Lake temperatures are in the mid to lower 80s. Lake Lanier’s water level is around 1,066 feet, which is 5 feet below a full pool of 1,071 feet. Lake Lanier is clear on the main lake and in the creeks. The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Some anglers are reporting a good midday topwater bite, while others have to go deeper to catch the bigger keeper spotted bass. Sunny days seem to be best for the topwater action. I believe the bass silhouette topwater plugs on the surface and if the sun is shinning it seems to help. For me the drop-shot fish have been a little easier to target day in and day out. Keep fishing the brush piles and also check any rocky dropoffs or ledges that fall from around 15 feet into deeper water.
Use surface plugs like SPRO Dawgs, Super Spooks and Zoom Super Flukes. I have also been using a new walking plug called an Ima Skimmer and it has been working well because I think these fish haven’t seen them that much. All of these surface plugs imitate blueback herring and the bites are usually pretty vicious. If the fish are just swiping at your lure, try changing the retrieve speed, switching colors or even changing lures as needed to figure out what they prefer.
The dropshot bite in the brush piles from 20- to 30-feet deep has been my best producer this past week. I use a 2/0 Worm Hook or Drop Shot hook from Gamakatsu on light fluorocarbon line and tie these about a foot above a 1/4- to 1/8-ounce dropshot weight. Try using a finesse worm, lizard or even creature bait on your dropshot rig.
You can fish directly over brush and rocks that you see on your Humminbird Fish Finders and also use your split screen and set the second view to GPS so that you can keep track of where your areas are marked.
Also try this: Use your dropshot or a Texas or Carolina rig to back off and fish these same areas by stair stepping them down or through the cover. The most productive depths have been that same 20- to 30-foot depth but there are some fish that will move shallower on overcast days.
The spot tail minnow bite has been very consistent and it should remain the same for a while. Use grits or breadcrumbs and chum up areas around beaches or shallow clay banks to draw these native fish in, then throw a tight mesh cast net over the area that you have chummed.
With a little practice you should be able to catch plenty of spot tails. They are like candy to spotted bass and fishing with them in the right areas will just about guarantee you success. Stop by Hammond’s fishing center to purchase nets and for more information on how to catch and fish with spot tails.
Striper fishing is very good. Quality electronics are essential tools for locating these deeper fish in summer and my Humminbird 777c and 797s with side imaging really make it easy to locate the schools of stripers.
The stripers are still biting down-lined blueback herring fished 30- to 40-feet deep over a 40- to 70-foot bottom. Target the mouths of the creeks on back and look for deeper flats located next to the creek and river channels. Shane Watson has still been using the power reeling technique to trigger "window shoppers," or the inactive stripers that are just looking at down-lined baits into striking. Let your bluebacks drop below where you see the stripers on your electronics, and then reel them up through the schools to trigger bites when fish are present but not eating.
Trolling and night fishing below a Hydro Glow lights have both been just fair.
Crappie fishing is picking up according to Keith Pace, owner of Micro Spoons and Jigs. He states that the night bite on Lanier has been really good and that they landed over 100 fish one night last week. He says to bring plenty of crappie minnows as he went through 14 dozen that night before running out. Check in with Hammond’s as they have very inexpensive live bait and crappie minnows are only 89 cents a dozen. Fish these small baits on a down line below lights on docks, brush piles and bridges.
You can fish from the banks or float down the Chattahoochee River this week and catch plenty of trout if you get out early enough to beat the float traffic. After the sun gets up on the weekends, the fish are a little harder to catch but they will still bite. Small Rooster Tails, Rapalas and other small lures will work well. If you fly fish they have been bitting nymphs and dry flies and the black ant pattern has been good for a while.
Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoor writer, bass fisherman and is sponsored by Humminbird, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammonds Fishing and Boat Storage. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his Web site at aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!