Lake Lanier is slightly above full pool at around 1,071.9 feet (full pool is 1,071 feet).
The Lake temperatures are in the low to mid 40’s and the main lake is clear. The backs of the creeks are stained from recent rains.
The Chattahoochee River is clear to stain. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Bass fishing has been up and down recently.
A few anglers are catching some really good stringers but for the majority of bass anglers, it has been tough. We have managed to catch a limit almost every trip but we have had to work for the bites.
The bass I have been targeting are in 30-to 45-feet deep water.
During major feeding times, the bass are active and they will come up out of the deep water to attack a SPRO McStick or a Fishead Spin. Work the McStick with a pause and jerk retrieve.
Most strikes will occur during the pause. The Fishead Spin should be cast out and be allowed to sink to the bottom. Use a slow steady retrieve with an occasional twitch.
During the slower periods of the day, bass can be coaxed into biting finesse plastics or the old reliable Jig N Pig.
Because these bass are deep and the bite is tough, it is essential to use sensitive equipment so that you can feel the bites. I use a 7-foot Rosewood Series Denali drop shot fishing rod (www.denalirods.com) and 6-pound fluorocarbon, and I can actually feel a bass pecking at my lure at depths of close to 50 feet.
Live baitfish will work to catch these finicky bass. Hook a large shiner or a small trout through the lips and fish it directly below your boat where you mark fish on your electronics.
Striper fishing has been good.
Stripers are an introduced saltwater fish that thrive in large, clear lake impoundments and they used to cold water in the ocean.
They can be very active in water temperatures that would adversely affect other species of native fish.
The stripers are being caught with several different methods. Live bluebacks or trout fished on a flat line and/or a planner board have been working very well in the pockets and creeks all over the lake.
Watch for gulls and loons and pay close attention to your electronics to find where the fish are located in the water column. If you see the fish and bait deep on your finder then try using a down-lined trout.
Umbrella rigs trolled 120-to 130-feet behind the boat have been working very well in the upper lake creeks. I saw Shane Watson making up a bunch of fully rigged umbrella rigs at Hammond’s new store located right next to the old location. Stop in and check it out, because they have everything an angler needs to fish.
Keith Pace of Micro Spoons says the crappie fishing is picking up and it should get better as spring approaches.
Find the deeper docks towards the back of the creeks and shoot Micro Spoon or crappie jigs. Shoot your crappie jig way up under the docks and let it sink. Watch your line closely and if you see a “tick,” set the hook.
Trout fishing on the Chattahoochee River is a little slow but look for that to change because the DNR is starting its spring stockings very soon.
Live earthworms or corn on a bottom rig are working well.
Make sure to check local regulations to make sure you are not in an artificial only zone. Twitching Countdown Rapalas in the rapids has been working alright.
Striper fishing from the banks should be very good but I spoke with an angler who is catching catfish with the same baits that most people use for striper.
Cast a large chunk of cut bait out with a «-ounce weight positioned up the line.
Make sure to secure your rods into some sturdy holders because stripers and catfish pull very hard and they can easily pull an unsecured rod and reel into the lake.
Eric Aldrich is a part-time outdoors writer, bass fisherman and a member of Humminbird’s, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammond’s Fishing Center Pro Staff. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. If you would like to email him please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to take a kid fishing.