Lake Lanier Fishing Report January 12 2018 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive
Weekly report from Captain Mack Farr.
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Now onto this weeks report!
Last week was cold! The weather has moderated, although it looks like another pretty nice shot of cold air blows in this weekend so keep the cold gear handy. Water temps took a dip as well with surface temps averaging around 47. It is a little colder up in the upper parts of the lake. The lake level has been steady. As of the 11th it was 1065.95, 5.05 below full pool.
The Striper bite slowed after last weeks fronts and subsequent invasion of cold air. However, the patterns are basically the same. The ﬁsh are still spread out in a variety of depths, so be prepared to switch techniques fairly quickly. We still have some ﬁsh roaming over deep bait schools. The bait is holding on or near the bottom from 50 to 80 feet. The Stripers may near the bottom or suspended up over the bait. Stagger your down lines to try and ﬁnd the best depth. Keep a variety of baits in the water to try and determine what the preferred bait is on any given day. We also have a traditional winter time free-line and planer board bite. Some very nice ﬁsh are being produced on this setup.
Pull a mix of baits over open water. Basically over creek channels and drains. Concentrating on areas where Gulls and Loons are active. Keep in mind that you do not have to see bunches of birds. Look for just a couple of Loons or a handful of Gulls. They will put you in the right place. Bluebacks have been the bait of choice, but keeping other baits in the spread is a good idea. Medium Shiners are often very good baits when the surface temps drop into the 40’s. If you will remember this time last year they were the primary baits. Just make sure your hook size matches the bait when you are using the shiners.
Bass ﬁshing has slowed some after last weeks weather. The patterns are basically the same and you just may have to work a little harder to get a bite. The ﬁsh are still scattered out all over the water column, so we have a variety of patterns that will produce. The deep bite is still producing well. Target areas where the bait is concentrated, mostly creek channels and drains. Spoons are still probably the ﬁrst choice of baits here. A worm on the drop shot, Texas Rig, or a shaky will all produce. Main lake structures in the 30 foot range are also holding ﬁsh. Ditches/drains, ledges, brush, or single standing threes are all likely bets. Again the worm is probably the most consistent producer, but spoons and jigs will get the bite as well.
As is usually the case in the Winter months, rock bluffs are also a very productive structure. The ﬁsh may be at any depth along the bluffs, and will move based on weather on any given day. Start out with moving baits, jerk baits and crank baits. Switch to worms and jigs if the ﬁsh are not up moving around enough to chase down the faster baits. This bluff pattern will work all over the lake. No matter what part of the lake you are ﬁshing you can ﬁnd bluffs. Look for any change or anomaly long the rock, often that will help concentrate the ﬁsh.
Crappie fishing is also good. The biggest challenge is keeping your hands warm while you are fishing! Cast your your favorite hair jigs around 15 to 25 foot brush or docks that are holding fish. Live minnows on a down rod, or tipped on your jigs are also effective. The fish will bite when you find them, but this weather has put the fish in cold mode and the bites can be very subtle.
Crappie ﬁshing is overall good, but like the rest of the ﬁsh they slowed down a notch or two with the cooling water and changing weather. The pattern is no surprise here. Free standing brush or dock shooting with your favorite jig should get the bite. The ﬁsh may be deep, down to 20 or 25 feet, which makes catching numbers a little more difﬁcult It’s hard to catch them fast when you have to wait for those little baits to sink down to the ﬁsh.
Why not use bigger jigs you are thinking? Typically, anything heavier than a 1/16 oz sinks too fast and the Crappie are content to watch it sink right on past them. Tandem jigs will help solve this issue if you are casting. For dock shooting there is no good ﬁx. Shoot the bait to the dock, take a bite or two out of your sandwich, and that should give the jig enough time to sink into the strike zone.