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Lake Lanier fishing report: Stripers still in summer pattern
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Lake temperatures are right around 90 degrees but they should rise with the hotter than normal weather we will have this week.

Lake Lanier’s water level is staying consistent and is just inches below full pool at 1,070.7 feet. Lake Lanier is clear on the main lake and stained in the creeks. The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing has been good this week. Last week, the water temperatures actually dropped down to the mid-80’s in some areas and that kicked the spotted bass into high gear.

We caught several good fish in less than 20 feet of water as opposed to the deeper 20-to 30-foot range where they had been. Swim baits, crank baits and topwater lures have all been working with the slightly cooler water temperatures. When the wind is blowing, fish tend to be much more active.

Look for water temperatures to rise this weekend with the heat spell.

Water temperatures of 90 degrees or warmer will usually send these fish back to deeper water.

I have had consistent fishing using the drop shot rig in brush piles and around the standing timberlines. Having detailed offshore information really is the key to successful summertime catching on Lake Lanier.

Quality Electronics are a must, and there are resources available that actually give waypoints and show videos of when the lake was down. No one will ever be able to know the whole lake. My best advise for anglers that are trying to learn Lake Lanier is to start out and fish a small area.

Make sure to always keep a moving lure or topwater plug ready because spotted bass can appear on the surface at any time during the day. The spotted bass are chasing bluebacks on the main lake and they are also eating spot tails and gizzard and threadfin shad. When you encounter surface activity, you may often get a limit of bass in less than 15 minutes.

Spot tail minnows will produce better than just about any technique in the summer. You can cast these native baitfish from the bank with a slip bobber or position your boat above brush piles and hook them on a down line or drop shot rig. Use circle hooks when using live minnows to ensure that the bass you catch can be easily released.

I spoke with my buddy Shane and he says striper fishing continues to be very good. These stripers are settled in to a distinct summer pattern. Continue to watch your electronics and target depths of 30-to 50-feet deep over 60-to 90-foot bottoms in the creek mouths and on the main lake.

Fishing has been consistently good with stripers bitting most of the day. Some anglers say that the best bite is in the morning, but Shane states he has caught them all out through the day. Use fresh blueback herring on a down line and set your baits just above where you mark fish on your finders. Make sure to buy plenty of lively bait, and keep ice and salt on them during the day.

Use a 1-to 2-ounce sinker to get these bluebacks down quickly through the hotter surface layers of water to the cooler thermo cline

If you see fish on your graph but they are not bitting, try power reeling rigged bait through the school to trigger a reaction bite.

Drop your live bait below the schools and reel it back up through them quickly. You can also take a big SPRO Bucktail and tip it with a live blueback and power reel that through the school. Using a fluorocarbon leader like 12-to 14-pound Fire Line Sniper to help prevent the fish from seeing the line.

Trolling SPRO Buck Tails on seven to eight colors of lead core has been a good option for locating active stripers on the main lake. Once you troll over an area and determine the fish are present, you can slow down and drop your live bait rigs
Night fishing under Hydro Glow lights in the creek mouths has been productive for those “vampire” anglers.

Crappie fishing remains good in the mornings, early evenings and on through dark. Keith Pace still says they are catching good stringers from lighted boats docks and bridge pilings.

If the docks don’t have lights, but you know the crappie are there, try using lights to pull the school up shallower. Use these same Hydro Glow lights on the bridges and fish crappie or spot tail minnows at 15-feet deep. Move your bait up or down in the water column as needed to keep it in the prime area.

Trout are bitting very well both in the Chattahoochee River and up in the mountains. I don’t mention it as much as I should, but Georgia has some excellent fishing in our mountain wildlife management areas.

Trout in the mountains and the Chattahoochee are stocked with fish and they tend to be easy to catch after they are newly released. Use Rooster Tails, Yo Suri Pins Minnows or live earthworms (where permitted by law).

The bank fishing on Lake Lanier can seem to be tough but you can be quite successful. Depending on which species you target bank fishing can be very productive. First determine what you want from the outing. If you are taking the kids out, then the best thing you can bring with you is patience.

Kids are usually very content catching bream or even carp. Use live earthworms under a bobber on a Zebco 33 to catch a variety of fish. Make sure to bring drinks and food for snacks and allow the kids to throw stones or wade when the fishing slows down.

If you are fishing with adults or by yourself, you can get a little more serious and target bass or stripers. Check in with local tackle stores and ask them where the good bank fishing spots are located and for advice on up to date reports.
Eric Aldrich is an outdoors 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 his readers so please e-mail him at or visit his website at Remember to take a kid fishing!

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