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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Water temps, lake levels consistent
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Lake Lanier’s water level continues to hold extremely steady right around a full pool at 1,070.77 or .23 below a full pool of 1,071. Lake temperatures remain steady in the mid 80s. Lake Lanier is clear on the main lake and clear in the rivers and creeks. The Chattahoochee River is clear below Buford Dam. Check generation schedules at 770-945-1466 before heading out to the river.

Bass fishing has been very good for anglers that can figure out the offshore bite. If you have access to a boat and quality electronics, you have all of the tools needed for catching bass in the summertime. A boat will allow you access to the offshore areas like humps points, and give you the ability to move and rotate through several areas in the same outing.

Some anglers are hitting 20 or more areas in a single day, but you may not have to run and gun too long before finding fish that will bite. Some days you can find schools of bass that will continue to bite well enough to keep you in the same area for a while.

The right brush piles in 15-30 feet of water are holding groups of fish. When you catch one, then there are often other active fish in the same area. You should only need a couple of rods on deck in most situations when fishing offshore brush piles. One rod with a topwater plug or swim bait and another rod with a jig or an artificial worm so that you can get down to the bass that are not willing to chase a plug fished near the surface.

If you can throw a cast net and catch live spot tail minnows, then hook these native minnows through the lips on a dropshot rig and you will load the boat in areas where other anglers fishing with artificial lures only catch one or two. Spot tail minnow fishing is a great way to get your kids interested in the sport of bass fishing.

Use your electronics to determine where the fish are located and also to show your GPS coordinates of brush or other offshore cover that you have marked on previous trips.

Even the most experienced anglers will stumble upon new cover, even in areas that they frequent. Anglers often get so used to an area that we can miss new or obscure cover.

Sometimes it is new brush pile, but other times it may just be a unique depression or rock pile that previously went unnoticed. I was fishing this week and drifted slightly off an area and found what appeared to be a large lawn chair and rocks that held some spotted bass in 20 feet of water.

While the two rods should cover most situations, most anglers can’t help having a couple more to switch up things for both offshore brush patterns and also other shallower situations.

Many anglers concentrate on offshore areas all day long, but we have also been fishing in shallow areas in the backs of the creeks and rivers for largemouth and spotted bass. At daybreak, it can really pay off to cast a buzz bait around shallow cover like lake downs, shallow docks and other shallow features.

Medium-to-deep running crank baits and smaller swim baits have been working well around rocky banks when the fish are active.

These same areas can also produce some good fish during slower periods. Slow down and pick apart laydown trees, docks and shallow brush with a jig and pig or Texas Rigged plastic worm of lizard. It is undeniable that the large mouth population is stronger on Lake Lanier than it has been in many years.

Stripers: The summer striper fishing is good and getting better as the fish move off into the deeper areas where they live during the hot days. As mentioned time and time again in these reports, the blueback herring enjoy the same cold, deepwater that striper prefer. Because of this, Lake Lanier has created the perfect storm scenario for fishing in summertime.

Not more than 10 years ago, we were lucky to catch one or two skinny stripers during the hot weather months. Fast forward to today and most guides will tell you that summertime can produce some of the fastest and best striper fishing of the year.

Most anglers have stowed their topwater plugs and flat lines, and are concentrating on their electronics and down lines for catching stripers. You should still always keep a buck tail or Redfin ready as we have seen some stripers on the surface, but they appear, then sound very quickly. The majority of fish I am seeing are in the 30-to-50-foot range over deeper flats close to the creek channels. Use live blueback herring or gizzard shad on down lines.

Make sure to keep your bait lively and replace it regularly.

There are a few tips and techniques that separate successful guides and anglers apart from unsuccessful anglers. Even the most seasoned captains can struggle some days. That is why we call it fishing and not catching. That being said, anglers today have so many resources that will narrow the learning gap. With some internet research and the right equipment, a determined person can become a successful angler much quicker than they could when

I was younger.

Today’s electronics play a big role in successful striper fishing.

If you have a quality fish finder and don’t know how to use it, then it will really pay to re-read your manual, watch YouTube, attend some of the free seminars or invest in a reputable guide to help educate you on how to use your unit. These same resources will also give you information on rods, reels, line and bait tank set up plus most local shops will help you to acquire and set up your own boat within your budget.

All of that is a great start, but there is no replacement for time spent on the water.

Crappie fishing is slow and the reports have been sparse.

Shoot jigs around deeper docks early in the day. The action will slow down before noon. Your best bet is to fish after dark around the bridges up the lake and use live spot tail minnows on down lines below floating or Hydroglow lights. Find areas that have schools of baitfish already for your best success.

Trout fishing has been good and almost all of the trout waters in North Georgia are clear and healthy. You can just about pick your favorite method and catch trout early or late in the day. On the more crowded trout water the fishing in the middle of the day will slow down, but in the hard to reach streams fishing can be good all day long.

The action will pick up during afternoon showers because rain washed worms and other critters that trout eat flow into the water. Match the hatch when fly fishing and a nymph pattern is working well. There are some mayfly hatches occurring on most trout streams and rivers right now.

Bank Fishing: Most anglers first learned how to fish in smaller ponds and this type of fishing never gets old.

You can dig up some earthworms or buy some minnows or crickets and walk down to your favorite pond. Many people don’t realize that small subdivision or farm ponds offer some of the best and easiest fishing available. Plus you can avoid the crowds and all you need is a simple rig like a Zebco 33 with a bobber and a hook to catch bream, bass or catfish.

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

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