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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Stripers settle into predictable summertime patterns
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Stripers settle in to predictable summertime patterns!

Lake Lanier’s water level is 1,067.83 or 3.17 feet below the normal full pool at 1071. The main lake is clear to slightly stained in the main-lake creeks. The backs of the creeks and rivers are slightly stained to stained. Lake surface temperatures are in the low to mid 80’s. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466. 

Bass: The bass action seems to change daily. Talk with different anglers and you will get a variety of reports on what is working best. Spinner baits, swim baits, top water plugs, crank baits, jigs and worms have all worked under differing conditions.

The top water action has been my go-to technique all day long. Cast a Sexy Dawg, Zara Spook or a Gun Fish over humps or points with brush piles will produce some explosive strikes. Ask most anglers and they will concur, top water fishing rates one of the favorite ways to catch bass and Lake Lanier’s bass will strike a top water plug all day long right now.

After you cast your top water plugs, move in over the brush and work a drop shot rig when you see fish with your electronics.

Slow rolling shad colored willow leaf spinner baits or a Fish Head Spins rigged with a Big Bites Cane Thumper over or through brush have been effective this week. A lot of strikes will occur when you are reeling these lures back to the surface. Vary your retrieve speeds and let the bass tell you what they prefer.

There has been a decent largemouth bite in the backs of the creeks and up in the rivers. The brim have been spawning with the full moon and bass love to eat brim. Use a bright colored crank bait like a SPRO Fat John or top water prop bait like a Yo Suri 3DB and cast these lures around stumps, laydowns or any other objects that offer current breaks close to the shore. Other techniques like flipping jigs or casting buzz baits will trigger strikes from Lake Lanier’s largemouth bass population.

After dark, we have been catching some nice bass on a SPRO Little John DD or Bill Norman Little N in crawfish or darker colors. Work these deep divers slowly around rocky banks. Continue to use a slow retrieve even after these lures break free from the bottom, as a lot of your strikes may occur close to the boat. Dark-colored spinner baits or black and blue Strike King Pro Model jigs will work when fished around or in main lake brush.

Stripers: The stripers are setting up well in their normal summer locations. I have seen huge schools of fish that almost back out the screen on my Humminbird Electronics from 20 to 70 feet deep over a 100-foot bottom. Find areas close to the mouths of the creeks or down by Buford Dam. Keep your eyes on your electronics and utilize Side Imaging along with your traditional 2D screen view. Don’t set out your down lines until you find fish.

While watching your graphs for fish, you can also troll a large 2 to 3-ounce SPRO Buck Tail tipped with a blue back herring or a Captain Mack’s Umbrella rig. Troll at around 2.5 miles an hour. There are also anglers that use Cannon Down Riggers with a BBZ1 4-inch Shad or other swim baits set at 25 to 30 feet deep.

Once you find fish, make sure to have a tank full or lively herring as you can go through dozens quickly. Use an 8-foot or longer leader of 12-pound test Sunline fluorocarbon with a heavy 2-ounce weight and swivel and use a 17 to 20-pound Sunline Super Natural Monofilament for your main line. The heavy weight gets your baits to the cooler water below quickly and the long fluorocarbon leader will help greatly to get bites from Lake Lanier’s line shy fish.

Power reeling a buck tail jig or Ben Parker spoon has been triggering some hard strikes from deep stripers. Drop your jig or spoon below where you mark fish on your electronics and reel it quickly to the surface. This is a great technique to employ while fishing herring on down lines.

Crappie and bream: Crappie fishing has been up and down during the day, but the night bite has been good. Continue to fish crappie jigs and down lined spot tail minnows on light 4-pound test in deep in brush from 15 to 30 feet during the day. The night fishing around bridges or docks with Hydro Glow lights with small jigs or live minnows has been yielding some good limits of crappie right now.

Bream fishing is very good with the full moon. Worms or crickets fished under a float with a small split shot set about 6 inches above a small Aberdeen style hook has been catching brim all over the lake. Vary your depth to where you see fish. Two to three feet deep is a good starting point.

Trout Fishing: The trout fishing has been good on the Chattahoochee River and fair in the mountain streams and rivers. We could use some rain, but fishing can still be decent especially early and later in the day. Cast dry flies, small inline spinners or small minnow style baits in and below the rapids in the deeper pools. Live bait fishing where permitted by law will work well all day long in these same areas.

Bank fishing: Bream and bass can be caught shallow on Lake Lanier, but farm or subdivision ponds offer some of the best fishing available. If you can get access to one of these smaller waters, you will often enjoy some of the fastest fishing of your life. Pick lures that you can cast and retrieve without getting snagged on the bottom. Texas rigged worms, top water plugs, spinner baits or inline spinners will work very well in ponds and small lakes. A small or medium-sized minnow fished under a float will fool both bass, brim and other species in these lesser fished waters.

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. I would love to hear from our readers so please email me at or visit my website at or Remember to take a kid fishing!

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