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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Recent rains cause trout to feed often
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Lake Lanier’s water level has risen with the recent rains and is right around 1,069.02 or 1.98 feet below the normal full pool of 1071.

The main lake is clear to slightly stained and the creeks and rivers are stained to muddy in places. The lake temperatures dropped and range around the mid 60’s.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is stained. Please check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass: I have been out fishing every day this week in the rain, mist and fog and can say the bass fishing rates everywhere from excellent to tough depending on how and where you fish.

There is also some lake turnover occurring in different parts of the lake, but some areas are still holding out. Lake turnover spreads out the fish and opens them up to just about any depth or locations possible.

There are some huge spotted bass pushing bait to the surface that can either make or break your day. I have spent many hours chasing these surfacing bass. For anglers that can find theses pelagic fish within casting distance chasing blueback herring, threadfin shad and even gizzard shad their catching results can be off the charts.

Power fishing with large bone colored Super Spooks, Big swim baits like a 6- or 8-inch BBZ1 trout in natural colors, a High Power Herring or a Sebile Magic Swimmer will help anglers coax some of the biggest bass in the school.

On the other side of the fishing, we have also found some good fish deep that will eat jigs, worms or my favorite set up – a quarter ounce Gamakatsu Alien Head paired with a Big Bites Flying Squirrel.

This lure mimics a crawfish and has caught some many bass for me that I have lost count.

Try to find areas that are close to both shallow and deep water with areas close by that have ditches leading out of them.
Use your electronics to find these ditches and also the fish.

These are the bass highways I refer to and, if you are able to find them, you should be able to find the fish. The bass are moving up shallower and going out deep and can be found anywhere in-between. I’ve been targeting areas that have steep banks with rocks and clay that are near channels that bass use to move around.

It is important to find the bait first and then match it with the lures you use. When casting to fish that are eating blueback herring my favorite weapon is the SPRO McStick 110.

It’s an easy lure to cast into schooling fish. Just cast it out and real it in medium steady. There is no need to pause it or jerk it at all. It will coax the bigger fish in the school.

We call this stupid fishing because it is so easy.

The good news is that it catches bass and stripers.

Striper fishing has been very good. The stripers are out surfacing on top and can be caught with a variety of top water lures or subsurface lures as these schools collectively attack blueback herring on the surface. Some of these schools can often be found thrashing on the surface all over Lake Lanier.

That being said, I have witnessed the most schooling action from the water treatment plants around Gainesville on down into the creek mouths and all the way to the dam. There are so many schools that you can fish — some all to yourself — so there is no need to combat fish, which basically means many boats casting to a single school of fish.

Over the years, I’ve found that seeing these huge schools of stripers can be very exciting. Anglers tend to speed up their casts and retrieves and work their lures incorrectly because there’s so much adrenaline flowing.

Crappie fishing is good and anglers are catching fish on jigs and live bait.

Several methods will catch a limit of these tasty critters.

Trolling jigs, casting small jigs to deeper brush from 7-30 feet deep or casting out a mixture of down lined live minnows or using a down line around sunken brush. All of these methods will work well both day and night.

Trout Fishing: The recent rains along with the cooler weather continue to make the water high and dingy.

You can bet the trout are eating. They just may be getting their fill of worms and insects that flow into the streams with this rainy, damp weather.

When the water is dingy it is hard for the trout to see, so using bright flashy colors on your lures and flies is a great idea.

Anglers set up with a fly rod should experiment with a variety of flies and let the fish determine the best wet or dry flies for that particular day.

Bank fishing: Anglers are starting to set up their spreads of fishing rods as the target stripers.

These anglers usually put up four or five rods or more and they make long casts out into deeper water with combinations of live and cut bait.

Trout work very well on a slip bobber and the will stay alive very well in a 5 gallon bucket with a small aerator.
Try to find a bank that has the wind at your back that is near deep water.

Drift a live bait under a slip bobber, lock the bail and secure your rod in a store bought rod holder or use a long piece of PVC and pound it down into the sand or clay.

Securing the rod is essential.

Stripers pull very hard and it will break your heart to loose a big fish and your fishing rod too, so be careful!

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. I would love to hear from our readers so please email me at or visit my website at or Remember to take a kid fishing!

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