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Lake Lanier fishing report: Schooling, suspended fish can be frustrating
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Lake temperatures are in the mid 80s and Lake Lanier is up a little at under a foot below full pool at 1,070.1 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 seems to be a little tougher for numbers, but we have caught two spotted bass over 5 pounds one day this week, and both of these fish came on top water plugs.

Just because bass fishing seems tough this bears no relation to the health of our spotted bass population as the bass we are catching are extremely healthy.

As mentioned last week these bass are eating lots of blue backs, shad and even crayfish with their high metabolism rates as fall approaches.

We are seeing a large amount of feeding and suspended bass on our electronics roaming out away from the banks, and these fish can be very hard to pattern. Our best lures for these active fish have been topwater plugs, like SPRO Dawg 100’s and Super Spooks worked around any breaking fish on the surface.

Once they sound, swim baits or a larger Rooster Tail are good choices to try because they mimic the blueback herring the fish are chasing.

Just remember that these schooling and suspended fish can be very frustrating to catch because they move around so quickly.

The majority of the spotted bass are being caught on bottom bumping lures like worms, jigs, Fish Head Spins and other lures that anglers can work slowly on or near the bottom.

The bass are scattered with some that are shallow but relating to steeper banks, while others can be 40-feet deep. Target both shallow brush and submerged bank growth along with the deeper brush, rock and timber to determine your best areas.

Live bait live native spot tails or purchased blueback herring will make for a successful bass or striper catching outing for the family and kids. Hook your live baits with Gamakatsu Circle Hooks on flat and down lines, and let the bass determine the best method.

Striper fishing is good and most of the same summer methods that have been working continue to produce well.

The stripers have not been as deep as in past years but they seem to be moving deeper now and the can be caught from 40-to 70-feet deep over a 60-to 100-foot bottom. Down lined bluebacks continue to work best, but make sure you use a clear fluorocarbon leader to increase your strikes.

Trolling larger SPRO Buck tails on lead core at eight-nine colors and around 2 1/2 miles an hour has also been working well out near the river channels.

Crappie fishing has okay this week for those master slab anglers that are adept at catching deeper fish. The bridges still are holding okay slabs after dark under lights. Deeper boat docks that have brush planted around them at 20-feet deep have been producing at night and also in the mornings.

The rule of thumb is to keep moving until you catch a crappie, then camp out in that area as there will be more than one close by.

Trout fishing has been very good in the mornings on the river and through out the day on the day up in the mountain streams.

Small 1/16-to 1/8-ounce Rooster Tails are a great bait to use for catching trout. Cast these lures out into the current and reel them just fast enough to keep the blades spinning. We have used them in trout steams where we would hold them still in the current with the blades just spinning away, and trout will come up and grab them while they are just sitting in one place.

Bank fishing will be getting easier as the fall approaches. As the water cools down, bass, brim, crappie and stripers start to move shallower. Our water temperatures are in the mid 80s right now, but when the hit the upper-to-mid 70s, you can pick your favorite species and usually catch them OK. Use this time when it’s hot to respool your lines and oil your reels.

If you have to get out the brim and the catfish are both bitting well.

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 Remember to take a kid fishing!

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