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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Seek out bigger bass around deep brush, timber
Lake Lanier
Lake Lanier. - photo by File photo

Lake Lanier is currently at 1,070.77 or .23 feet below the normal full pool of 1,071. Lake surface temperatures remain in the mid to upper 80’s. The main lake and creeks mouths are clear to slightly stained. The creeks and rivers are slightly stained. The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear. Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing has slowed down, but you can still catch them. Bass fishing in August gets tough, but we are still catching some good ones. Power fishing has been a little slow, but there is still some topwater action. Keep a plug tied on at all times.

For the most part, the dropshot rig has worked the best in the deeper brush and also around isolated timber. Most of the fish are small around the shallow brush. The deeper brush and timber is holding better fish. Brush piles in 25-40 feet of water, and wood and rock around deeper bluff walls or isolated timber have been the best areas to catch keeper spotted bass.

Your Lowrance electronics are extremely important right now. Having a milk run of deeper brush and applying deeper tackle have been the keys to catching both size and numbers this week. Explore the deeper brush and keep moving until you locate the larger schools of bass that inhabit these offshore locations.

Spotted bass will show up as arcs when the boat is moving or wavy lines when you boat is stationary. I like to set up the screen on my Carbon 12 unit with 2D, Down scan and GPS mapping. The Down Scan will help you to better see the fish buried in the deeper brush.

My drop shot set up consists of a seven-foot, medium-action Kissel Kraft Custom Spinning Rod with a reel spooled with 16-pound Sunline SX1 Braid, a SPRO Swivel with an 8-18-inch Sunline 7-pound Sniper Fluorocarbon leader and a No. 1 Gamakatsu Aberdeen style hook. Play around with your leader length because that can make the difference between getting a bite or getting ignored.

A shorter 10-inch leader has been working better this past week in my boat,

Other lures have also been producing, based on how active the fish have been. Try digging a SPRO Little John DD 90 early and later in the day on secondary points and toward the backs of the creeks may produce a kicker fish. Cast a Spybait or try an inline spinner and let these lures sink down to the level where brush piles top out.

Retrieve these lures slowly on light 6-pound Sunline.

Striper fishing is good, as long as your can locate the active schools of fish. My Lowrance 16-inch Carbon allows me to split the screen up 4-ways. It is like having four separate seven-inch screens all in one unit. Quality electronics are essential. You will often spend more time searching for active fish than you will catching them.

While you move around in search of fish, it can really pay to troll. Search on down ditches, creek or river channels. Set your downriggers at 30-feet deep or troll seven colors of lead core line at 2 mph. Troll a two-ounce SPRO Bucktail tipped with a live herring or try a Captains Mack’s Mini Rig.

Once you locate a school of active fish, set out down lines. The oxygen content is usually at it’s worst in August. Plan on buying several dozen herring and switching your baits frequently. When getting ready to switch out herring, drop your lines down through the fish. Power reel them back to the surface to enlist a reaction bite.

The power reeling bite is still good. I am sure many anglers wonder why a big piece of metal with a hook in it can fool stripers. I think it’s similar to having a bee buzzing around your ear. Most people quickly will swat them away. Stripers don’t have arms so when a big spoon, bucktail or swim bait come wising past their heads, they are quick to react.

Crappie fishing is slow. The patient angler that can dissect deeper brush from 25 to 30-feet deep early and later in the day will produce some decent crappie. Although 30-feet sounds deep, it’s really not.

After dark, get out your Hydra-Glow lights and fish the bridge pilings. You can purchase store-bought crappie minnows, but consider catching some native spottail minnows. All you need is a fine mesh cast net and some grits. Chum the grits around sandy areas with clay and these minnows will appear out of nowhere. Hook them through the lips and sink them on light line with a split-show sinker set about a foot above the hook.

Bank Fishing: We have one of the most valuable resources in our own back yards. In less than an hour, most of us can drive to the tailrace of Lake Lanier below Buford Dam. In addition to excellent trout fishing, we are also blessed with the parks below the dam and also Buford Dam Trout Hatchery between Buford Dam and Hwy 20.

It’s hard to beat a trip out to the Chattahoochee River. During a hot, August Day the water flowing through the dam cools the area. Once you get out to the river, you may feel as if you have left civilization.

Trout fishing is very good. All your need is a light spinning reel and rod and an inline spinner like a Mepps or Rooster Tail. Cast these spinners into the currents and reel them slow and steady back to the bank. Just make sure you wear your life preserver anytime you are in the water from Buford Dam to Hwy. 20. It’s not only smart: it’s the law.


Eric Aldrich is an outdoor writer, marketing specialist and bass angler and guide. Reports are based on personal experience and permission from a close network of friends. He would love to hear from readers so please email him at