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Fishing Report: Hurricanes, Politics and tropical storms come and go but fish still have to eat!
Fishing stock
Photo by Brady Rogers on Unsplash

Water Conditions: Lake Lanier is above full pool and rising at the time of this writing at 1,072.10 or 1.10 feet and rising above the normal full pool of 1071. Lake Lanier’s water level continues to rise as the CORPs continues to pull water. 

The main lake clarity is everywhere from clear to very stained. The creeks and rivers are stained to muddy. There is a lot of “trash” like pine needles and small twigs on the surface to keep anglers clearing their lines.

Lake Lanier’s surface temperatures are in the upper 60’s. Stratification (Lake Turnover) continues to occur as is usual for the fall in Georgia. 

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is muddy from tropical storms and lake turnover. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at (770) 945-1466. 

Water Conditions: Lake Lanier is above full pool and rising at the time of this writing at 1,072.10 or 1.10 feet and rising above the normal full pool of 1071. Lake Lanier’s water level continues to rise as the CORPs continues to pull water. 

The main lake clarity is everywhere from clear to very stained. The creeks and rivers are stained to muddy. There is a lot of “trash” like pine needles and small twigs on the surface to keep anglers clearing their lines.

Lake Lanier’s surface temperatures are in the upper 60’s. Stratification (Lake Turnover) continues to occur as is usual for the fall in Georgia. 

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is muddy from tropical storms and lake turnover. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at (770) 945-1466. 

Bass: The recent tournament trails offer an insight to how the bass fishing has rated on Lake Lanier. Some anglers are catching them great while others are scratching their heads wonder if there are any bass still feeding on Lanier. Trust me the bass are still there and they are eating good! 

The bass are eating well. Find the right scenarios and find the fish that are feeding up for winter and these patterns are in action. Anglers in the know will experience great results!

The topwater action is still great for some. That being said, this is time I switch from surface lures to a crawfish pattern. 

Start your days with surface lures like a Zara Spook or larger swimbaits to score some great bites. Be prepared for this action to come and go.

I have switched over to crawfish imitators like a jig and craw or even jig head worms around shallow docks and brush piles located in 10 to 25-feet of water. Anglers that “beat the banks” can have exceptional or dismal results, depending on where the fish are eating.

When the wind is up trying casting moving lure like a Mini-Me Spinnerbait or crankbaits like an SPRO RkCrawler up around the reef pole markers. The bass we are catching are fat and healthy.

The jerk bait bite will start to get better and better as the water cools. Cast an SPRO McStick around steeper banks so keep moving until you get bites and work the areas thoroughly. 

After dark, you will have the whole lake to your selves. Work mid to deep diving lures like an SPRO Little John DD or RkCrawler too catch some big limits or spotted bass around rocky after day areas in the creeks and rivers.

Stripers: Striper fishing is good. Anglers who can utilize their electronics will score some great action. Both flat line and down lines will work in the right locations. 

Consider casting topwater plugs like fly fishing with streamers or casting subsurface lures like SPRO Buck Tails or Captain Mack’s Mini Rigs to fish that are busting on the surface. If this is your preferred method be prepared to move around to locate the active fish on the surface.

Target the Mid lake areas and fish the schools for active striper fish on the surface. Look at the areas from the Lake Forks areas from Rover Forks Park on down past Browns Bridge.

The big news is that there are a lot of stripers feeding on the surface. Many anglers will forgo catching striped bass on live bait in lew of casting lures like Sammy’s, Spooks and McSticks. Who can blame them! 

Live blueback herring have been your best baits to use this past week and that should remain the same for a few weeks at least. Start your days with a full bait well full of lively herring and you will have a great opportunity to catch at least one or many trophy stripers that will give everyone a story for a trip that of a lifetime.

Watch your fish finders and also pay attention to the strikes you get on your trolling rigs. If you locate a big school of stripers with your electronics then it is time to drop your herring down to catch these fish.

The night fishing has started to get going so get out after dark. You will have the whole lake all to yourself and your options are many. Cast Bomber Long A’s or an SPRO McStick 110s around the islands or hit the lighted boat docks in the backs of main lake creeks! 

Crappie: The crappie fishing has been very good for anglers that can find these elusive schools. Just remember, when you catch one fish then there are many more in that same area.

Shoot small crappie jigs or weighted minnows around docks with brush where you get one bite. Crappie school in groups so where when you catch one you have the opportunity to “load the cooler”!

Bank Fishing: With water temperatures in the high 60’s you can bet there are many species or fish that can be caught from the shores of Lake Lanier or your local farm or subdivision pond.

Pick your favorite lures or buy a bucket or minnows or some nightcrawlers and go catching!