Lake Lanier Fishing Report January 19 2018 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive
Weekly report from Captain Mack Farr.
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Now onto this weeks report!
On Wednesday January 17th it was colder at Lake Lanier then it was in Anchorage Alaska! That sums everything up. The cold continues its grip on Lanier and the most everywhere else for that matter. However, more seasonally appropriate weather is in store as the long term forecast suggest moderating temps. The lake level inched up to 1066.15, 4.85 at below full, and the surface temps range from 41 to 46 depending on your location.
The Striper bite has slowed. The patterns have not changed that much. It’s just harder to make a ﬁsh bite when you get on them. Live bait is probably the best bet then down lines over bait or free lines/planers under the birds. The downline bite is basically ﬁshing over deep bait pods anywhere you see them. Usually in creek channels and associated drains. Try a variety of baits and stagger them throughout the column until you can see a preferred depth. If you have medium minnows in the spread, which is a good idea, downsize the hook to match the bait. Downsizing the leader is a plus as well.
The lighter leader offers a little stealth, but more importantly it allows that little shiner to move more freely. A larger diameter line creates drag which inhibits a small bait (that applies to any small bait, not just shiners) from moving well, compromising its ability to swim. On the free line, target areas where you see birds working, or even better, areas where you see ﬁsh working the surface. Use a variety of baits, large and small, and adding a little weight to some of the free lines may get an extra bite or two.
You may want to condense to a smaller bait spread such as four lines or maybe just two. This gives you the ability to clear the lines and move quickly to any birds or ﬁsh you may see. Often, the window to get to these ﬁsh is small. Clearing a big spread takes time, so the efﬁciency of a smaller spread may give you the chance to ﬁsh a few extra groups of ﬁsh. You can always deploy the full spread once you locate a good group of ﬁsh.
The bass may be the most agreeable of the bunch and we have lots of them in the deep water! Fishing over the bait is still key. Concentrate your search around drains and creek channels. While you may have ﬁsh in these areas without bait, your odds probably go up if the bait is present. Spoons are still good choices here, but I think the drop shot has replaced the spoon as the go to bait.
A variety of plastics on the drop shot may get the bite. The new Robo Ned worm or a ﬂuke will do the trick, as well as most of your favorite drop shot offerings. 30 to 60 is the depth. Light line will be a plus in detecting what may be a really light bite. Rocks are still a reliable pattern. Bluffs in the creek or on the main lake are holding ﬁsh anywhere from 15 down to 50. Some of these bluffs are physically big, so this pattern is slow and methodical, but it is consistently producing some good catches. Worms and jigs have been the staple here.
If the shallow ﬁsh are your game we still have some ﬁsh taking crank baits. Slow down to make this work. 12 to 20ft diving baits around rock will bang out some ﬁsh, with the chance at a big ﬁsh. This pattern may be best early or in low light conditions 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.
The Crappie bite is ok. They slowed down another notch after this weeks reinforcement of cold weather. Like the Stripers and bass, they have become a little more hesitant to pounce on a lure, at least relative to a couple of weeks ago. Nonetheless, you can still catch enough for a ﬁsh fry if you are diligent. The ﬁsh are pretty high to the structure. Fish either docks or docks with brush. They are reluctant to move a long way to grab a bait. The ﬁsh are relatively deep, which also makes ﬁshing tough, it takes awhile to get the baits to the ﬁsh and what is often a light bite is really light when the ﬁsh is 15 to 25 feet down. A ﬂorescent or yellow line may be a plus in detecting what may be a very subtle bite!