Lake level: down 3 feet
Temperature: 40s
Clarity: North-end stained

BASS: Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. Currently the lake has come up to three feet below full pool. With the recent rains there are still a lot of areas stained, particularly in the backs of the creeks and up the rivers while the main lake is still mostly clear. The cold weather is having an effect on bass as more fish are located in the deeper parts of the lake. Bait is showing up in the 35 to 50 feet of water and the bass are following them. Early in the day it is still possible to have a good shallow bite but once the sun gets up that seems to slow.

A crankbait or a worm worked on the sunny rocks will catch these fish. The deeper fish have been coming off three main baits. A three-eights finesse Spot Choker with a three-inch swimbait, a half ounce spoon and the drop shot fished with either Blue Lily or Sweet Rosy Lanier Baits worms.

For the spoon, look in the ditches to locate the bait and the bass will be close by. You may not see them on your electronics as they may be tight to the bottom but once you fire one up others will show up. Work the Spot Choker very slowly down the ditches and on drops to cover an area. The bites are light so if it feels slightly heavy speed up your retrieve to set the hook. As the water continues to cool watch for the bass to concentrate more in groups in the deeper water. It may take some time to find them but once you do you can catch multiple fish in one spot.

With the lower water temperature be sure to wear your life jacket as hyperthermia will happen quickly if you happen to hit the water. Even though it’s cold the bite is still good so Go Catch ‘Em!

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

STRIPER: Striper fishing is good. Stripers swim 4 to 7 miles per day looking for food and cool water. The lake temperature is in the high 40s. The typical winter fishing technique during the winter months of pulling live bait on free lines and planner boards is working when pulled in areas with large concentrations of bait. This technique is clearly the most fun way to fish in the winter. There is nothing like watching a planner board screaming across the water with a big striper on.

Herring has been the most productive bait with small trout and gizzard second. When pulling baits always try to keep someone on the front deck casting a 1/2 ounce buck tail jig with a fluke. The umbrella rig is still working when pulled across points and flats.

Our stripers are scattered all over the lake from Shoal Creek to Little River. Stripers can be found in pockets and on points from the back of the creeks to the mouth. They should be more concentrated in the back of the creeks this time of year but that’s one of the challenges of striper fishing. They are not always where anglers think they should be. However, there is one key that seldom fails; find the bait and fish there.

One of the questions we often get asked is “when is the best time to go striper fishing?” Guides will go when you can. The reality is this is true! There are many conditions that affect the fish biting or not biting. Lake conditions both temperature and dissolved oxygen content, moon phase and barometric pressure are the factors most often discussed.

Report by Buck Cannon, 404 510-1778.