Lake Lanier Fishing Report April 15 2016 | Weekly report from Captain Mack Farr
Fishing has been pretty good overall, and the old adage “the early bird gets the worm”, is very applicable to Lanier Stripers and to some extent our Bass and Crappie. The patterns really have not changed much in the last two weeks, and the water conditions are also pretty stable with surface temps stalled out around 60 degrees. The lake level was sitting at 1070.38 as of the 14th.
If you are trying to catch a Striper, an early start or fishing through the night is very productive right now. The dock lights are holding fish throughout the night and if you are out in the am, it is worth starting a few minutes early to make a cast or two to your favorite Light. Most of the lights are holding nice numbers of fish and they have been quick to bite. A small bucktail jig, or fluke will get the bite here, and pitching a Herring to the light is a pretty much a guaranteed bite.
We also have a very nice Redfin bite going on! An early start for this technique is also a plus, although you can pull some fish up to this bait throughout the day. Use the wind to your advantage. The fish seem to be responding to this method on areas where the wind is pushing up on the bank. Target blow troughs and points using the run and gun method. This pattern is generally all about covering lots of water. Cast the Redfin right up to the banks, as many of the fish are very shallow.
Live baits are also producing some nice catches and both Gizzard Shad and Herring have been bringing some really nice fish to the boat. Use a combination of flatlines and planer boards. Adding a split shot or two to pull the Herring down a few feet can be a big plus.
Bass fishing is good, but as of now we still have some fish in deep water, at least deep by mid-April Terms. I think the deeper patterns are subject to change as soon as water temps start to rise, but until then don’t be hesitant to fish as deep as 25ft. Many structures are producing right now. Docks are still strong, blowdowns, stump flats and drains to name a few. Worms and jigs are staples, with jerk baits and spinnerbaits also being good choices. If you have a little wind, which we have had an abundance of wind in the last few days, spinnerbaits and jerk baits may be better producers, on slick days, or for the deeper fish, worms and jigs are the ticket.
A note to the Bass fisherman: “DO NOT rule out the Redfin“! It is underutilized when it comes to targeting the magnum spotted bass that Lake Lanier has to offer. We hooked up with many of them this week! We even had 2 fish on one plug! They both were over 3 pounds!
You can see them in the video featured in this report.
Sometimes the downside to hooking 2 fish on one plug is that as they fight against each-other, they have a tendency to free themselves. This makes you want to break your rod in half…. If you land them, talk about a rewarding and exciting catch you’ll never forget!
One bite that always occurs in April, but is seldom used, is casting an 11S Rapala to shallow shoreline structures. The 11S the Original Floating Rapala, if I had to pick a color I would go with the silver black back. Just cast around any structures you see and fish it with a slow subtle action and you’ll be surprised how many fish you can catch!
Crappie fishing is good, with the only drawback being all the movement associated with the spawn. For the most part, think shallow, and target the backs of the creeks. During most of the year, I think fishing is generally best in the middle and upper parts of the lake, but during April and early May, the lower end creek backs can be very good and can yield some of our biggest fish. Shooting shallow docks is working well right now, with blown down trees also being very productive. The Bobby Garland baits are the bait of choice of the docks, with live minnows, hair jigs, and small curly tail grubs doing the trick on the trees and other shallow structures.