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Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Bass biting well for anglers who are skilled at targeting offshore brush
Eric Aldrich
Local bass angler Eric Aldrich poses with a fish he caught. - photo by For The Times

Lake Lanier’s water level is right below full pool at 1,070.32 feet or 0.68-feet below a normal full pool of 1,071.

Water temperatures are in the upper 80’s.

Most of the lake remains clear as we have had sparse rainfall.

You will continue to see some cloudy water around the banks from the weekend and the Independence Day boat traffic.

The Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam is clear.

Check generation schedules before heading out to the river at 770-945-1466.

Bass fishing still rates good for the anglers adept at running offshore brush piles with a variety of techniques, based on conditions.

Even with offshore areas, we can expect to see some busy boat traffic over the holiday week.

The main pattern is still relying on offshore brush piles.

Spotted bass and even the occasional largemouth bass are relating to brush in 20-30 feet deep.

Anglers that have a milk run of offshore , and especially out of the way brush piles, will have the advantage this week.

During windy or rainy weather, expect the bass to be more willing to take a topwater plug worked over brush.

Angler with forward-scan technology will really have an advantage when the fish are out schooling away from the brush.

Cast a SPRO Fat Papa Walker 135, a Spook or Gunfish around and over brush when the fish are active.

During calmer times, it may pay to cast a Jerk Shad in White over brush or count down a SPIN John 80 or a Dual Realis 85 Spy Bait to the level of the brush. Engage it and just fast enough to keep the blades spinning.

If the weather is very calm, the dropshot rig has been hard to beat.

Work a Fruity Tri-Colored Worm on a dropshot rig over and inside brush, when you see fish on your electronics.

Back off and work a Georgia Blade Jig through the brush or down any steeper rock dropoffs.

Lake Lanier has a healthy population of spot tail minnows.

Catching the bait can be half the fun.

You can chum out grits, cracker or breadcrumbs around beach areas and boat ramps to attract the spot tails.

Use a minnow trap or better yet throw a small mesh cast net to catch these native spot tails.

Use a Bait Saver Minnow Bucket to make sure you keep your bait lively. 

These small minnows will catch a variety of species and the spotted bass can’t resist them.

Cast these minnows out around steep banks with a slip bobber set to 10-15 feet.

If the fish are in the area, it won’t take long to get a bite.

If you don’t get bit in 15 minutes, move on to a more productive area.

The same Georgia Blade Jigs or a Texas Rigged Curly Tail will coax bites from bass after dark.

Stripers: The striper fishing has ranged from fair to good.


The fish are biting both down and up lake.


You can catch stripers in the rivers all the way down to the dam.


Cover water and pay close attention to your electronics.


Keep a casting rod rigged with a 1-2-ounce SPRO Buck Tail.


Have one ready to cast to any fish you see on the surface.


Flat lined herring will work early in the day, but the down lines have worked best when the sun is high in the sky.


Striped bass are relating to long points, humps and close to the timberlines from 25-50-feet over a 40-70 feet or deeper bottom.


Make sure you have several dozen herring and check in with your local bait store for advice on how to keep them lively with salt and ice.


Use a long leader rigged Carolina Rig style with a 14-17 pound Sunline Natural Monofilament with a two-ounce weight with a swivel attached to a long 10-foot fluorocarbon leader with a Gamakatsu Octopus Hook.


Hook your herring through the nose and change baits frequently.


Always drop your older minnows to the bottom and power reel them through the schools to trigger a reaction bite.


Crappie: The crappie fishing is a little slow and most of these tasty critters are hiding in deep brush and timber.


Fish a 1/16-ounce jig deep early in the day and later as the sun goes down.


Minnows on down lines around the bridges have been working well after dark.

You can email Eric Aldrich at with comments or questions.


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