Lanier: Level: Full. Temp: Upper 50s. Clarity: Clear on main lake and slightly stained in the creeks. Should get a lot more color this week with 100 percent rain three full days.
Bass: Guide Ryan Coleman reports, “Fishing has been excellent with the early spring weather. If we can get more days without rain, it would be perfect. A good portion of the fish have moved up shallow with the water level coming up and the surface temps rising. The spotted bass are positioning themselves on the shallow docks and are eating pretty good. I have been catching them on the new SpotSticker 6-inch Finesse Stick in either electric shad or blueback herring colors. This bait rigged on a 3/16-oz. screwball shaky head is deadly right now for the fish positioned on the docks, brushpiles and bridges. There is still a jerkbait bite going on around the docks and pockets, but look for that to transition to a spinnerbait bite as the water approaches 60 degrees. Sixty seems to be the number that fires up the spinnerbait bite on Lanier. A white-bladed 1-oz. Mini Me worked on points and in the backs of these pockets is the deal for mid to late March. There are still some deep fish out there, and there will be until early April. No matter what the weather does, there are always some still out there that can be caught on a 3.8-inch swimbait rigged on a 1/2-oz. football head or Underspin early in the day. Look for pockets with bait early in the morning, and work these baits along the bottom in 15 to 25 feet of water. This bite usually lasts about one to two hours, and then it’s over with, but you can get a very good early limit of fish with this technique. As April rolls in, the fish will start to bed around the grass and docks. We have a lot of structure in the water this year, and it’s unlikely that the water level will drop for a while, so the spawn should be a good one on Lanier.”
Stripers: Guide Clay Cunningham reports, “Winter has finally broken. It is time to catch fish. Two patterns will develop in March on Lake Lanier. Some of the stripers will be in the creeks, and some of the stripers will be in open water. It is hard to say which will be holding more fish. The stripers in the creeks will be feeding on shad and herring. The stripers in the main channel will be feeding on herring. For best results, rig up several freeline rods. The proper setup for the herring is a 7-foot Shakespeare Striper rod paired with a Penn Squall 20LC reel spoiled with 15-lb. Trilene Big Game line. Tie on a 5-foot, 12-lb. Trilene 100% Flourocarbon leader, a Spro Power Swivel and a 1/0 Gamakatsu Finesse Wide Gap hook. For the shad, use the same Shakespeare rod and Penn reel setup, but use a 4/0 to 6/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook, depending on the size shad. At times, a stinger hook, like a size 1 Gamakatsu treble, is also necessary if the shad is 10 inches or more. Drop these baits back 100 feet with no weight. At times, a balloon is also necessary to keep the bait near the surface. Planer boards like the Water Bugz Boards are also key to keeping the baits spread out. If you prefer artificials, cast a Spro 3/8-oz. Prime bucktail in the backs of the creeks. If the fish are very shallow, go to a 1/4-oz. Prime bucktail. If the water is stained, throw the chartreuse Prime bucktail. If the water is clear, throw the white Prime bucktail. The Capt. Mack Farr jig is also a great option. Cast these bucktails on a 7-foot medium Penn spinning rod paired with a Penn Conflict 3000 or a Penn Battle 3000. Ten-pound green Trilene Big Game is the standard line. The most common mistake is too heavy of a line.”