Lake Lanier is 1.75 feet below full and the surface temps are in the mid 80’s. Fishing has been very good for Stripers, and Bass, we’ll give the Crappie fishing a fair rating.
Striper fishing has been very good and there are several techniques that are producing nice catches right now. Live Herring on the down rods are very effective, with some fish still taking weighted flat lines in the early am hours. There are even a few of the smaller Stripers pushing bait up to the surface in the first hour of the day, keep a top water, small jig, Flex-It Spoon,or a game changer tied on to cast to the schoolers. Also, when you see surfacing fish, even if you think they are all Spots, or if they sound, go over and do a quick sonar check, often you will see the fish in 25 to 40 feet, waiting for you to send down a bait!
Umbrellas are still working well and are accounting for some very good numbers. Pull the rigs into pockets and coves adjacent to creek channels or the river channel, and pull all the back to a 30 foot bottom as many of the fish are still working into the backs of these areas. If you see big concentrations of fish, clear the rigs and send the Herring down, and/or start power reeling a buck tail.
As the water heats more Stripers are gravitating to the River channel and the major creek channels. Lead core is a good option here, a 1 or 1.5 oz. chipmunk jig 7 or 8 colors back is a good combo. This bite is just developing and is not producing huge numbers, but the average size has been very good. Overall Striper fishing has been good all day, but I think the bite is best in the early am and late evening hours.
Bass fishing is good and if you are out early watch for the schoolers! We are seeing a lot of surfacing fish for the first couple of hours of daylight, Zara Spooks, Chug Bugs and small buck tails will be good choices for this pattern. After the surface activity slows, concentrate your efforts on brush in the 20 to 30 foot range. Jigs, and worms are both effective for the brush bite, and the drop shot will be hard to beat for numbers and consistency. Don’t rule out a spoon, if you can see any decent concentrations of fish on the bottom, drop a Flex-it down to them and hang on! The Flex-It spoon is also very effective when cast to the schooling fish, it’s weight and compact size allow for long casts making those far away fish a little easier to reach!
Crappie fishing is just ok, it is not so much that the fish are not biting, it is more a matter of the fish being really deep. Many of the fish are 20 feet or deeper making it very difficult and very slow to present small jigs in those depths. Try fishing two jigs on a tandem rig, this allows you to fish a small bait, but it will sink into the strike zone much more quickly when you double the weight. Live minnows on a downline are a good choice for these deep fish as well. Night fishing under the bridges in the upper parts of the lake can also be very effective and a good way to beat the heat and boat traffic. Live minnows or very small threadfin shad are the baits of choice for this pattern
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