Lake level: Down 2.3 feet
Temperature: 50s
Clarity: Stained to muddy

BASS: Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. The bass are still scattered throughout the water column so a variety of techniques are working. There are a lot of fish on the rocky points and bluff walls. A green pumpkin trick worm on a shakey head or a jig have been producing good quality fish in less than 15 feet of water. You may have to work to get numbers but the quality of the fish has been very good.

Fish are also moving to deeper structures in the creeks and ditches where the Spotchoker, spoon or jig have also been producing solid fish. I have been throwing a three eights Spotchoker with a Kietech trailer worked on 12-pound fluorocarbon to reach the deep fish. Work this bait very slowly and don’t set the hook hard, just sweep your rod and keep reeling. The baitfish are showing up in the ditches on my Panotic’s and for them I am using the half ounce Georgia Blade spoon on the same fluorocarbon line. Being able to stay on top of the schools is critical for this technique. I use a short hop with the spoon only lifting my rod tip about a foot and letting the spoon freefall. You won’t always feel the bite as the fish will catch it on the fall and you feel in on your next lift. Its fun to watch the spoon fall and see the fish react to the bait. I actually got to see a Loon go through a school of shad this week and it looked like a torpedo going through.

The key thing will be to fish whichever bait you choose very slowly as the fish move slower as the water temperature drops. It a great time to fish and they are biting so Go Catch ‘Em!

Report by Phil Johnson. Email:, 770 366-8845.

CRAPPIE: Crappie can be found from 10 to 40 feet deep. The fish are still in deep brush. Fish docks with structure and the fish will be suspended near the top. Deep blow downs, and brush piles are still holding crappie.

If you are using jigs we just had a big rain and the water color is mud stained so I would start with a darker color combination. Recently, the crappie have been hitting both jigs and minnows. We use ATX lure company’s jigs on a lip thrashing lure jig heads. I use 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 a Acc crappie Stix. I use Garmin Live Scope and the Navionics Boating app.

Report by Captain Josh Thornton, 770 530-6493,

Meet captains, guides at the Atlanta Boat Show

Receive fishing tips and tricks from leading Lake Lanier guides at the 2023 Atlanta Boat Show at the Georgia World Congress Center, Building C, January 12-15.

Guides include Ken Sturdivant, Captain Cefus McRae, Captain Josh Thornton, Captain Mark Smith, Erica DeLana, Greg Showmake, Rene Hesse, and Rick Burns. They will be featured at the show’s “Let’s Go Fishing” center.

For more information visit