Fly fishing gear

Lake Lanier Fishing Report: Watch the weather conditions before heading out to catch bass


Low fishing has been in a state of change.

Top-down weather fronts really come into play as late fall approaches.

I have found that consistent weather conditions generally result in consistent fishing patterns.

When weather fronts are blowing, we often have to make changes daily, if not hourly.

Many anglers assume that moving weather fronts mean active fish.

Remember, fish don’t read BASS magazine articles, internet forums, or even those weekly local reports, so they often think and wander off the beaten track.

Fishermen need to stay in the moment and pay close attention to what their environment and electronics are telling them.

We ran into a gust early this morning dragging ½ oz Georgia Blade Jigs to a depth of 35 to 50 feet.

It was daybreak and the sky was overcast with average temperatures of 30 degrees and a strong wind of 10mph.

I was getting ready to throw some jerk baits and spinnerbaits to a long point where the fish was supposed to be.

My 16 inch Lowrance HDS display immediately turned on and showed that the boat was in fact positioned directly above where the fish were actually located.

We wanted to catch them our way, but the fish didn’t care.

It is difficult to keep a template on the bottom, let alone feel the bite in these conditions.

We were rewarded with a goalie bite every 10 to 15 minutes for two hours.

An hour later the wind and our bite died, so we moved around and found schools of fish in a calm pocket in 5 to 15 feet of water.

We caught them on McStick Jerk bait.

An hour later we found fish eating dropshots with Lanier Baits Fruity Worms and Damiki / Little Swimmer Jigs on the bottom in 25-35 feet of water.

The latest technology available allows anglers on a budget to watch the fish, and even our lures, as they move 60 feet in front of the boat.

It’s like you’re filming them.

It might sound like cheating, but it will also show you how often fish react to our lures but don’t bite.

Not all the money in the world can buy instinct and experience, but it can improve our existing and growing abilities.

Also, keep in mind that our knots, lines and fishing rods are extremely important factors, especially when you are deep fishing.

My fishing rod is a Kissel Krafts Custom Baitcasting 7ft 6in midweight baitcasting rod rigged with Sunline Assassin Fluorocarbon 14-17 lbs.

I use a standard Palamar knot to secure my lures to the line.

Expect things to change as we see other moving fronts over the weekend.

For the most part, the fish have always been active early and late in the day, but the bite will also activate during peak feeding times, moving fronts, and Buford Dam generation times.

Apart from a few die-hard fishermen who fished green lights.

We had the lake after dark to ourselves.

Bass and Stripes, as well as the occasional walleye, foraged just before sunset around 10 p.m. or later.

Launch a Little John DD or RkCrawlers and Georgia Blade Black and Blue Spinnerbaits SPRO.

Many anglers are drawn to black or dark reds and blues.

I also like to turn things around and run a bright citrus colored SPRO DD.

Stripers: This is the time of year to not only keep an eye on your electronics, but also to scan the water around you for clues as to what the fish are doing.

We saw lots of gulls, loons, herons and kingfishers in the areas where we saw and caught stripers.

If you observe closely, you will often see fish swirling or bursting on the surface at a relatively long distance, especially when the surface is quieter.

Now that my eyesight is getting older, I can understand why I have seen so many fishermen miss the action that is going on around us.

Start your days in the side pockets and ditches midway in the lower streams of the lake and north of River Forks in the Chattahoochee and Chestatee rivers.

Live bait and trolling rigs were both good choices.

Fish are associated with several types of forage, but thread-fin shad and blueback herring appear to be the predominant prey.

Gizzard shad is also on the menu, and these big baitfish can trigger bigger bites.

Establish a distribution of both the flat lines and the descending lines.

Most bait shops have herring. These seem to work the best.

I always like to flatten a trout or a big gizzard shad to trigger one of the bigger fish that popped up last year.

Artificial lures work well on Lake Lanier during the colder months.

Movable lures like a ½ oz Bucktail SPRO, Rooster Tail, SPRO McStick or even a streamer on a fly rod are all good choices when the fish are closer to the surface.

Upgrade to heavier bucktails, Damiki Rigs, or jigging spoons when you see fish deeper with your electronics.

Trackers bit into creeks and around green wharf lights after dark.

Throwing herring on unweighted lines until the green lights scored decent fish.

Throwing bombers, McSticks at those same lights, they’ll also produce stings after sunset.

shit the fishing is good.

The best fish are always caught from deeper docks with brush.

Docks 20 feet or even much deeper hold good fish.

Crappie jigs and minnows on weighted lines continue to score good sized crappie bites for the fryer.

Use your front and side scan electronics to help you find the best docks.

Once you’ve located a good school of fish, you can catch them for a while before you need to find a better spot.

You can email Eric Aldrich at [email protected] with comments or questions.