Lanier: Level: Full pool. Temp: Low 50s. Clarity: Clear.
Spots: Fair. Guide Ryan Coleman reports, “The spotted bass have been a little stubborn the past few weeks for us here on Lanier, but I think things will pick up soon. As I write this, most of the bigger spotted bass are out roaming the open water and have not committed to the shallows. You can catch a few big ones up shallow, but not the quantity we are used to on Lanier. As the water warms, look for more of the big girls to move up on points, docks and pockets. I have been doing well fishing rocky secondary points in the creeks for numbers of good keeper fish, but I have not caught a lot of 4-lb. plus fish doing that. I have just been hitting rocky points with a Zoom green-pumpkin Swamp Crawler rigged on a 3/16-oz. SpotSticker football head, shaking the worm along the bottom. This has produced good numbers of fish for me and a few good limits. I have also been using the same rig around the docks in 15 to 20 feet of water when the sun is out, but for us, those days have been few and far between. The points have been better during the overcast weather. We would normally have a great jerkbait bite right now, but that bite has just been slow. No other way to spin that. I have worked every kind of structure on the lower end, and you can catch them, but it’s a ton of places before you get bit. The best bait for me has been the Megabass Vision 110 plus. I have had clients catch big spots on a Mini-Me spinnerbait the past week, but that bite is just getting here. White bladed baits have been better in the 1/2- and 3/4-oz. sizes. As we roll into April, look for that bite to get very strong on windy points and in the backs of all the pockets. I wish I had better news, but it has been a grind for us here in the last month or so. Not the early spring we normally have. Look for things to really pick up as April rolls in and this constant cold weather finally leaves us.”
Stripers: Guide Mike Maddalena reports, “The striper fishing is the best it has been all year for both size and numbers. The fish are relating to points and flats from the mouths of the creeks to all the way in the backs of the creeks. Freelines with herring and trout 120 feet back and planner boards with bait at varying distances from 25 feet to 100 feet are your best techniques. Consider adding one or two split-shots, which will help get your baits a little deeper. Casting a Capt. Mack’s 1/2-oz. bucktail jig with a fluke trailer while pulling baits will get you an extra fish. There is also an open-water bite in the mouths of the mid-lake creeks, which defies traditional thinking of shallow in the backs of the creeks this time of the year. There is a good night bite. Cast a Long A Bomber right up on the bank, and work it back to the boat. Flat Creek and Balus Creek from the backs to the mouths are good places to start.” Guide Capt. Clay Cunningham reports, “The stripers will try to spawn in the rivers when the water temperature reaches 65 degrees. Freelines and planer boards will continue to be the best tactic for the stripers. Most days the stripers will be very shallow, so focus on staying tight to the shoreline. Gizzard shad and herring will be effective. Some days gizzards will be best, and some days the herring will, so be prepared with both. On the herring, use a 2/0 Gamakatsu Nautilus Light Circle Hook on 15-lb. Trilene 100 percent flourocarbon. Flourocarbon is important in clear water like Lanier. Concerning artificials, topwater is also getting close. Look for the topwater to begin in the middle of the month. Start with chrome/blue Redfins in the 5- and 7-inch size. Late in the month also be prepared to throw Sebile Slim Sticks and Sebile Splashers.”