Lake temperatures remain in the upper 50s due to the recent mild temperatures and rain. Lake Lanier continues to rise. The lake is right at 1,060.9 feet and rising and down only 10 feet from a full pool of 1,071 feet. The main lake is clear to slightly stained and the backs of the creeks and rivers are stained to muddy. The Chattahoochee River is stained. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
The fishing remains either very good or just so-so depending on who you speak to. Last weeks March Of Dimes Tournament was won with five fish weighing over 19 pounds, but about 30 teams didn’t even weigh a fish. This is typical when the weather fronts run hot and cold. Look for fishing to get much better once the warmer weather stays consistent.
Many anglers are struggling, but the fish are active in the right areas. Due to the recent rains many of the creeks are stained to muddy in the backs. This can affect pre-spawn bass and the anglers that normally fish for shallow water bass in spring. Anglers should try backing out of the creeks to the areas where the muddy water meets clearer main lake water and start fishing in these areas. Warmer pockets and secondary points midway in the creeks are good areas to target.
Try using several different styles of baits and move around until you find active fish. We have caught bass on a variety of lures this past week. Zoom Finesse Worms on a jig head skipped under the docks have been a pretty consistent pattern. Most of the fish caught on the docks are 1-to-2 pounds but occasionally the larger females will bite. Also try fishing between the docks with crank baits, jerk baits and spinner baits.
I have done very well with a small countdown Rapala fished on a light-spinning reel. Switch over to a SPRO McStick to eliminate some of the smaller bass. Work both of these lures with a slow to medium steady retrieve.
Larger spotted bass are staging on main lake points and humps. These fish are fat and full of eggs. Spinner baits and Jerk baits seem to be the best bet out on main lake. Unlike the fish in the pockets, these main lake spots seem to prefer a faster and more erratic retrieve.
Anglers that are crappie fishing are reporting catching spotted bass and the occasional largemouth on small minnows fished below a float.
A 44-pound striper was caught this week on Lake Lanier and you can view the pictures on Hammond’s Web site at www.hammondsfishing.net. The striper fishing is very good and they are schooling in the creeks. Up lake areas like Wahoo Creek and Little River have been good places to target. Anglers are also catching stripers down lake too. This is the time of year to boat a trophy. Flat lined bluebacks and trout are your best bet because the stripers are mostly located in the upper part of the water column in spring. A flat line is simply a hook with a bait fished weightless behind the boat.
Red Fins, Bombers and SPRO Buck tails are all good choices to use if you prefer to fish with lures. These are working well both day and night as long as you are around active fish. Use your Humminbird Electronics and ride around until you find the large schools of bait or stripers. You can also see some schooling action on top. The mud lines in the creeks are very good areas to fish. Mud lines will form where the muddy rainwater runoff meets the clearer water. Stripers coral bait against these mud lines and you can often load the boat in a hurry.
The Bomber Long A night bite has been hit or miss because of inconsistent weather but they are bitting after dark.
The fishing remains very good. Keith Pace of Micro Spoons has been "shooting" his lures up under the docks and having great success. He states that most of the fish are suspended about 5-feet down on docks that are 15-feet deep. Make sure to check you Humminbird Finder to locate the docks that have brush piles because these will be the most productive. Continue to use live minnows below and set these 3-to-5-feet below your bobber. If you are fishing from the banks target lay down trees towards the backs of the creeks.
Trout on the Chattahoochee
Trout fishing is very good. The area from Buford Dam down to Highway 20 has been very good. Pick your favorite lure or live bait (check local regulations when using live bait) and you should catch a limit quickly. The streams in the mountains up north are full of freshly stocked trout and fishing has been very good.
Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoor writer, bass fisherman and a member of Humminbird’s, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Tru Tungsten and Hammond’s Fishing Center 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. Check out his website at www.aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!