Lake Lanier’s water level is 1,069.88 or 1.12 feet above the normal full pool at 1,071. The main lake is slightly stained down the lake.
It’s stained in the rivers and creeks. The creeks and rivers are slightly stained. Lake surface temperatures are in the mid to upper 70’s.
The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Please Be safe out on the water this Memorial Day week.
Bass: The bass fishing has been hit or miss, depending on the time of day and methods employed. The majority of the bass have spawned and are in a pre-spawn or late spring pattern.
Get up early and be on the water early to enjoy the topwater fishing as it has been strong in specific areas. Areas outside spawning coves, sandy banks or saddle areas around the islands and out over brush located in 15-25 foot of water.
Walking baits, spinner baits, jerk baits or larger swim baits like a Bull Shad or BBZ1 6-Inch Trout have been producing fish early in the day. This topwater activity can also occur at other times of day during major feeding periods or dam generation times. Keep a topwater lure ready at all times.
When the bass settle down and the sun gets up target off-shore humps and areas around mid-depth brush with a jig, dropshot or other lures that can get down to the depths where you mark fish on your electronics.
We have been picking off fish with our Humminbird fish finders both around brush and when we see fish schooled away from any cover close to depth changes on the bottom. As with the schooling fish these deeper suspended fish can show up on the screen at any given time. Keep a drop bait ready as it may account for several more keeper bass throughout the day.
There has also been a great largemouth pattern around bream beds in depths less than 10 feet. Buzz baits, prop lures or 4-inch BBZ1 in Killer Gill color can account for some kicker largemouth bass throughout the day. Target docks and clay or sandy banks in the pockets off the main lake, in the backs of the creeks and north in the rivers.
Striper fishing remains good and there are a lot of smaller fish in the 4-7 pound range that will bite a variety of lures.
Like the spotted bass, these veracious feeders will strike topwater plugs early in the morning as they feast on blue back herring around main lake islands and points. This action can also occur throughout the day and the action can be fast and furious. We got on a school earlier this week and caught fish wish a Strike King Sexy Dog until our arms were sore.
Flat and down-lined blueback herring are accounting for a lot of fish up and down the lake.
Watch your electronics and look for the tell-tale “spaghetti” that indicates large schools of stripers. If the fish are in the water column, set out flat lines and planner boards.
The bigger fish seem to hang out below the smaller ones. Set out a down line while puling flat lines. If the fish are down, crimp a ¼-ounce split shot on your flat lines behind the boat. Set out several down lines below and hold on.
There are still plenty of stripers biting after dark. Swim baits, Bomber Long As, SPRO McSticks and Buck Tails will coax bites from these nocturnal feeders.
Crappie and Bream: The crappie are biting around deeper brush in the coves and in the creeks from 15-25 feet deep. The fish in the rivers and creeks where running water is present will be on the shallower brush at 15-20 feet deep while the ones down the lake can be caught a little deeper. The same methods as mentioned last week are still working. Crappie jigs or down lined minnows on light line are your go-to techniques.
Bream are shallow everywhere. You can’t go wrong by fishing live red wigglers or crickets under a float around bream beds, lay downs or docks. Fly fishing with dry flies or spin casting gear with smaller inline spinners will work well in the shallows.
Trout Fishing is strong. The Department of Natural Resources has ensured there are plenty of trout in the Chattahoochee River, and mountain streams and rivers.
Grab your dry flies or fish Rapala Countdowns, inline spinners or live bait (where regulations permit) on light-spinning gear. The bite will be strongest in the mornings, in the evening or during the day where the insects are active.
Bank fishing: Bass and bream will be active around the banks on Lake Lanier and local pounds. Bass are attracted to bream as they provide a large easy meal. You can catch bream on crickets and worms under, with or without a bobber shallow. Cast large topwater lures for bass.
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 readers, so please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at aldrichfishing.com or lakelanierfishing.info. Remember to take a kid fishing!