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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Spotted bass bite strong in the morning
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Lake Lanier’s water level is 1,070.34 or .66 feet above the normal full pool at 1,071.

The main lake is slightly stained down the lake and stained in the rivers and creeks. The pollen continues to hover on the surface all over the lake. The creeks and rivers are slightly stained.

Lake surface temperatures dropped back into the upper 60’s after the recent cool weather, but have risen again into the lower 70’s.

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

Bass: The morning topwater bite has been very strong for Lake Lanier’s spotted bass. Topwater plugs like a Gunfish, Pop R, Sammy or Fluke style baits like a Big Bites Jerk Shad will work well around sandy areas on the main lake and in the creeks.

These bass are feasting on the lake’s abundant spawn of blueback herring. The herring will set up on sandy saddles between islands and also on shallow sand and clay points and humps, and other bank areas.

Other lures like a SPRO McStick, Redfin or long-slender swim baits that mimic blueback herring are also producing well.

This action has been best before the sun is high in the sky around 10:00 am.

After the topwater action slows continue to keep a topwater plug or swimbait ready at all times, in case you encounter any sporadic schooling activity occurs. Start working medium-diving crank baits like a SPRO Little John MD, Fat Papa or other crank baits that run 5-12 feet deep in shad patterns around rock and clay banks on main lake and in the creeks and rivers.

Other patterns like crawling jigs on the bottom, rolling spinner baits or shaky heads skipped around docks will produce fish all day long. Many patterns will produce so stick with your strengths.

You may catch a good limit during the daylight hours.

After the sun goes down, there has been some great action working crank baits and day colored spinner baits slowly around points and rocky banks in the creeks.

We have been sticking with one lure all night: A SPRO RkCrawler fished on 14-Pound Sunline SX1 Braid on medium-weight spinning tackle. After dark, there is no need to use a fluorocarbon leader.

The braid will allow you to feel every detail on the bottom and many of your strikes will occur as you crawl the crank baits through the rocks.

Striper fishing has been good. These hard fighting fish have been mixed in with the spotted bass out on the main lake and in creek mouths as they feast on bluebacks early in the morning. Use the same topwater lures that are working for bass before 10:00 am.

Pulling blueback herring on flat lines around main lake points humps and saddle areas between the islands have been working very well for striped bass.

This bite will be best during the morning hours, but can occur all day long. If the action slows, watch your electronics to determine if the fish have moved a little deeper.

Add a spit-shot weight to your flat lines or set out down lines just above the depth where you mark fish on your electronics. Mu Humminbird graphs are showing a lot of fish in the 10-20 feet zone.

Trolling umbrella rigs, a four-inch fast sink BBZ1 six-inch swim bait or even a 1/2-ounce SPRO Buck Tail in blueback or white at around 10-15 feet deep with a Cannon Down Rigger will produce fish around the same areas.

Keep a topwater plug ready to cast to any schooling fish while you troll.

Troll your lure between 1 and 2 miles per hour.

The night bite should be slowing down, but we have been catching just as many stripers as bass on SPRO RkCrawlers and McStick 110’s and 115’s after dark. Use the same slow to medium retrieve and hold on.

Crappie and Bream: The crappie have moved out deeper after the span. These fish are setting up on brush around docks from 15-25 feet. Work small crappie jigs on light four-pound Sunline Fluorocarbon and dissect the brush.

Fluorocarbon line is very sensitive and will allow anglers to feel the jigs as they crawl over the submerged brush.

You can also use small crappie minnows or net your own native spot tail minnows and down line the offerings directly below your boat or dock.

You will catch a variety of crappie, bream and even bass using these techniques.

Bream fishing is very good in the shallows all over Lake Lanier. A small Roster Tail, worms under a float or you can even use a light fly rod and dry flies to boat a mess of bream. This action should remain strong for the next month.

Trout fishing remains very good both below Buford Dam and in the mountain streams and rivers. Spin or fly fishing will both work very well and you can pick pleasure and go catching.

Bank fishing: Pick up a light spinning reel or Zebco 33 style closed face outfit and walk the banks of Lake Lanier or your local farm or subdivision pond to catch bass, bream and crappie. Small lures like a Rooster Tail, Mepps, Rapala or small crank baits will yield great results this month.

Live worms or crappie minnows under a float will also produce shallow in these same waters this week.

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. He would love to hear from our readers, so please email him at or visit his website at or Remember to take a kid fishing.

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