By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Various methods bring in bass
Placeholder Image

Lake temperatures remain in the upper 50s. The lake level has held steady with some good rains and is around 1058.2 which is 12.8 feet below full pool of 1071. Lake Lanier is clear on main lake and stained in the creeks, and the Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is stained. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466. 

The bass have been biting well this week and we have found many different methods that will work throughout the day. 

First thing in the morning there have been active fish in the coves just off main lake that are eating larger threadfin shad. These shad eaters seem to stay put in the same area a little longer and we have been able to put down the trolling motor and fish for a while to catch some decent spotted and largemouth bass. The dock patterns have been pretty good on both sunny and overcast days, and these fish will bite well into the day. Pay close attention to isolated docks near the mouths of the coves and also any rock near the ditches.

There has also been a decent main lake and creek mouth bite where these fish are more in tune with faster-moving blueback herring. The fish concentrating on herring are a little more aggressive. These blueback-eating spotted bass will hit jerkbaits or sub-surface offerings much better than the surface plugs this week. Try casting McSticks, Slender Pointers, Bomber Long A’s, as well as other jerkbaits that mimic the longer blueback herring for your best success. 

This action can happen all day on overcast days; even on sunny days you may find the bass and striper crushing baits on the surface. We have found some very aggressive spotted bass hanging around areas where the stripers are feeding. You may find this action in the lower lake creeks as well as up around River Forks and in the Holly Park area.

Striper fishing is good and we have found some active schools both on main lake and in the creeks and pockets. 

The loons and gulls are showing up, and these are nature’s fish finders. Often anglers will run over to where they see surface activity and will be disappointed to only to find loons feeding. I can assure you that when the loons are feeding there are stripers and bass nearby doing the same.

Pull live bluebacks and trout on both flat and down lines in the creek pockets and in the rivers. Use planner boards to get your baits up close to the banks because there are some big fish up shallow. 

Some more experienced anglers are having great days trolling umbrella rigs up in the upper rivers and creeks above Gainesville marina. The same areas are also worth exploring with live bait and artificial lures like SPRO Bucktails or jerkbaits.

You can catch some big fish with Bombers or Red Fins cast to shallow banks beginning at daybreak, all throughout the day and past dark. 

Crappie are biting well. I saw some anglers catching decent slabs around shallow brush that they had just placed out the week before. They moved their dock out and created their own personal honey hole. They were not catching a bunch but they managed a fish every 20 minutes or so and they were good ones. 

Use a crappie minnow and fish it over brush or lay-downs in the creeks. Trolling crappie spoons and jigs in the ditches is working well right now. 

Trout fishing in the river has been fair. The trout are there, but they are just reacting a little slower. Live bait where permitted is your best bet. The fish in the wildlife management areas are biting well after the recent rains. 

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. Contact him at or visit his website at 

Regional events