Lake Lanier Fishing Report March 2016

Lanier: Level: 0.4 feet below full pool. Temp: High 40s to 50. Clarity: The water is lightly stained on the main lake and has medium stain in the backs of the creeks.

Bass: Good. Guide and tournament pro Ryan Coleman reports, “There are a lot of patterns working out there as the water temps have held up this winter. We have not been much below 50 degrees all winter, which is pretty good for us. The fish are both deep and shallow and can be caught pretty good from each area. There are a good many largemouth up shallow around very shallow cover, and they are biting. Out deep, I am still catching a few big spotted bass in the timber, but that bite is going away. The warm surface temps and length of daylight has these fish ready to spawn, so they are making the move up shallow. The fish that are out in the timber are stubborn and holding tight to the trees instead of roaming around. I am taking a 3/8-oz. SpotSticker jig and bouncing it around in the trees slowly to just make them give up. Once you get one to bite, it will be a nice fish. The shallow fish are holding in the channels early and can be caught on an Underspin/fluke combo or a jerkbait worked slowly in the first hour or so of the day. Once the sun comes up, just start to slowly work shallow cover with a jig, jerkbait or Mini-Me spinnerbait for those good fish. We have also been running rocky banks with a SpotSticker for some nice fish that are just sunning out there shallow. This pattern has been pretty strong the past few trips. On the windy days, I have been working a Mini-Me on the points all over the lower end. Just keep running points where the wind is crashing in 5 to 15 feet of water. I am mostly using a 3/4- or 1-oz. Mini-Me with dual white willows, and make sure to add a trailer hook freely swinging on the back. Blue billet, chartreuse billet and platinum pearl have been our best colors so far this spring. The 1-oz. bait allows you to move the bait a little faster and deeper without adding size to the bait. There are also some decent fish on docks right now that can be caught on a jig/worm combo. The best docks for me have been the very shallow ones in the backs of the pockets, but there are a few out on the deeper docks as well.”

Stripers: Big Fish On Guide Service reports, “Striper fishing is good, but the weather has made fishing a challenge. Nothing has changed this week. The lake continues to fish like two different lakes. The north end of the lake has been running several degrees colder than the south end. There is an early morning bite in the north end creeks using herring on freelines and planer boards. Once the sun gets up, weight your lines with several split-shots, and deploy your downrods, in addition to your freelines, and move to deeper water. The primary issue on the north end has been the heavy stain and mud due to the rains. In contrast to the north end of the lake, there is a deep water downrod bite halfway back in the south end creeks. Use your Lowrance Structure Scan to locate bait and suspended fish over the creek channels. Regardless of where you are fishing, the critical keys are the birds and bait. The birds are key indicators, and when you find both birds and bait, there are stripers in the area. The umbrella rig bite has slowed this past week, and herring is your best bet. The early spring bite is just around the corner. Fish will start moving  up on the flats where the water warms the quickest. The time for big baits for big fish is coming up.”

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