Lake level: Down .82 feet
Temperature: 50s
Clarity: Main lake clear, creeks stained

BASS: Bass fishing is good. The lake has risen quite a bit with the recent rains and many parts of the lake are still stained to muddy with the water temperature around 50 degrees. It seems the better fishing is in the lightly stained to clear water. The bass are scattered from five to 50 feet right now with and a variety of patterns working. There is still a good deep bite occurring but it may be necessary to cover some area to find the fish.

It’s not mandatory to find shad but it definitely helps. Work the deeper ditches or ledges first with a three-eights-ounce Spotchoker rigged with a three-inch Keitech. It’s important to work this bait very slowly on the bottom and not to overset the hook. If you locate schools of bass that are bunched up around bait or structure a half ounce spoon or drop shot have been very effective. Be sure to keep your spoon directly under your boat to prevent dragging it through any time structure.

There have been bass scattered up shallow and a DT six or DT 10 in a crawfish pattern have caught fish when worked on rocks or long points. The worm and jig bite have worked on the steep ledges and deeper docks along with secondary points. Slow your presentation down and let the bait sink for a few seconds before moving it. With the cooler water temperatures the bass don’t move as quickly for the baits. A lot of good fish are being caught right now on several different baits so if you try one method and it is not working, change baits and depth to see where the fish are on a given day. They are biting so Go Catch ‘Em!

Report by Phil Johnson, 770

STRIPERS: Stripers can be found from Bald Ridge on the south end to Little River and even farther north. The down lines are the most popular method fishing in 50 to 70 feet down using blue backs, shiners and trout. Watch for the birds and your electronics to pinpoint where the fish are located. Planer boards have produced some nice stripers fishing 15 to 20 behind the boards with a split shot up to quarter once weight. Use leaders from 8 pound test or 10 pound test with a #4 octopus hook. The umbrella rigs have been producing trolling on marked fish around points and humps at 2.5 to 3 mph. Remember to wear your life jacket.

Report by Buck Cannon, Buck Tails Guide Service, 404 510-1778.

CRAPPIE: Crappie can be found from 10’- 40 feet. On a recent week the catch came from docks and the fish were suspended in 6 to 15 feet of water. Fifty percent of the catch came from minnows, the other 50 percent jigs.

I would recommend starting with darker color combinations because of all the rain and the mud stained water. However we did catch several on the monkey milk combination.

Crappie love the shade so cast into the shadows or shaded areas of dock. When dock shooting, the biggest fish are usually the first to bite.

I use ATX jigs on Lip Thrashin Lures jig heads along with 5 pound test high visibility yellow k9 braid for my line unless I am using a bobber. Then it’s the k9 6 pound high vis line and an Acc crappie stix. I use Garmin Live Scope and the Navionics Boating app.

Report by Captain Josh Thornton at 770 530-6493.

News: The Georgia Wildlife Federation Fisharama/Buckarama is set for February 10-12 in Perry, Ga. Southern Fishing Professional angler Ken Sturdivant will host fishing seminars. For more information contact Sam Stow 778 787-7887 or

Sturdivant will also be at the Lake Lanier Boat Show, March 3-5, at Margaretville on Lake Lanier Islands. For more info contact Ashlyn Armistead 855 365-2365,