Lake Temperatures are in the lower to mid 70s. The lake level has continued to rise slowly to 1,065.9 feet, which is right around 5-feet below a full pool of 1,071 feet. Lake Lanier is clear on the main lake and stained in the creeks. The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Bass fishing is good, but you will need to change through out the day to find the most active schools of post-spawn bass. Running and gunning is bass fishing terminology that simply means fishing as many areas as possible in a day until you collide with a good school of active fish. Three patterns seem to be best this week.
The first pattern is to throw large topwater plugs like a SPRO Salt Dawg 125, Red Fins or a Heddon Super Spook around the main lake points and humps. Some days the bass prefer a "walk the dog" technique with a rhythmic back and forth action, and other times they will react better to a fast and erratic retrieve. These topwater plugs seem to work best when there is a slight chop on the water and they can also be very productive when the water is very choppy.
The second pattern that has produced well is to work swim baits around these same main lake points and humps. Swim baits come in a wide array of styles and sizes, but use one that mimics a blueback herring. A Sebile Magic Swimmer worked with a "v-wake" on the surface has been very productive when the water is calm. I have also been having success with a 5-inch Basstrix Fat Minnow Paddle Tail fished below the surface over the main lake brush piles. Rig these on a #6/0 Gamakatsu Swim Bait Hook. Other swim baits will work, so experiment until you find the best one.
The last pattern that deserves mention is to thoroughly work brush piles, docks and main lake cover in 10- to 20-feet deep. Use a Zoom Finesse worm on a SPRO K-Finesse or Spot Sticker type jig head. Texas and Carolina Rigged worms and lizards as well as drop shot rigs are also working well in these same areas. We often find schooling fish early in the day that will hit topwater plugs over brush piles and then later we can go back and dissect these same areas with slower moving jig head worms.
The night bite has been very good for spotted bass. Find rocky banks in the mouths of the creeks and work these areas with a large spinner bait or dark colored crank bait. When night fishing, you want your lure to actually make contact with the bottom to get you best results.
Striper fishing is good and many different methods are working well. The easiest method is to flat-line blueback herring behind your boat around main lake points and in the mouths of the creeks. The stripers seem to be congregated close to shallow flats, humps or points that are close to the river channel. Make sure to use sharp Gamakatsu Circle Hooks so that you can release these fish unharmed. Down lines have also been productive at times. Pay close attention to your Humminbird Electronics as these will become even more essential as these fish move deeper in the summer.
The topwater activity has been good especially in the mornings and the stripers will attack topwater plugs, Zoom Flukes and swim baits worked on the surface.
Trolling shallow running umbrella rigs has been productive this past week. Use a four-arm Captain Mac umbrella rig set up with Captain Mac or SPRO Buck Tails tipped with Hyper Tails. Troll these rigs at around 2-3 miles per hour and watch your Humminbird Electronics to find the bait and stripers. Trolling Umbrella rigs takes some practice but you can get some good advise from Hammond’s Fishing Center or better yet hire a guide for the day. A good guide can quickly educate anglers and it’s often worth the investment.
Crappie are relating to the deeper docks or bridge pilings both day and night. Fish from 10-to 15-feet deep with live minnows, jigs and Crappie Spoons. Pay attention to the dock with brush and watch your electronics closely to find the best areas. My Humminbird 797c side imaging unit gives me a clear picture of which dock are the best.
After dark set up your lights around the bridges and fish a crappie minnow on a down line at around 10-feet deep.
When fishing for trout on the Chattahoochee, use live worms (where permitted) on a large split shot and a small hook and fish below any rapids in the deeper pools. The recent rains regularly wash earthworms into the river so these trout are probably getting use to eating them. A small 1/16 or 1/8-ounce Rooster tail fish on 4-pound test is a sure method to catch a bunch of trout below the dam or in the mountains. Reel these inline spinners at a slow pace allowing just enough speed to keep the blades spinning.
Fish the rapids and deeper pools early for your best action. Fly-fishing with a black ant pattern has been very good this week on the Chattahoochee River.
Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoor writer, bass fisherman and is sponsored by Humminbird, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammonds Fishing and Boat Storage. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. He would love to hear from his readers so please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!