Water conditions: Lake temperatures are in the mid to high 50s. Lake Lanier’s water level is 0.32 above full pool of 1,071. The lake is clear and the creeks and rivers are clear to stained. The Chattahoochee River is stained below Buford Dam. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466
Bass: This past week’s fishing has been tough for some anglers but very good for others that can unlock the patterns that bass are doing at certain times. The deep bite has started to prevail but there are also a few spotted bass up shallow biting around docks, but these shallow fish seem to be smaller except for an occasional largemouth.
Keep an open mind this week as the bass fishing seems to change from day to day. Two lures have been working best for me. Keep a jig n’pig and a jerk bait ready and use your electronics, as they are key to locating what works best. Steep rocky banks are holding the majority of fish, and if you can file a dock with deeper rock than that is a great place to start. The dock fish may be directly under the black pilings absorbing heat and also looking for an easy meal. Cast shallow running jerk bait down the sides of these dock and hold on! Skipping a Big Bites Shaken’ Squirrel one a light 1/16 or 1/8 ounce under up under these docks.
The deep bite is getting even better this week. Work a half-ounce green jig with a Rojas Fighting Frog trailer and dip the back appendages in orange JJ’s Magic down the drops and the drops are anywhere from 25 to 50 feet. Often times you may find bass directly at the end of the 50 foot drop off. You can drop a jig down to them or try a Hopkins’ jigging spoon. My Humminbird 1158 has a huge screen which makes it much easier to see the bites on my big screen,
Early in the mornings you can use deep diving crank bait around rocky points and hump. Bang these lures into the rock to trigger bites. I use a SPRO Little John DD which I can get down to 18 feet deep on 10-pound Sunline Sniper Flourocarbon which helps me to feel the bites. Plus, fluorocarbon allows a crank bait to run deeper due to the high density of the line. As the sun sets, find the rocky banks where the waves are hitting the shore and cast a MacStick 110 jerk bait to get some of your bigger bits,
Stripers: Striper fishing is good and there are still large schools of stripes surfacing all over the lake. When these fish are chasing the small threadfin shad they can really be hard to catch. Use smaller baits, like a very small silver Dare Devil or Castmaster spoon, and keep casting as it can take 20 or more casts to trigger a bite just because the stripers have so much bait to eat and the schools of a stripers can be hard to catch, so persistence will pay off.
Live bait is easier to use, and small baits are the key. Small or medium minnows and small trout will work well Cast these smaller live baits into the school and places. Sometimes you will get a bite before you can put the rod on the holder! Once you have set out a few lines try to circle around the school to keep your baits in the strike zone. If the school sounds you can use your depth find and especially Side Imaging to locate them and find them again.
Trolling an umbrella is a great process for putting fish in the boat. Right now the fish are in the creeks and the umbrellas rig helps you to cover the most water. Once you locate the fish then you can slow down and troll or switch over to live baits. Many of the guides just continue to troll the umbrella rig all day long because they are that good at catching stripers.
Crappie: Very few people are fishing for these tasty critters so you may have the whole creek to yourself. Like the bass, crappie are biting well both shallow and deep. There are crappie down in brush piles set out at 25 feet. You can get above these fish or cast through them. The shallow crappie can be caught lake racking (trolling with as many as 12 rods at a time) or they can cast bobbers between the docks where dock owners have set out brush. The fish up lake tend to be shallow while the down-lake fish seem to be deeper.
Trout: Trout fishing is just barely fair on the river but it continues to be great in the mountains. With the recent rains we have had to try an earthworm on a weightless hook and allow it to wash down stream to mimic the nature food for these trout. Just check local regulations to make sure you can use live bit. If not, try a small inline Rooster trail. These same methods are working well down below Buford Dam.
Bank fishing: Bank fishing is good right now and it is almost hard to choose a specific bait or fish because you have a good chance to catch a mixed bag of fish. Try a quarter-ounce Rooster tail. or if you like to use live bait rig a Carolina rig with a large night crawler and secure your rod. Catfish, bass large brim and even walleyes will all eat worms.
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 email@example.com or visit my website at aldrichfishing.com.