Lake Lanier Fishing Report December 21 2018

Lake Lanier Fishing Report December 21 2018

Lake Lanier Fishing Report December 21 2018 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive

Merry Christmas! Can you believe it’s almost here? I hope everyone has a great Christmas and you enjoy time with family and friends. Of course, I hope you also have a day or two off and you can get out on the lake as well. At this point, next week’s weather looks pretty good. Seasonal temps and mostly dry until late in the week. The lake level is 1070.26, . 74 below full pool and the surface temp is right around 51.


Striper fishing remains very good! The down-line bite that has been so strong for the last few weeks continues on! Look around the creek channels for bait and or fish in the bait, drop a down-line to ‘em and they have been pretty quick to respond! I think the Herring have been the best baits, but small Trout are also a good choice. Keep an eye on the Gulls. They are here in pretty good numbers and have been very helpful in locating fish.

The umbrella rig bite has been outstanding in terms of numbers and consistency. This is an extremely effective way to find fish right now. Pull the rigs down the centers of the creek and drains, over the big bait concentrations, or in areas where working birds are present. I have been starting out with the rig about 18 feet deep. Adjust as needed based on what the sonar is showing. Experiment with the distance/depth, speed and rpm changes to maximize the bite. The standard Capt. Mack’s buck-tail umbrella rig has been the ticket. Switch to darker trailers (especially the Bubblegum) may be a plus in low light conditions.

The Mini Mack’s are also a really good tool right now, and the minis offer some different methods than we use when pulling the full size rigs. These light weight rigs are very productive for casting to surfacing fish and may be the most effective bait for that technique. They are also very productive when slow trolling for shallow fish. While they can be effectively pulled with the outboard, I think the best trolling application is pulling the mini’s on the trolling motor. They can be pulled on a flat line or behind a planer board. Keeping one mixed in the bait spread will provide some bonus bites.

Footnote: at slow speeds, the Mini Mack may fish almost like a down line. This is a different presentation than we are accustomed to with the larger rigs. That (near) vertical approach has been effective, so be aware if you try this technique. I just drop the rig down about 25 to 30 feet or to the bottom if the water is less than 30. At that point, program the trolling motor at .7 to 1.0 MPH.


Bass fishing also continues to be great! Fishing the spoons on deep bait concentrations and channels is probably the most prolific technique. Jigs and worms are not far behind. Almost any spoon is effective on this pattern. The .60 Berry’s Flex-it Spoons, Hopkins Shorty, or Super Spoons are all good choices.

To maximize this method, search around the creek channels and drains. Also focus on flats adjacent to channels and drains or on the ends of points that dump into the channels. A 35 to 45 foot bottom has been very prolific, but you may find fish 15 to 20 feet on either side of that depth range. I keep the spoon right on the bottom until I see suspended fish and then reel up to them. If you can get the spoon to them before the leave they will usual bite!

If the deep bite does not appeal to you, no problem. We still have some good numbers of fish roaming around shallow water. This pattern is particularly effective in prefrontal conditions. Crank baits, especially the Spro Rock Crawler (the 9-to 14 foot diver has been very good) and spinnerbaits have both been very productive.

Wind blown rock points are the favored structure but points in general are holding fish. If the wind lays down and the fish seem reluctant to chase, switch to the worms and the jigs for a more subtle presentation.


The Crappie bite is good, the biggest challenge here being the changing water conditions. Both river arms are producing well, just move around looking for the best water temps and colors. Our last rain dump will probably create some muddy water. As it moderates and becomes stained, use that to your advantage. Also, as you work your way up the rivers, watch for significant temperature breaks.

Staying on the warmer side of the new water may be the better fishing. Docks are the structure, deeper docks over 20 to 35 feet of water. Brush is a plus but there will be fish holding on docks without brush as well.

Some baits that have been producing lately are the Bobby Garland in the Keylime, Twilight, and Electric Chicken, and the Crappie Country Chennille Jigs in the #2, 7, and 10 patterns. In darker conditions, whether it is water color or overcast conditions, darker colors may be a better choice!

Good Fishing! Capt. Mack

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