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Lake Lanier fishing report: Warmer water attracts bass
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Lake Lanier is slightly below full pool at around 1,070.4 feet (full pool is 1,071 feet).

Lake temperatures are in the low 40s, the main lake is clear and the backs of the creeks are stained.

The Chattahoochee River is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing has been good for those anglers who can unlock the deeper winter bass. Spotted bass can be found in tight schools this time of year on steep banks, ends of points and the creek and ditch channels.

If you catch one good fish from an area, you can just about bet that more fish will be very close by.
You will need to use your electronics and spend some time on the water, but if you do your homework, winter fishing can be very productive.

With the recent cold spell, we have been catching bass from 25 feet or deeper. Some of these bass will be as deep as 50 feet, but my best fish have come from between 30-40 feet.

A lot of the bass are feeding on dying shad that have been killed by the colder-than-normal weather. Use lures that can get down to the level the fish are relating.

I have still been using the drop shot rig and jigs, but other lures like a spoon, jig, Fish Head Spin or even a sinking swim bait can trigger these deep bass into biting.

Make sure to use high-quality, sensitive poles and fluorocarbon line so you can feel these deep bites.

If we get any rain, then look around the backs of the coves where the warmer water flows in.

This warmer water will attract baitfish and bass. The SPRO McStick has still been working even with the cold water temperatures, but this lure will work very well if the bass follow the warmer rainwater washing into the lake. SPRO buck tails and even the old reliable Rooster Tail are great choices in these situations. Fishing live, medium minnows or small trout on a down line at 25-or-more-feet deep will almost guarantee success with the spotted bass.

The stripers are biting well and there are good numbers of fish up and down lake.

Most anglers have been targeting the upper lake creeks like Wahoo, Little River and Sardis Creeks and there are consistent stripers in all of these areas.

Shane Watson tells me they are shallow in the backs of the pockets one day and they will be found at 30-feet in the creek mouths on other days, so keep your options open.

Pay close attention to your electronics and also watch the gulls and loons. Trolling Umbrella rigs or fishing live trout and bluebacks on both down and flat lines are all working well.

Crappie fishing has been just fair. These fish were deeper this past week.

Anglers will really need to slow down and finesse these cold-water slabs.

Light line with small jigs, minnows or spoons will work the deeper docks at around 25-to 30-feet deep.

Marina docks can hold huge schools of crappie in the winter months.

Trout fishing is fair but they are biting.

Continue to check generation schedules closely if you fish below the dam because the Corps has been pulling a lot of water this past week.

Small Rapalas or Yo Suri Pinns Minnows fished with a pause and go retrieve continues to be a good winter method.

Small flies in a streamer pattern have also been working fair.

Eric Aldrich is a part-time outdoors 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 or visit his Web site at Remember to take a kid fishing.

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