Lake Sidney Lanier has some of the best freshwater fishing in the Southeast. From striper to largemouth and spotted bass to crappie, walleye, and catfish, you will create great fishing memories here. There are plenty of locations to fish from the shore, but fishing from your boat is superb. With all the little islands and inlets you are sure to find your favorite spot.

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As much fun as fishing is for adults, fishing can be just as fun and educational for kids! Commemorate your child’s first catch with this fun “First Fish” certificate provided by the DNR..

Fishing Columnist, Ken Sturdivant - headh shotLanier Fishing Report

compiled by Ken Sturdivant, Southern Fishing

October 2021 Fishing Report

Lake level: 0.60 above full pool
Clarity: Clear
Temperature: 80s

Bass: Bass fishing on Lanier is good to very good. The fall pattern is continuing with the cooler weather and lower than normal water temperatures. There are a variety of patterns working now so it is a great time to pick your favorite one and be on the water.

Key areas are humps and long points in the 25- to 35-foot depth around structures. It seems having deep water nearby to the area you are fishing is important. The top water patterns are my choice for the explosive bite but the key to this bite is wind. It doesn’t take a lot of wind but actually the more the better. The old Chug bug is still producing fish along with the Gunfish, Sammy and Spook. I’m working all of these baits on 15 pound monofilament to be able to handle the stripers that are also showing up. For baits that I work on top I will use mono and for the below surface baits I use Fluorocarbon.

The Jerkshad is working well in the wind as well on calm days. I am nose hooking the Pearl and FZNH20 colors and working them with a quick reel and kill retrieve.

For me, the Dropshot comes into play on days with very little wind. Working in and around the brush and drop-offs with Lanier Baits’ Blue Lily and Morning Dawn has been a steady producer. There are still a lot of fish schooling so I have a three eights ounce Spot Choker underspin with a Pearl Fluke ready to make long cast. The Georgia Blade five-inch Flutter Spoon is another good choice when trying to reach schooling fish. The shallow bite is improving especially early in the morning. A Zoom green pumpkin worm around docks leading back into pockets or on the end of blow downs are beginning to produce fish. You will find some fish all the way in the backs of the pockets early especially if the wind is blowing into the pocket. The weather is perfect and the fish are biting so Go Catch ‘Em!
Report by: Phil Johnson, Lake Lanier Bass Fishing
770 366-8845,

Stripers: Stripers have moved to the middle of the lake from Big Creek to Flat Creek over the river channel. Use the down lines at 30 to 40 feet deep over 100-foot bottom. Trolling has produced using lead core with a variety of 1.5 to 3 ounce jigs tipped with curly tails in different colors to 100 yards behind the boat.
Report by: Buck Cannon Buck Tails Guide Service,  404 510-1778.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is good. The fish are on the docks and also can be found on open water brush piles and blow downs. This week’s catch was 80% minnows, 30% jigs.

If you have live scope or active imaging set the minnows just above the fish. Right now I am setting the minnows around 12 deep. For best results use an active 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. (Always be scanning.) Remember crappie love the shade so cast into the shadows of a dock. Try different jig colors. Recent hot colors include pink and Chartreuse jig in clear water and gold and black with sparkles can be used for short casting, vertical jigging, trolling or dock shooting. 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.
Report by: Captain Josh Thornton, 770 530-6493.


Bait & Tackle Shops

Buford Dam Bait & Tackle  – (706) 429-7211
2595 Buford Dam Rd, Cumming, GA 30041
Located in Chevron station

Hammond’s Fishing – (770) 888-6898
4255 Browns Bridge Rd, Cumming, GA 30041

Daniel’s Grocery – (770) 887-7052
2355 Pilgrim Mill Rd, Cumming, GA 30041

Oakwood Bait & Tackle Shop – (770) 965-9400
5422 McEver Rd, Oakwood, GA 30566

Kelly Brown Bait & Tackle – (423) 509-3708
3535 Thompson Bridge Rd, Gainesville, GA 30506

Sherry’s Bait & Barbecue – (678) 971-5607
2807 Dawsonville Hwy, Gainesville, GA 30506

STOP BY FOOD MART#2 – (770) 536-6421
2145 Cleveland Hwy, Gainesville, GA 30506

The Outdoor Depot  – (770) 539-9356
250 John W Morrow Jr Pkwy, Gainesville, GA 30501
Located in Gainesville West Shopping Center

Happy Hooker, Inc. – (770) 867-4814
104 S Broad St, Winder, GA 30680

Check out these videos of fishing on Lake Lanier …

Lake Lanier Weather

Gainesville, GA, USA

Lakeside Sponsors


Lake Events


22oct6:30 pm10:00 pmMoonlight Paddle - LCKC - Summer/Fall 2021Lake Lanier Olympic Park, 3105 Clarks Bridge Rd, Gainesville, GA 30506

23oct9:30 amSo You Think You Can 5K - Oct 2021Aqualand Marina Fuel Dock/Dock Store, 6800 Lights Ferry Rd, Flowery Branch, GA 30542

Off Lake Events


16oct8:00 amBoulder Dash 5K/10K, Cumming - Oct 2021Northside Hospital - Forsyth, 1200 Northside Forsyth Dr., Cumming, GA 30041

16oct8:00 amGold Rush 5K, Dahlonega - Oct 2021UNG Memorial Hall Gym, 82 College Circle, Dahlonega, GA 30597

16oct8:00 am12:00 pmOriginal Hall County Farmers Market - October - 2021Hall County Farmers Market, 734 E. Crescent Dr., Gainesville, GA