Lake Lanier’s water level is noticeably down at 1,067.29 or 3.71 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 mid 80s. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Bass fishing has been very good some days and tougher on others. The fish are still schooling early, but they are scattered out over open water and deeper brush so you may have to work for them. Popping-type top-water lures and swim baits have been the best bet when you locate schoolers. As the sun gets up, the fish will move in or around brush and will strike a well-presented top-water lure if they are active. The afternoon rains have produce a decent post frontal bite but this seems to die after the rains have blown through.
The dropshot or jig has been our go-to technique all week long. Fish the manmade brush piles or lay downs positioned on the bottom in 15 to 35 feet in areas that have deep water close by. Most people work a drop shot directly below the boat, but you can also cast this rig out like a Carolina Rig and drag it over and through the brush as you work it back the boat.
The same thing applies when fishing a jig. No matter what method you are using keep a dropshot rig ready to drop to any fish that appear below the boat on your electronics.
There has been a decent crankbait bite around rocky banks in the creeks. Use medium depth crankbaits like a SPRO RkCrawler, Rattle Trap or Bill Norman Little N. Use either shad or translucent colors or switch over to crayfish patterns, especially during low-light periods. Target steeper bluff wall banks or steep rocky drop offs. Use a medium speed retrieve and make sure to come in contact with the bottom, lay downs, brush or hit any type of cover available. This seems to be more of a reaction than a feeding bite. This action has been best both early and later in the day and the bite will continue well into the evening after the sun has set.
Stripers: The hardest part of striper fishing is finding the deep schools. They seem to move daily and sometimes hourly. Once you locate a school, and stay over them, the catching has been awesome. Drag a large 2-3 ounce SPRO Bucktail tipped with a live herring or pull an umbrella rig behind the boat as you run your graph looking for these deeper schools.
Check main lake bottoms that are 40 to 100 feet deep near the river and creek channels.
Once you find a school, drop live herring on a down line quickly to where you graph fish. Some of these schools have been so large that there are fish from 20 to 80 feet deep. Try to get down a little deeper as the bigger fish will lie in wait as the smaller fish wound the herring that will in turn flutter down deeper.
Using large spoons has also been a killer technique. Make sure to have a heavy spoon like the Ben Parker style ones. These spoons are designed to fall quickly with limited fluttering. Drop your spoon to the bottom and then power reel it back to the surface and repeat. Power reeling a live herring on a down line has also produced some good bites when you are over fish.
There have been a couple reports of people catching big fish up in the Chattahoochee River way above Gainesville. Locate the deeper pools and drop a live gizzard shad on a weighted flat line. You can net gizzard shad up in the shallow areas in the river and in the way backs of the creeks. A few tackle stores sell them too.
Crappie and Brim: Crappie fishing has been slow during the day but they will bite for anglers who are adept at dissecting deeper brush with small jigs on light line in 25 to 35 foot of water. This bite is best from daylight to about 9 a.m. Then it has been very tough. The crappie will bite on deeper lighted boat docks and under floating lights on the bridges after dark. Fish a live spot tail minnow on light line with a small 1/8 or one-sixteenth ounce split shot set three feet above your bait. Vary the depths until you dial in what depth the schools are feeding at.
Brim continue to bite all over the lake. all over the lake. Live earth worms under fished under a float. A crappie jig or small inline spinner are also a good way to go.
Trout fishing is good on the Chattahoochee River and just OK in the mountain streams and rivers. Try a black ant or mayfly pattern as there have been some mayfly hatches this week. Rooster tails, Mepps spinners or Countdown Rapalas cast just below the rapids will work for spin casting enthusiasts. Worms, corn or Power Nuggets have been good choices where live bait is permitted by law.
Bank fishing: Brim are a great fish to target in summer, especially for the kids! Our subdivision pond is full of them and they grow big! Digging up earth worms can be half the fun for the kids. Look in mulch piles, gardens or any good soil. Turn it over with a shovel and collect the worms, placing some soil in a coffee can or Tupperware. Use a light weight spinning outfit or Zebco 33 with 6 to 8-pound test line. All you need is a bobber or cork, small Aberdeen style hook and a worm. Move along if you don’t get a bite pretty soon. Brim will be up pretty shallow in water less than 10 feet deep on local ponds and Lake Lanier.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at aldrichfishing.com or lakelanierfishing.info. Remember to take a kid fishing!