chasing the bass we catch and I actually catch two bass on one lure several times throughout the year.
My second choice is a crankbait or swim bait. I love to cast a SPRO Little John DD and “dig” it through the submerged rock, stumps and brush. I can get this lure to run very close to 20-feet deep with 10-pound Sun Line Fluorocarbon.
The light fluorocarbon will add about two feet to the running depth of a deep-diving lures. Other crankbaits and swim baits will work well.
My third choice would be jerk bait. Whether you use a hard plastic lure like a McStcik or a soft plastic like a Big Bites Jerk Shad, you will want to experiment with your retrieve. Some days they want a jerk bait worked quickly and other days they will hit it on the pause. It all depends on whether the bass are active.
We have also used drop shot and shakey heads rigged with a Squirrel Tail Worm, and have caught bass under docks and also out on main lake. I like the Spot Remover Jig Heads, but they are a little harder to skip, so use a standard round jig head if you’re skipping.
Live spot tail minnows are working very well and these native baitfish are like candy to the spotted bass. Use a small meshed cast net and throw out grits to attract these bait fish. Use a drop shot rig with a small Gamakatsu Drop Shot Hook and run the hook through the lips on these spot tails. Fish these on a down line around the main lake brush piles.
Crappie: Crappie are bitting during the day on the deeper docks with brush. Casting Micro Spoons and small jigs will work OK. You can shoot these tiny lures up under the docks for your best success.
Live bait like crappie minnows or spot tails have been working very well on these same docks. Target docks with brush that are midway back in the creeks. Look for docks that are 20 feet or deeper on the fronts. Most of the crappie will be around 20 feet deep.
Trout: Trout fishing is good both in the mountain streams and below the dam on the Chattahoochee River. Two methods will almost always catch trout. I prefer to cast a 1/8- or even a 1/16-size Rooster Tail on four-pound Sun Line.
Bank fishing: If you’re fishing from the bank, then you can use a lot of the above mentioned methods. Just try to duplicate them while moving around the shore. Lures can be very effective when targeting bass and stripers from the bank. If you’re just out for a fun day of fishing with the kids, then get some live worms and fish them on a small Gamakatsu Live Bait Hook below a bobber around banks that have rock or lay down trees for some great bream fishing.
Eric Aldrich is a part-time outdoors writer and bass fisherman. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. He would love to hear from his readers so please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!