Lake Lanier is clear on the main lake and clear to stained in the creeks and the rivers. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Bass fishing has been up and down like the recent weather. Sunny days seem to make the bass much more active and you may find them grouped up, or they can be spread out to catch them. Many lures are working well.
On tough days, anglers in the know that can locate these groups of staging fish can slow down and catch a big bag from areas that most anglers wouldn't give a second look. Plain old bare clay banks that are warmed by the sun can be goldmines this time of year.
Even though they may not contain attractive docks or trees that most anglers target, these boring looking clay banks can be a few degrees warmer and can hold schools of hungry bass.
Crank Baits, Jerk Baits, Jigs and Fish Head Spins will all work in this situation. You should determine the activity level of the fish and then switch to the best options, whether it is a slow moving worm or a quicker moving crank bait.
The bank vegetation that grew up when the lake was down is still a factor for catching these pre-spawn bass.
The fish will hunker down in the ditches during rainy and colder days, and then they will move up into this thick flooded growth toward the flats to warm themselves and ambush the large supply of bait fish that use this same cover to hide from predators and to also feed on the algae that grows on the decaying submerged growth.
Skipping the docks with finesse worms or small jigs is a reliable pattern when the sun is up. Some days the best docks will be the ones all the way in the back of the pockets and other days they will be ganged up under large docks with black floats that warm the surrounding water. Also, target the areas between the docks with a McStick or rattling crank bait.
Night fishing has been slow, but look for this to get much better later this month on into April and May.
The stripers are up shallow and the bigger fish are definantly around.
Several 30-pound or larger stripers are being caught from less than 10-feet deep or less and there is a huge amount of bait shallow in the creeks and coves.
Drag free lined live blue backs and trout and continue to use the planner boards to get your live baits right against the banks, because the line sides can be in water just deep enough to cover their backs.
Some days, the jerk baits have been producing almost as well as live baits. Cast McSticks, Buck tails, Bombers and BBZ1 Shads toward the shore while pulling live baits.
Work the lures with a slow a steady retrieve for the best results.
The night bite has been off and on and the clearer or stained water seems to be more productive than if muddy water is present. Get out before dark and find the mud lines. These are the areas where muddy water meets the clearer lake water.
Target these areas both before and after dark for your best bites. Some nights, the larger Bomber Long As in pink has been working best, while other nights the smaller McSticks seem to be better.
Crappie fishing remains very good and the fish are up both shallow and at mid depths. Both the backs of the creeks and the long main lake pockets are holding crappie in the warmer water.
As with the bass, the crappie are also relating to the past years submerged bank growth and you can find them on the insides or outsides of the flooded brush depending on weather conditions and where the baits is swimming.
Crappie will still bite even in muddy water, but look for the water to have at least a stain for your best areas.
Trolling and casting small Micro Spoons and Crappie Jigs and live crappie minnows below a flow are all working well.
Fishing crappie minnows below a float around downed trees has been good. Target areas in the back of the pockets for your best success.
The trout fishing will be picking up as the stocking efforts increase in the next few weeks. Try using live earthworms (where permitted) after the rains, or use Rooster Tails or small crank baits when the water clears.
Bank Fishing: Crappie, stripers and bass are all bitting in the shallows. It's hard to beat using a live minnow under a float. Cast these live minnows under a float around flooded trees, bridges and rocks. You can also cast lures and jigs around these same areas.
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 like to hear from readers, so please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!