Lanier: Level: 1.4 feet below full pool. Temps: 54-55 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: The cold snap last weekend dropped the water temperatures about four degrees. “Before the front, I saw a few small buck bass up fanning, but they pulled back out in the pockets,” said tournament angler Billy Boothe. “But the spotted bass haven’t really been affected by the cold weather.” Billy recommended a Mann’s suspending jerkbait in chrome/blue, and he said some good fish are being caught on a 1/2-oz. spinnerbait with tandem Colorado and willowleaf blades and a blue-glimmer skirt. “Throw the spinnerbait in five to 10 feet of water on pea-gravel points and red-clay banks. Some big spots are being caught in the backs of creeks on channel swings. The largemouths are on the first piece of isoloated cover off the spawning flats — channel swings, points, brushpiles. I pulled up on a brushpile in the middle of a pocket in about six to eight feet of water and caught eight in about 15 minutes on a Carolina-rigged, eight-inch worm. By the HD tournament, it should be wide open. The first wave of largemouths should be on the bed.” Billy said you can take a white tube or white lizard and run the banks, or if you’re not into sight fishing, take a Mann’s 1-Minus and cover a lot of water just blind casting.
Stripers: Lanier striper fishing is hot. On the south end of the lake, there are stripers in the very backs of the creeks at sun-up. Fish big baits — buying some trout is your easiest route. Flatlines and planer boards in the backs of the creeks are working best. If you aren’t rigged up to fish live bait, call a guide, or you can catch a few on a 3/8-oz. bucktail tipped with a Junior Fluke cast right on the bank. Some fish are starting to make the river run, too. The Chattahoochee run is first. The water temperature is eight degrees warmer in the Chattahochee than the Chestatee right now.