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..
compiled by Ken Sturdivant, Southern Fishing
Lake level: Down 2.3 feet
Clarity: Mostly clear
Bass: Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. The bass are still scatter at all depths on Lanier as the water temperature is staying fairly steady. The loons and gulls have returned to the lake and are a quick indicator of areas that have bait.
If you see them in a creek area it is a good idea to check the area out to see if you can locate the bait that they are working. Finding the bait has been a key to finding the bass however there have been schools of fish located on just deep structure with no bait around. A three eights ounce Spot Choker with a paddle tail trailer worked slowly in the deeper areas has been producing some quality fish. Don’t be afraid to drag a worm through the 35- to 50-foot depth range. If you find a school of bass directly under your boat drop the half ounce Georgia Blade spoon directly into them. The worm bite on docks in the 10- to 20-foot range is also producing fish now. Many of these bites you won’t feel the typical tick but the bait will just get heavy or walk off so be very aware of your bait at all times.
All of these techniques will produce fish right now with many of them being cookie cutters in the two and a quarter range. For the bigger fish it is just a matter of covering ground to find them.
Your electronics are going to be extremely important now and going through the winter as you look for the bait and the fish. Often it takes time idling and looking quite a bit to find the bait and fish but once you do you can put multiple fish from the school in the boat. Winter fishing can require some patience in locating the fish and you may run five places before you find the right one but the rewards are worth it.
Report by: Phil Johnson, email@example.com, 770 366-8845.
Stripers: Stripers on Lanier are still in the bay area half way back.
Look for bait using your electronics and if you only see two or more drop down lines using blue backs and small trout stagger the depths until you hook up. We pulled planer boards but it’s been windy and cold and hadn’t been working for me. Put out a weighted flat line with trout or gizzard shad 60 to 80 feet behind the boat. Keep in mind that a top water is still a viable option if they come up or you mark some with your sides and. It’s colder than it looks so keep that life jacket on.
Report by: Buck Cannon, Buck Tails Guide Service, 404 510-1778.
Crappie: Crappie fishing has been good but the fishing is as inconsistent as the weather right now. On cold days the fish are deep and on a mild winter day the fish can be found under shallow docks. The water temperature is in the low 50s. The jigs colors I had success with recently are the white with black glitter and the blue grass which is green over chartreuse. We have reports of people having success with the black body with chartreuse tail called the night light. We have found large crappie at 30 feet deep on brush. We are also hitting docks in 10 to 15 feet of water on warm days. Use your electronics locate structure or bush piles. Crappie love the shade so cast into the shadows. 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 …