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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Bass and stripers are deep, bream shallow around rocky banks
Lake Lanier
Lake Lanier. - photo by File photo

Water Conditions: Lake Lanier is holding very steady at 1,071.91 or almost a full foot above the normal full pool of 1,071. Lake surface temperatures are in the mid to upper 80’s. 

The main lake and lower lake creeks’ mouths are clear to stained. The upper lake creeks, pockets and the rivers are slightly stained to stained.

Check generation schedules before heading out to the river below Buford Dam by calling 770-945-1466. 

Bass fishing has been a grind, but in a good way. We are hitting 20-to-40 brush piles in a full day of fishing. Fishing for 8 hours out in the sun during the summer will ensure a good night’s rest.

There have been active fish in the mornings and during active feeding times during the day. Keep a top water plug rigged and ready as you may encounter schooling fish at any time. A Sammy rigged with a Front Runner will often score two fish on one cast, one of the Sammy and one on the Front Runner. You can also cast a Zara Spook or Redfin over brush early and later in the day to coax ferocious top water strikes!

While the top water action is what most anglers seek out, we have had to work to catch keeper fish with a drop shot rigged with a Big Bites Shaking Squirrel or Cane Stick. I hear from friends that Lanier Baits Fruity worms have been working well too. 

Brush piles located in 20-to-35 feet have been holding some big schools of bass. Not all brush piles will hold fish. Pay attention to your Lowrance Electronics and target the brush piles that have bait around them. Drop into the brush even if you don’t see arcs or wavy lines as a lot of bass are buried down deep in the brush.

Other methods are scoring some bites. Work a spy bait or crank bait around offshore brush, rock piles and timber breaks for some bigger bites. Dragging a Carolina rigged lizard between the brush and the timber lines has produced some magnum spotted bass from 20-to-45 feet deep. Spot tail fishing has been very good. Drop a live spot tail minnow rigged on a drop shot around brush for an almost guaranteed bite.

Striper fishing has been hit or miss. The stripers are moving from the humps and points to the deeper timberlines. One day the bite will be excellent, while others may scatter and hide the next. When this happens, anglers may have to cover water in search of other schools in new locations.

Begin your day pulling a Captain Mack’s Umbrella Rig and pull it at 2.5 MPH and around 15-to-20 feet deep. Pull your rigs up and over humps and points and then check the river channels and deeper timberlines. Keep a watchful eye on your Lowrance Electronics and use Structure Scan set at 100 feet to both sides to look for the fish than you wouldn’t see with traditional 2D imaging.

Once you locate a school of fish, it’s time to deploy your downlines. Use as long a leader as you can get away with. Keep your blue back herring lively by using salt or other fish preservatives and plenty of ice. Check in with your local bait store for advice on how to keep blueback herring in tip top conditions. Fish your live baits at or above the level where you mark fish.

Power reeling a large Ben Parker Spoon through the deeper schools are starting to produce well. You can use other lures like a SPRO Bucktail rigged with a Big Bites Suicide Shad. Drop these lures through the school and let them hit bottom. Then reel them as fast as possible through the school for some arm breaking strikes!

Crappie: Fishing the bridges and lighted boat docks after dark has been your best bet for catching crappie. These predators fish will hang around where the light shadows meet the darkness and they will attack baitfish that hang under or around the lights. Keep several dozen crappie minnows, or better yet, catch your own spot tail minnows.

Trout Fishing: Because the healthy afternoon rains keep oxygen levels high, the DNR has been able to keep stocking trout in the mountains streams and rivers. Pick your favorite method and get out to the water early for your best bite.

There is also some good action below dam races both up in the mountains and below Buford Dam. The best action below dams will occur during slack water periods. Fishing while the dams release water is not only unproductive but dangerous.

Bank fishing: Bream fishing can be great during the hot summer months. These fish will fan their nests during full moon periods and these fish are suckers for crickets or worms fished under a float. Set your float about 1-to-2 feet above a small Aberdeen hook. Don’t use any weight and cover the entire hook for your best bites!

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. He would love to hear from his readers so please email him at Remember to take a kid fishing!