By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Water's warming and bass are spawning
Placeholder Image

Lake temperatures are in the upper 50s and low 60s and will go well into the 60s from the looks of the weather report for next week. Lake Lanier's water level remains a half-foot over full at 1,071.5 feet.

Lake Lanier is clear to stained on the main lake, and stained to very stained in the creeks and up in the rivers due to all of the pollen. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing has been much better this week. Last week's fronts had the fish a little turned around, but this weekend's warmer weather will keep them heading into shallow water to spawn.

I love this time of year and could go to the lake with out even bringing a fishing pole and still be entertained for hours watching the spawning process. Bass build their nests and spawn when water temperatures are anywhere from the high 50s to low 70s.

The middle 60s are prime water temperatures, so look for the largemouth and spotted bass to be spawning.

The major spawn happens during the full moon, but not all bass spawn at the same time so they will be in and out of the shallows for the next month doing their thing.

Even if you prefer not to site fish, the good news is that there should be plenty of bass shallow both out on the main lake pockets, points and humps on back into the way backs of the creeks and rivers.

It is hard to beat a finesse worm on a jig head during the time. Skip these jig head worms up under the docks but also work them around any clay or rock banks.

I will keep mentioning the old, submerged bank growth because it still plays a big part in catching shallow bass.

Baits like a scrounger head with a Jerk Shad, small Texas-rigged worms and even an Aruku Shad worked over and through this dead vegetation can be deadly right now.

Try to make contact with the bottom or vegetation and pay attention because the majority of your strikes will occur as these lures rip free from the cover.

Of course, junk fishing is the order of the day in spring. You may only be able to catch bass on slowly worked worms in the morning to return later and catch them on faster-moving lures in the afternoon, and later you may catch them with small topwater plugs later toward dusk.

Keep an open mind this week and you should be able to boat some of the biggest bass of the year.

Please make sure to release any large females you catch so that they can reproduce for future generations.

Striper fishing remains good for size, and the guides are reporting catches of both size and numbers. It's the same as in past weeks.

Pull live bait behind the boat with flat lines and planner boards while casting McSticks, Bomber Long A's and even the scrounger heads from the front of the boat toward the banks.

The stripers are shallow both out on main lake points and humps, in the creeks and even way up in the rivers, so they can appear just about anywhere on the lake in spring.

There have been some scattered reports of some schooling fish starting to appear on the main lake and we are pretty close to the spring topwater bite. Keep a jerkbait, Dawg or Red Fin ready just in case the opportunity presents it self.

The night bite seems a little slower this past week, but I have heard that some anglers are still catching them well after dark.

Continue to cast McSticks and Bombers to the banks after dark. It may pay to review an area with your electronics before dark to make sure that there is plenty of bait and stripers close to the banks you intend to fish.

Side imaging can really help as you can see fish and objects that are way out beside the boat with out having to spook these shallow fish.

Crappie fishing is good and they are just about as shallow as they get right now.

A buddy tells me he has been shooting crappie jigs under the "right" docks and catching some good ones in less than 5 feet of water.

Shooting docks takes some practice. Basically, you hold the jig by the curve of the hook, and then you use the lure and line to bend your pole with your bail open and the line on your finger.

Then you release the jig and take your finger off the line at the exact same time and, when done properly, the lure will sail up under the dock.

I will warn you that done incorrectly this can result in a hooked finger. YouTube videos and, better yet, an experienced guide are both very good resources when learning this cool technique.

Of course, the old minnow and bobber is hard to beat right now. I have fond memories of watching my bobbers as they disappeared when a crappie took them under.

You can buy a Styrofoam minnow bucket and just about all the crappie minnows you would ever need for way less than $10. Then just take some small Aberdeen hooks rigged 1 to 2 feet below the bobber.

Hook the minnows through the lips or back and cast them around docks, trees in the water or bridge pilings. Be willing to move because crappie run in schools. If you don't get a bite in a half hour it may pay to find more productive waters.

Trout fishing remains very good and the fish are biting in the mountain creeks and below Buford Dam. Make sure to check your local regulations to see if you can use bait or if it is artificial lures only. Pick your favorite method and go fishing because you should be able to catch them on just about anything right now.

Bank fishing: Crappie, bream, bass, carp and even stripers are all biting from the banks. Hit your favorite spring banks with a picnic lunch and you should have a great day whether you catch fish or not. Drop me an email or check in with you local tackle shop if you need help with area and techniques.

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 or visit my website at Remember to take a kid fishing!


Regional events