Water level: Full
Bass: Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. The summer patterns are definitely in full swing. The fish have moved to the 25- to 30-foot range and are relating to structure and ledges.
One day the fish will ignore a bait and the next day they will kill it. As you approach this summer pattern remain flexible in what you do. Something as subtle as changing your retrieve a little can cause fish to react.
Be prepared to fish a lot of locations in order to put fish in the boat as you may only catch one or two at a spot. We are still running the same top and drop pattern and it will be the same pretty much for the summer.
Approach the structure first with a topwater bait, then throw a fluke and then get directly over the brush with a drop shot. Some days the fish will be holding in the brush, some days around it and some days on top of the brush. This is where your electronics are key and can save you a lot of time.
The main baits recently have been a chrome Gunfish, a chug bug, a Jerkshad, a five-inch spoon and a drop shot. The Fruity Worm colors of Blue Lily, Morning Dawn and Tomato Craw have all produced fish. I have dropped my leader down to six or eight-pound fluorocarbon to gain more strikes. A White Jerkshad has been the steadiest color. Work this bait quickly on the surface and then kill it. Most of the strikes are coming on the fall. A five-inch Georgia Blade spoon has worked on long points and humps. Use your electronics to tell the depth of you target fish and allow the spoon to go to that depth. The retrieve is a strong pump and then let it fall. Be prepared for the fish to hit it on the fall. The fishing is still good but be prepared to fish a lot of places in order to catch a lot of fish.
Report by: Phil Johnson: Pjohnson15@hotmail.com, 770 366-8845.
Crappie: Crappie fishing is good. The hot bite target zone is 10 to 15 feet deep. The crappie are on the docks and also can be found on open water brush piles and blow downs. I always put out a Crappie minnow because some days the crappie just want a minnow. A recent week’s catch was 50/50 with minnows and jigs.
If you have live scope or active imaging set the minnows just above the fish. Right now I am setting the minnows around 10’ 12’ deep. For best results use an active minnow not a dead minnow. Look under covered docks that are in 20 to 40 feet of water and near a main channel. Also, look for 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 Jigs colors and jig styles. Jigs can be used for short casting, vertical jigging, trolling or dock shooting. The most productive jig color combination recently was clear with blue sparkles.
When dock shooting the biggest fish are usually the first to bite. Let your jig sink and give it time to get down to the fish and retrieve your jig slowly. I’m using ATX lures. I use a five-pound test high visibility yellow braid for my line (unless I am using a bobber) and a Piscifun reel on a ACC Crappie Stix. I’m also using Garmin Live Scope and the Navionics Boating app.
Report by: Captain Josh Thornton, 770 530-6493.