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Fishing Report: Local fishing combines relaxation and excitement
Fishing stock
Photo by Greysen Johnson on Unsplash

Water Conditions: The afternoon summer rains have helped to keep Lake Lanier’s water level at 1,071.39 or .39 feet above the normal full pool of 1071. The main lake and in-flowing creeks are mostly clear. The in-flowing water in the backs of the creeks and flowing in from the rivers are stained from the afternoon showers.

Lake Lanier’s surface temperatures have leveled out and are in the mid-80’s. The crowds have settled down as school gets started. I am grateful that I can drive north (most of that travel is in the boat)!

Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river (770) 945-1466. 

Bass: Bass fishing has started to pick up for anglers who know where the offshore brush is located. If you can set up a milk run of 10 to 20-submerged brush sunk 20 to 40-foot deep you should collide with an active school of fish that will eat your lures.

Lake Lanier’s spotted bass are moving into their late summer/early fall locations. The best brush piles right now are the ones that are set out alone on the end of points or near flats that have deep water ditches that have deep water access located close by.

We have been approaching these deeper brush piles with moving lures like an SPRO 4-inch BBZ1 Swimbait, Spin John 80 or even a Big Bites Suicide Shad rigged on an SPRO Buck Tail.

The topwater bite has started to pick up a little so keep a chrome Zara Spook or Sammy 110 ready at all times. You may even find that the fish that prefer topwater plugs over your subsurface plugs.

If you don’t get a bite with a moving lure then pull your boat up over the brush and try working a Big Bites Finesse or Shakin’ Squirrel or a Lanier Baits and use your electronics to see if there are any fish that will bite a bottom bumping lure.

I spoke with a friend who has been catching a mixed bag of both largemouth and spotted bass early and later on a small buzz bait in the back of the pockets and areas with running creek inflows.

Stripers: The stripers are biting on a combination of lures and live bait techniques. Trolling umbrella rigs, setting out deep herring on down lines and power reeling big spoons and lures where you see fish on your electronics.

The main thing a striper angler needs to be successful is the ability to locate and catch fish. Quality electronics like my Lowrance Carbon Graphs and my Lowrance Ghost trolling motor all have features that will allow you to catch fish. 

Start you day in the creek mouths or out near the river channels. Watch you graphs as you scan an area. Structure Scan will enable Lowrance users to see fish that normal 2/D electronics will miss. You can literally see which side of the boat the stripers or bait are located. 

Once you locate fish you can either troll or drop-down lined herring to the fish located below your boat. Make sure you check with your local bait stores and secure what you need to keep your herring alive. 

Crappie: Crappie fishing has been slow. The easiest way to catch fish this week will be to target crappie swimming around the deeper lighted boat docks. We have also used lighted Hydro Glow around the deeper bridge pilings.

Set out small crappie minnow or locally caught native spot tail minnows or small crappie jigs at around 7 to 15-feet deep. The crappie will move shallower as the night goes on.

Bank fishing: There is something magic about fishing a live nightcrawler or crappie minnow below a bobber. Minnows and worms are not strong enough. It’s almost impossible to not get excited anytime that bobber moves!

Fishing with live baits attached to a string, bobber and hook is an old school technique that provides a combination of relaxation and excitement at the same time!

Now, how do you catch bait? I bet we see something about that in future fishing reports.