Lake Lanier Fishing Report April 20 2018 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive
Weekly report from Captain Mack Farr.
Spring? That’s what the calendar says. The water temps may argue that with surface temps still around 60 degrees. Last weekends cold front brought a little wind Monday. That was reinforced by a second front that kept the wind machine working right on through Thursday. The wind and subsequent cold keep surface temps suppressed. It is currently holding at around 59 on Friday mid day. As a result, some of the typical mid April patterns that you are looking for may not line with the calendar, so adjust accordingly!
The lake level has stayed steady at 1070.43 .57 feet below full pool.
Striper ﬁshing has been good. The ﬁsh remain really scattered out. It seems like there are a few ﬁsh everywhere, but not a lot anywhere. The patterns are about the same as they have been in recent weeks, with the addition of a good umbrella rig bite.
I said in last weeks report that I would update the top water bite, but there is not much to update. The last couple of cold fronts set that back a few days, so I’ll update again next week. With warming temps that technique could improve dramatically in the upcoming days. Redﬁns, Zara Spooks, Swim baits and Chug Bugs are always good choices for this application. One of our best patterns remains pulling a live bait spread over open water areas.
Watch the birds, pull baits where you see surfacing ﬁsh, or just pick a section of a creek channel, the river channel, or a drain, and start ﬁshing. If you don’t see ﬁsh, or catch ﬁsh in about 20 or 25 minutes, head off to another area. Use your side Imaging or 360 in this scenario. Live Herring, Shiners, and Gizzard Shad are all still producing. A mix of ﬂat lines, weighed ﬂat lines, and planer boards are the primary technique. Fishing long lines, as much as 120 to 130 feet behind boat may be a plus if you are over deep water.
We also have a pretty good umbrella rig bite that has emerged in the last few days. Pull the Capt. Mack’s 4 arm 9 bait rig 100 feet behind the boat, over 15 to 20 foot main lake humps. One footnote – you may not see the ﬁsh on the sonar or at least on the Down Imaging. As is the case with the open water bite, Side imaging is a plus. Remember, at 15 to 25 feet depths the sonar cone is small, so if are seeing many ﬁsh don’t discount this pattern.
Night ﬁshing the lights has also been pretty solid if you are willing to miss a little sleep. Submerged lights or above water lights are holding good numbers of ﬁsh. Typically, they are quick to take a bait. Small Buck tails, jerk baits, swim baits and of course pitching a live Herring are always good choices for the lights.
Bass ﬁshing has been good, and I am going to say docks are still one of the best overall patterns. I am not sure that the docks became a little stronger with last weeks cool down. The baits have not changed much on this pattern. Worms on the Weedless Wonder and jigs are still good choices for the docks. Flukes and swim baits are also good options. The depths have varied frequently with the constant weather ﬂuctuations. Docks in the creeks and pockets in 8 to 20 feet have been fairly consistent.
Submerged grass – that is not something we get to talk about very much on Lanier! However, with lake levels up, there is plenty of grass to be found. Your ﬁrst thought will probably be to focus on the grass you can see. There is a second tier of grass, usually around 6 to 10 feet deep, that has been a constant producer in recent days. Worms have been the standard, but don’t rule out jerk baits and spinnerbaits. If we consistently have warmer weather trends, look for this pattern to improve.
The Crappie bite has been good, not much change to report here. Shooting docks is probably the best overall pattern. Think in terms of docks that are around 15 to 20 feet deep. Look for the ﬁsh to be typically 3 to 10 feet and they have been quick to bite once you ﬁnd them. Almost any of your favorite jigs will work, but some favorites have been the Bobby Garland Baby Shad in the Halo, Electric Chicken, and the Blue Thunder patterns. The Crappie Country Slab Treats in both the 1/32 or 1/64 oz size in the Number, 2, 3,4, and 8 color patterns. Finally, the Chenille jigs in the 4,5,6 and 10 patterns also have been strong on docks.
See you on the lake!