Lanier: Level: 1.8 feet below full pool. Temps: 50 degrees on the south end; about 47 degrees up the rivers. Clarity: The backs of the creeks are stained, but the main lake and most of the creeks are clear.
Bass: Good, with fish moving deeper even though water temperatures are staying pretty stable. “There are a lot of fish over and in the timber on the lower end Lanier,” said Ryan Coleman, a full-time guide and tournament angler. “Look for small feeder creeks with ditches that have 40 to 55 feet of water. Get over the timber and work these fish with a jigging spoon and drop shot.” Ryan said you won’t always see the bass on your electronics, but that you can draw them out of the timber to bite. “Vary your spoon sizes and colors, and you will eventually get one that they will eat,” he said. “I’ve been using a Silver 5/8-oz. CC spoon from Cotton Cordell and a white 6/10-oz. Flex-It. Make sure to replace the stock hook on both these baits.” Ryan said there’s also been a jig bite on warmer days. “On sunny days, I have been doing pretty well on a 5/16-oz. Booyah Bug jig with YUM Twin Tail trailer and a five-inch YUM Gonzo Grub rigged on a Chompers 1/4-oz. stand-up head. Work these baits on deep docks and steep, rock banks that have sun directly on them. This is a midday bite for the most part.” Another pattern to try in February is to crank the shallow banks and flats up the rivers and major creeks. “February is a great month for cranking these shallow banks with a 4A Bomber crankbait or Fat Free Fingerling crankbait. Work these plugs slowly, digging the bottom on shallow rock.”
Stripers: Good, but like any fishing this time of year, you’re best to play the weather so you’re not right behind a cold front, said guide Jerry Hester. “We’re catching good numbers, and we’re catching some good-sized stripers, and it’s been on a variety of techniques. We’re catching them on downlines, freelines, planer boards, U-rigs — just stay ready to do everything. We’re not seeing too many surfacing fish, and another thing we’re not seeing is the bait packed up in the very backs of the creeks in two or three feet of water. The bait is in the creeks, but about halfway back and over deep water,” Jerry said. Fred Wammock and his team won a North Georgia Striper Club tournament on Sunday, January 22. “On Thursday, we caught fish on small bass minnows mid-way to the backs of the creeks. On Friday, we couldn’t catch a fish on top. We switched downlines and trout, and we caught five good fish between 12 and 16 pounds. We were in Lathem Creek over a 35-foot bottom, and we were fishing 25-feet down. On Sunday, we went in the back of Johnson Creek using gizzards, trout, and bluebacks, and the only fish we caught was on a blueback. Then we switched to U-rigs, and out over 80 to 90 feet of water almost over the Chattahoochee River channel, we caught 12 fish, and the biggest was 18 pounds. On Sunday, most of the fish were caught on U-rigs, and they only wanted to eat a chartreuse trailer on the jigs. They wouldn’t eat a white trailer,” Fred said.