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Lake Lanier fishing report: Pre-spawn bass can be aggressive
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Lake temperatures are right around 50 degrees. Lake levels are barely rising and the lake is right at 1,057 feet, which is 14 feet from the full pool of 1,071 feet. The main lake is clear and the creeks are clear to stained. The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.


Fishing has been hit or miss depending on who you talk to or where you fish. If you catch a fish, really work that area as these pre-spawn fish really bunch up this time of year. The good news is that some of these pre-spawn bass can be aggressive. Two methods are worth mentioning: Crank Baits or Jerk Baits and Finesse Worms or Jigs.

Start the day casting moving bait like a SPRO Aruka Shad, McStick, Rattle Trap or a Fish Head Spin rigged with a small Zoom Fluke. The bass will be aggressive in the morning hours and during active feeding periods throughout the day. It pays to watch the moon times to determine when to fish aggressively. Also pay attention to when the Corps pulls water or when warmer rain washes into the backs of the creeks. Any of the scenarios can trigger bass into feeding.

The second and most productive method for numbers right now is to slow down and fish soft, plastic baits around the docks or on main lake cover. Target docks with black floats because the water around these floats warms quickly in the sun. Often you can cast a finesse worm to these docks and it will never hit the bottom. Most bass position themselves directly under the floats for warmth and for a place to ambush bait. Use high quality fishing line like Berkley 100-percent Fluorocarbon to quickly determine bites and increase your hook up ratio.

My most productive lure to date for skipping or pitching docks is a Zoom Finesse Worm rigged on a ¬-ounce SPRO K-Finesse Jig Head. Many people use a Spot Sticker, which is a great choice and very economical, but I prefer the SPRO jig head because it has sharp Gamakatsu hooks. Everyone knows I am biased towards my sponsor’s products, but I truly believe in them.
Purchase some crappie minnows or medium shiners at Hammond’s Fishing Center and cast them around docks in the backs of the creeks to catch some nice bass.


Fishing for stripers has been good and there are schools of active stripers swirling on top, close to the banks in the backs of both lower and upper creeks mouths. The key is to find these active fish, but that can take some travel. Keep an eye on your Humminbird electronics, or the gulls, and move around until you find the active schools.

Once you locate these schooling stripers, cast a Zoom Fluke on a jig head or slowly retrieve a SPRO McStick or Bomber Long A through the school.

Trolling umbrella rigs or flat lining blueback herring has also been producing some decent fishing. Hammond’s Fishing Center can set you up with all of the right equipment.

Fishing from the banks can be very productive right now because these stripers are shallow. Areas to explore include Mary Alice Park, Six Mile and Shoal Creeks if you are down lake. Up lake try Thompson Creek, Holly Park, Little River and the area around Wahoo Creek Bridge. Live minnows or trout under a slip bobber or on a Carolina Rig will work well. Buy some good rod holders or go to your local hardware store and purchase some PVC pipe. You can cut this pipe at an angle and pound it into the clay to create a cheap but sturdy rod holder.


The fish are moving shallower with the warmer temperatures. Try shooting small crappie jigs or Micro Spoons up under the docks. Cast out to any lay down trees if you’re fishing from the bank. The magic depth is a little deeper — around 12 feet — but you may get bites shallower as the weather warms. Trolling should work very well from midway back into the creeks.

Trout on the Chattahoochee

The trout fishing is picking up. Small inline spinners continue to be a great choice as are Countdown Raplas and Yo Suri Pins Minnows. Fish these lures at a slow and steady pace on light line. Live night crawlers are a great bait after the rains where permitted. There have been some significant fly hatches so pick a fly that matches and test your skill.
Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoor writer, bass fisherman and a member of Humminbird’s, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammond’s Fishing Center Pro Staff. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. If you would like to email him please do so at Remember to take a kid fishing!

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