Lake Lanier’s water level has fallen slightly this week. Currently the lake level is at 1,066.28 or 4.72 feet below the normal full pool at 1071. The main lake and mouths of the creeks are clear. The backs of the creeks and rivers are slightly stained to stained. Lake surface temperatures have only dropped a degree and remain in the mid to upper 80’s.
The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear except after the afternoon thunderstorms. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Bass fishing has been fair. We have had some OK days and some tough ones too. The fish have changed day by day and the fishing has been best during the week. The week days have been very calm and the fish seem less pressured.
We have been targeting shallow large mouths and spotted bass early before the sun gets up over the horizon. The full moon will cause bream to get active and the bass will be shallow looking for a big meal early in the day.
Start out with a black buzz bait and make sure to add a Gamakatsu Trailer Hook. Keep a Jig or Texas Rigged Big Bites Flying Squirrel as a follow up for any fish that strike and miss the buzz bait. Target pockets mid-way in the backs of the creeks that have both shallow and deep water access. If there is a small feeder creek with moving water close to docks, brush piles and laydowns on the channel side of these pockets, that is a great place to start.
During the day, continue to target deeper brush, but some bigger fish are showing up in the under 30 foot range this week. The same techniques are working this week as last. Cast a top water, BB Suicide Shad or SPRO Little John DD over the brush first then move in and dissect the brush with a dropshot rig.
Target brush in the 20 to 30-foot range that is positioned on the end of long points or on the edge of channel breaks close to deep water. Lake Lanier’s big spotted bass spend a lot of time in the deep timber in the summer time and as the days get shorter they will move up into the nearest brush feeding on bream, spot tails and any other forage available.
Find a milk run of good areas and use your electronics to narrow down the best places to hang out a while. We will run-and-gun 20 to 40 places in an 8-hour day. Some of those places we sample in under 10 minutes and then move on.
We will stay put and fish the ones that show promise for longer periods of time. This is all a timing deal as fish activate at different times and areas. Hit your best areas during dam generation times and major feeding periods.
Bluff walls are a great area to target in late summer. Fish can use these steep rock or clay drop offs as an easy way to move deep or shallow in a short period of time. Work a jig or shaky head and stairstep them down the drops. Fish can position deep or shallow on these structures. Once you dial in a few bites, you can narrow down the depth to target.
Just keep in mind that the most productive depth can change throughout the day.
Fishing with live, native spot tails is a great way to score some bites right now. Then after dark the deep crankbait and spinnerbait bite continues to work well for the night time warriors!
Stripers: Anglers continue to score good numbers of deep stripers. The number one way seems to be fishing with live blueback herring. As long as you have numerous lively herring and you can find the fish, then scoring numbers and a few big ones should be obtainable.
The main lake near the deeper creek and river channels below Browns Bridge may be your best bet. That does not mean that the rivers above main lake is not productive, but the water quality down deep has been best down lake.
Use a quality live well with plenty of ice and use long fluorocarbon leaders to help fool Lake Lanier’s line shy fish.
The fish are concentrated in deep water below the thermocline from 30 feet to as deep as 120 feet deep. Rely on your electronics to show the best depth. Some days you will see fish filling the entire water column from 30 feet on down to the bottom.
Combine your live bait fishing along with dropping large Ben Parker style spoons to the same fish you see on your electronics. These spoons will easily show up on your graph and you can observe the depth they drop to.
Reel these spoons with a fast retrieve and stop them occasionally. Let the striper bites determine the best method for the hour and duplicate your retrieve until the fish tell you otherwise. Stripers can change moods and locations quickly so be able to adapt with them.
Keep trolling umbrella rigs, buck tails and even the Ben Parker Spoons to entice strikes from active fish.
Trolling continues to work well when searching and even once you find fish. The best depth to run your lures has been from 30 to 35 feet. Employ a Cannon Downrigger for your SPRO Buck Tails, Spoons and even swimbaits to ensure you reach the exact depth you want.
Crappie fishing has been OK for anglers that can dissect the brush piles early and later in the day located near docks from 20 to 30 feet deep.
Very light fluorocarbon paired with a sensitive rod and 1/16th ounce jig tipped with a live minnow has been working well. Work your jigs above the brush then go down and work each branch slowly with your jig to catch these tasty fish.
The bite has been slow in the middle of the day.
After dark get out your Hydro Glow lights and target these same areas but move up to the end of the docks in 15 to 25-foot of water. Jigs or minnows will both work well around the 10 to 15-foot range. Fish the out sides of the lights and the tops of the brush piles.
Bream fishing has been good. The bream have been pretty shallow with the recent full moon. Use a worm or cricket and set the 3 feet deep under a float around docks and rocky banks. A small Rooster Tail is also a great lure for catching brim.
Trout fishing remains OK on the Chattahoochee River and the mountain streams and rivers. Fly fishing, spin fishing or live bait fish (where permitted by law) have all been scoring a few trout early in the day and closer too dark.
Bank Fishing: A lot of people are still fishing on the weekends trying to get in a much summer fishing as possible. If you are fishing with kids or just an adult who is a kid at heart, try taking an outing and fish for bream. Even the small ones are fun to catch and the bigger ones make tasty table fare.
A Zebco 33 combo or light spinning reel with good line are all you need. Use a line rated under 10-pound test for your best results and longest casts. Digging up your own worms is fun or you can buy live bait at any bait store.
Use a small Aberdeen Style hook tied directly to your line. Additional snaps or swivels will dissuade the fish from biting, so less is more when fishing in this respect. Cover your hook with the worm and let it fall naturally under the bobber.
Fish farm or subdivision ponds for your best success, but know that there is some good bank fishing on Lake Lanier too.
Target any objects you see in the water. Brim are attracted to rocks, wood, water weeds or docks.
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 his readers, so please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at aldrichfishing.com or lakelanierfishing.info. Remember to take a kid fishing!