Temperatures of Lake Lanier are in the mid to lower 40’s. Lake levels are 1,056.43 feet, making the lake 14.57 feet from the full pool of 1,071 feet. The main lake is clear and the creeks and rivers are stained.
The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466. Check this Web site http://lanier.sam.usace.army.mil/ParkSchedule.htm for a listing of the many ramps that are now open with the rising water levels.
As was the case last week, some anglers are catching bass while others are struggling. If you are fishing stained water, make note that the bass are a little shallower than what you may expect for this time of year.
Remember that stained water warms quicker than clear water even on cold days and that makes bass more active.
Target steeper, chunk rock banks with transitions to clay and sand in the stained water back in the creeks.
A drop shot rig with a sharp Gamakatsu Hook is a consistent method this week. We have also had good success with SPRO K-Finesse Jigs and ¬- or 3/16-ounce jig heads with a Zoom Finesse Worm.
You can cast to the bank and stair step these lures back to the boat, or you can position yourself directly over the fish and jig them off the bottom.
Many bites will come at less than 20 feet so pay close attention to where you catch your fish to determine the best depth to target.
The main lake fish have been both shallow and deep so pay attention to your Humminbird Electronics to unlock the proper depth. Continue to search for baitfish and bass on the screen.
The spoon bite has been off and on this winter. If you can find them grouped up deep, you may be able to load the boat quickly.
You can even encounter the occasional schooling fish in the winter, and they will bite a spoon, Rooster Tail or Fish Head Spin worked slowly.
Live minnows or a night crawlers rigged on a worm hook and sinker will increase your odds at catching these cold-water bass.
Striper fishing has been hit and miss, but most experienced anglers can usually catch a couple or more most days.
Stripers will swirl on the surface and the gulls will give them away every time.
Cast a Zoom Fluke on a jig head or a SPRO Buck Tail to the swirls and reel it back slow and steady. The bites can be aggressive, and these fish will just about yank the rod out of your hand when they hit. If the gulls are lying down, use your electronics to determine where to concentrate your efforts.
Buy some blueback herring, trout or medium shiners from Hammond’s and fish these on a flat or down line. Planner boards are working well for the shallower stripers in the creeks.
Umbrella rigs are very consistent this week up in the rivers.
Crappie fishing remains slow and there are very few reports. I would love to hear from our readers who have unlocked the secrets of these finicky winter fish.
Try crappie minnows on a down line at 15–25 feet around marina docks and brush piles. As with last week continue to work your lures at a slow pace.
Trout fishing on the Chattahoochee River is still slow.
Live earth worms (where permitted by law) have been the most productive. Small minnow jerk baits have been just fair.
Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoors writer, bass fisherman and a member of Humminbird’s, SPRO, Gamakatsu and Hammond’s 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!