Lake Lanier Fishing Report December 6 2019
Ok, 21 shopping days left until Christmas, let that sink in! I guess that you’ll have to get the shopping done at night, or on line, because ﬁshing is too good to not be on the lake! All species are responding well and with surface temps still holding in the mid 50’s there is no reason why our good late fall bite will not continue. Long term forecasts predict typical weather for this time of the year, with more good days than bad so build some ﬁshing time into the schedule for next week!
The lake level has been steady and as of Friday evening Lanier was 1067.33, 3.67 feet below full pool, with the water temps around 57 degrees. One footnote concerning questions on the instructional Striper trips on Lanier: we will have some days available for the instructional trips after Jan 15th. These are hands on, technique oriented trips that focus on all methods with sonar instruction included. If this is something you may be interested in give us a call/email after the 1st to establish a date!
The Striper bite is still good, with a big variety of techniques that will bend the rod. Overall, the trolling bite may be the best pattern, following by or tied with the downline bite. Add in bait ﬁshing on the free lines/planers, casting Mini Mack’s, and dropping some spoons and you will have a plethora of choices to make? We’ll start with the trolling bite. Pulling the full size rigs has been very good, start at 120 feet behind the boat and adjust accordingly. Pull the rigs down the banks in 25 to 35 feet, over high spots, into the creeks and drains, or around any working Gulls and/or Loons.
Pulling Mini Mack’s over the same depths, is also effective, either ﬂatlined or on the planers. On the Mini, you can slow troll on the electric or ﬂatline them behind the big motor. If you opt for trolling on the outboard, you will need to deploy lots of line, or use lead core, to get the Mini into 15 to 22 feet. On the Stealth trolling, just drop the Mini to the depth where you have the best activity and start pulling at .5 mph tp 1.0 MPH. To address a frequently asked question about the Mini, I have been using 15 lb mono with no leader.
Heavier line does not seem to deter the bite but it will create drag and cause the rig to ﬁsh shallower than with lighter mono. The down line bite has also been good, look for the ﬁsh around the bait schools, the bait is really piling up in the creeks and drains, or if you are far enough either river, on ﬂats adjacent to the channels. Trolling a rig is a good way to ﬁnd these ﬁsh, you can always deploy the bait once you mark ‘em. Depth on the downlines is a big variable, 30 is a good starting point but as always adjust the number as you watch your sonar.
Deploying a pitch bait/free line in the mix will also pay off, especially early in the day. Keep a spoon on the ready as well, if they will bunch up for you the spoon will get the bite! We also have a fair number of ﬁsh up on points, shallow humps and around ﬂats in 8 to 20 feet, especially up the lake. Planers and ﬂat lines will get some bites here and Trout, Gizzards and Herring are all viable baits.
This pattern has not produced the numbers that the down lines have, that 30 foot water is holding good numbers of ﬁsh, and these shallow ﬁsh are scattered. It is a viable pattern and will improve as the water continues to cool. This shallow bite will work lake wide, but may be best up in the rivers
Bass ﬁshing is also very good and as has been the case in recent weeks lots of patterns that are very effective. We have several types of structures that are holding ﬁsh, and is usually the case during this time of year the ditches and drains are attracting good groups of ﬁsh. Typically the ﬁsh will push up into the shallower part of the drain early, moving out as the day progresses. Start out with the moving baits, crank baits, jerk baits and Fish Head Spins, switching to worms and jigs as you move into deeper water.
Docks are still a very good pattern, worms on the Weedless Wonder will get the bite here. I think docks in the creeks are the best, but any dock may hold ﬁsh. If I had to pick a depth I would key on 15 to 25, but a few feet on either side of that range can be effective depending on the day and the weather. Jigs will also be a very good choice for the docks, any dark/crawﬁsh pattern jig should be turned into dinner if the ﬁsh are there As always with the docks, try and ﬁnd the pattern within the pattern. To ﬁsh docks can be pretty vague, try and ﬁnd a depth, what type of secondary structure is under the dock, how far back in the creek ,etc.
Otherwise, this is a game of saturation, often producing singles or doubles, but if you keep on the move you can still run up some nice numbers. Fishing rock is also a good pattern, but talk about vague, rocks are all over and in all depths so let’s try and narrow that down. Two patterns to try here, one is fairly shallow rock in the creeks or on secondary points. Worms on the shakey, Jigs, and crank baits are all good choices for this approach. Like the dock pattern move quickly, ﬁsh plenty of places and the numbers should follow. The other pattern is to ﬁsh main lake, or places on the major creek channels that are rock bluffs.
This can be slow and tedious, because the bluffs are very steep if you do not ﬁsh slowly, your bait will not stay on contact with the rock. Try casting parallel to the bluff keeping your boat tonight to the bank. Fish slowly to let the lure fall down the bluff, not away from it. Most importantly, look for the anomalies along the bluff that will concentrate the ﬁsh. Jigs and shakeys will be the go to baits, but if the ﬁsh pull up shallow moving baits like jerk baits and spinner baits can also be effective.
Good Fishing! Capt. Mack