Lake level: Down 1 foot
Clarity: Main lake clear, creeks stained
Bass: Spotted bass fishing is good. Head to the docks and rocks. The warming weather will fire up these fish. Spots are being caught on docks especially halfway in the backs of the creeks.
Look for the warming coves in areas of the last deep water toward the backs of the coves. The first wave of fish should start spawning when the water temperature stabilizes around 60 degrees over the next couple weeks. But this will require stable weather first. Most of the fish can be found in the backs of cuts on any kind of structure you can find, but seem to be relating more to the docks, particularly the last set of docks with at least 10 feet of water under them. Target areas should be out of the wind and get the most sunlight and with a bottom contour of sand or pea gravel. The fish are biting on Shakey Head worm rigs, Mini Me Spinnerbaits and Zoom Flukes in baby bass and pearl.
Use a Mustad 4/0 worm hook. Also, get ready for the suspending jerk baits to work. Use a Lucky Craft bait in a silver and blue or an orange and copper color, small and midsized crank baits that dive 6 to 12 feet in a natural shad color. Main lake points with rocks and even hard clay are already good areas.
Fish around the Lake Lanier Islands and there are lots of warming areas the spots are already heading to. In the back of Young Deer, the old road bed that crosses the creek has spots on the edges. The Rapala #7 Shad Rap or a Bill Lewis Rat L Trap in a chrome and blue or white color is a favorite.
Spots also love the small jigs like the Strike King Bitsy Flip in black and blue, browns, or the green and brown color. Recently we worked the back of Big Creek from the rock island to the back on the right bank around the water intake all the way to the back of the creek and found spots on Spot Stickers right up on the banks early and late.
After the sun is up, the fish are out to 15 feet and an X Rap in pearl is the ticket. Add a brown, black, or green pumpkin chunk such as Zoom’s Super Chunk Jr. Try to focus on areas that will warm the quickest and that are staging areas for spotted bass to spawn at, areas out of the wind with stagnant water, and the back side of windblown points.
Find the fish on the Lowrance Down Scan technology and if have Fish Reveal use it on the Down Scan so the fish appear like on regular Sonar. Use the vertical jig in a 1/2 to 3/4 ounce spoon.
Report by: Phil Johnson, Lake Lanier Bass fishing guide. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 770 366-8845.
Crappie: Crappie fishing is good. The hot bite target zone is 6-10 feet deep. The crappie are getting fat. They are moving into the rivers and creeks and these areas are also loaded with bait fish. Try drifting or slow trolling .3 to .5 mph over the bait fish with minnows 3’-5’ deep in these areas. Crappie can still be found on the docks and when you find them they are loaded. I have been finding the crappie at 5 to 8 feet deep over 30 to 35 feet of water Try slow retrieval of a Crappie minnow with a BB-sized sinker 12 to 16 inches above your hook. For best results use a live minnow. Look under docks that are in 20 to 40 feet of water near a main channel and have brush or structure use your electronic charts to locate these areas.
Remember, crappie love the shade so cast into the shadows of a dock. Try different Jig colors and styles. They can be used for short casting, vertical jigging, trolling or dock shooting. When dock shooting the biggest fish are usually the first to hit. Let your jig sink and give it time to get down to the fish and retrieve your jig slowly. On average recently the percentage has been 75/25 minnows to jigs. The most productive jig color has been the brown and yellow hair jig in clear water and try using dark colors (royal blue/black) in stained or muddy waters. I’m using ATX lure plastics on K9 5 pound test high visibility yellow braid for my line unless I am using a bobber and a Piscifun reel on a ACC Crappie Stix rod. I also use the Garmin Live Scope and the Navionics Boating app.
Report by: Captain Josh Thornton, call to book a trip 770-530-6493.