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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Deep fishing has best results for stripers
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Lake Lanier’s water level has risen slightly from the recent rains and is around 1067.73 feet or 3.27 feet below a full pool at 1,071.

Lake Lanier’s water is clear to stained on main lake and slightly stained to almost muddy in the creeks, pockets and rivers. Lake water temperatures are in the upper 80s. The Chattahoochee River is clear below Buford Dam.

Bass fishing has been a little tougher this past week. This is pretty normal for this time of year. A lot of Lake Lanier’s spotted bass population are relating to deeper brush piles, or are suspended in the timber lines, which makes them hard to pattern.

Fishing brush from 20 to as deep as 45 feet with a drop shot rig or a jig has been the most reliable way to catch bass on artificial lures right now. Our electronics and a reliable trolling motor are essential tools this week.

One reason that deep bass are hard to catch is because fishing brush in 20 feet is a lot easier than landing a lure in brush that is 40 feet. Keeping your boat steady with the trolling motor is essential, and the wind and boat wakes can test even the best anglers. A heavier weight on your drop shot rig will help you to get your lure down to the brush you mark on your fish finder.

There are some other factors that make deep fishing tough. One challenge is that the majority of brush piles are located in less than 40 foot of water. It often pays to hold your boat slightly downwind of this deeper cover and make casts to the brush you have marked on your GPS units.

A lot of the bass are not directly in the brush, but instead they may suspend around it.

The same holds true for bass relating to the timberlines. The shear amount of timber and the fact that these bass are harder to detect with our electronics makes patterning them very difficult. No matter what the lake conditions are, always keep a topwater or subsurface lure ready to cast to any schooling fish.

Fishing with live native spot tails is one way to catch numbers of spotted bass in the hottest months.

You can catch spot tails around beaches and boat ramps by chumming them up with cracker crumbs.

Once your chum has attracted minnows, you should be able to get as many as you need with a couple of throws with a fine-meshed cast net. Once your live well is full, head out to the steep banks and set out a combination of flat and down lines, and let the fish dictate the best depth to target.

There has been a pretty good evening bite for bass this week. Fishing after dark is a great way to beat the heat and the boat traffic.

Deep-diving crank baits, like a SPRO Little John DD cast to rocky banks, have been catching some quality large mouth and spotted bass. Other lures that work well include an Aruku Shad, Rattle Trap or a large Colorado bladed spinner bait.

Keep the lures just above the bottom and allow them to deflect off rocks, as this is where most of your strikes will occur

Stripers: The striper fishing is very good for anglers that are adept at deep fishing. The stripers can be schooled up in water as shallow as 35 feet or deep as 100 feet. When an angler gets over an active large school, multiple hook-ups can make fishing very exciting.

Two things that are consistent for summer catching — Lively bluebacks and quality electronics.

You need to keep fresh herring on your down lines, and some anglers are going through several dozen in a half day of fishing. One good rule is to time how long the herring are hooked. Your bluebacks only stay active for a short period.

If you have a line that has been in the water for more than 10 minutes without getting eaten, then reel it in and replace it with a fresh bait.

Power reeling is the terminology anglers use for dropping a live bait down through the schools of stripers and reeling it back up to the surface as fast as possible. It is a cool way to elicit strikes. You should also enact this method with any herring that have been on the line too long.

If you have had a herring on the line and it is time to replace it, then make a quick drop to the bottom and reel it up fast. Be prepared to hold on because the strikes you get with this method can rip the rod from your hands.

Trolling with an umbrella rig, large SPRO Buck Tail, or with a swim bait on your down riggers are all great methods to use while you drive around and search for these large schools or deep stripers.

If you get a strike on your trolled lures, but do not see fishing on your electronics, then make sure to run back through the area to catch another one and to see if you may have missed the arcs or spaghetti lines that indicate a school of stripers.

Trout fishing remains good and recent rains will help the trout by adding oxygen to the water, and worms and insects for them to feed on. If you like to fish with a fly rod, try using both a wet fly (sinking) and dry fly (on the surface) on the same rod. Once you catch a few fish, switch over to the most productive fly.

Roster Tails or Mepps inline spinners are great tools, day in and out for trout fishing. Live earthworms are also great to use where law permits live bait.

Crappie: Fishing for crappie is very slow and not many people are catching them. Your best bet is to fish off the deeper docks that have brush early in the day or under these same docks with lights at night.

Bank Fishing: Next week, there will be a full moon and when this occurs in summer, some bream will build beds or nests to spawn both on Lake Lanier and also farm and subdivision ponds.

While these bream are great fun to fish for and tasty table fare, there is another reason to find them — Big bass eat bream. Use a single or double prop topwater bait like a Devil’s Horse or Brians Bees lures. Fish the noisy lures around bream that beds and be prepared.

Bass that eat bream are usually bigger fish and you may just catch a trophy largemouth.

Snap a picture and release these fish, if at all possible. If it is a fish of your lifetime, you can get a fiberglass replica made that is almost exact as if you killed the fish and mounted it. That way you, your kids or your grandkids may catch that same bass again when it has grown bigger!

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 or Remember to take a kid fishing!

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