Lake Lanier is approaching close to a foot above full pool at 1,071.8 feet. Lake temperatures are in the mid 60s and the lake is still turning over. Lake Lanier is slightly clear to stained. The Chattahoochee River is stained. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.
Bass fishing has been a little tougher with the recent weather fronts, but look for it to improve as consistent weather is forecasted for the following week. There is a bunch of new water for these transitional fish to roam around in, and most anglers have been struggling to find these bass on a full lake.
The good news is that once you find one there may be many more in the same area. The run- and-gun method will help you locate fish, but once you find them, you may need to stay and really spend some time in those productive areas. Watch your Humminbird Electronics from the mouths into the backs of the creeks for large schools of bait. If the bait is around, the bass will be close by. Some of these fish are falling for vertically jigged spoons.
Locate where the fish are and drop your spoon directly below the boat to that same level. Both of my units, a Humminbird 777c and 797c, will actually show my small spoon on the screen and I can track it as it falls and stop it when it reaches the same level at which the fish are located. Use a 1/4- to 1/8-ounce Flex-It or Georgia Blade spoon and rig these on heavy 15- to 20-pound line.
I like the heavier line because it makes the spoon fall slower (thicker line equals more water resistance) and it allows me to pull these lures out of cover when they get snagged.
I always replace the stock treble hooks with sticky sharp Gamakatsu hooks. You can also try a drop shot rig or jig and pig combo while targeting these deeper fish.
Running and gunning with SPRO swim baits or a large topwater plug like a Red Fin or Super Spook is still working, but you will really need to move around. Add midcreek and the backs of the creeks to your list of areas to check.
I have also caught some nice spots and an occasional largemouth by casting SPRO Aruku Shad rattling crank baits to any areas that hold fish.
Plastic worms, small crank baits and live bait will all be productive in the right areas.
Not many people are fishing after dark, but the spots are eating very well after sun down. Use deep-running, dark-colored crank baits and spinner baits to target the main lake and creek banks with rock and wood.
The secret to this type of fishing is to make sure your lures stay in contact with the bottom. You will get more snags but you will also catch more fish.
This week’s striper report is brought to you by Shane Watson and Hammond’s Fishing Center. During the past weeks’ strong east winds and rain, we didn’t see any big schools of stripers on top. We did see a few better size singles on top, on points, but they were hard to catch.
We did catch and release some big spotted bass on a Sebile Swim bait out in the strong winds. We caught fish on free-lined bluebacks and by power reeling bluebacks over 30-40 slick points after the sun gets high.
Not every point has stripers on them, but you may find decent size groups right on the bottom.
We should see some more stripers on top as the next weather system rolls in.
We have also caught some nice stripers around the islands this past week after dark on Bomber Long A’s and SPRO BBZ1 Trout Swim Baits.
Kieth Pace says that crappie fishing is very good but not a lot of anglers are targeting them. Start out midway and move on into the backs of the creeks.
Trolling or shooting Crappie Jigs around docks with brush will work very well once you have located the productive areas.
Trout fishing is slow because of the water quality on the Chattahoochee.
The river below Buford Dam looks like pea soup. This is due to lake turnover and it does affect fishing because of the lower oxygen and decreased visibility. Use a live earthworm or night crawler (where permitted by law) on a small Aberdeen hook with a large split shot attached about 2-to 3-feet above the hook. Cast these live worms below any rapids in the deeper pools.
Fly-fishing and spin fishing will work but it has been slow.
Anglers still have many options but this is the time of year to start striper fishing from the banks.
Some good areas to try would be Mary Alice Park, Holly Park, River Forks Park, Wahoo Creek Ramp and East and West Bank Parks. Use a live medium to large shiner or try live blueback herring or trout.
Use a Gamakatsu Circle Hook and set your bobber stop to around 15-feet deep to allow the bait to swim below the surface.
Make sure to secure your fishing rods into a sturdy rod holder because a striper will pull very hard.
Eric Aldrich is a part time outdoor 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his Web site at aldrichfishing.com. Remember to take a kid fishing!