Lake Lanier Fishing Report March 23 2018 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive
Weekly report from Captain Mack Farr.
I made it back from New Jersey safe and sound, I had a great trip up there and it was really cool talking to the local fishermen about the techniques and methods used in that part of the country! Back on the home front the weather is par for the course in March, the traditional transitional battle that we know as spring.
Wild swings in temps, big rains and wind, at least we don’t have snow. Overall fishing is good, best in the pre frontal conditions so if feasible plan your trip accordingly! The lake level is just under full pool, down .23 feet at 1070.77
Striper fishing is pretty good with a choice of patterns that will produce. The open water pattern that has been the standard for a few weeks now is still on. Main lake areas with bait should hold fish.
Find the fish by watching the birds, or by using the side imaging to look for fish. Often you will only see scattered singles or small groups of fish, but that is normal for this technique. Free lines and planers are the rigging, small baits may be a plus as well fishing the baits a long way behind the boat, 70 to 120 feet back.
In addition to the open water bite, we have good numbers of fish showing up in the creek backs pushing bait around.
Live baits, a variety of sizes and species would be advised until you tweak the bite, fished on the boards and flat lines are the method here. While you are pulling the baits, make sure someone is casting! A small jig, Fluke, or swim bait cast to the banks may get plenty of bonus bites, with lots of Bass to keep you busy between the Stripers. This pattern seems to be gaining strength so be sure and devote some time to the skinny water.
An early start on a dock light may also be a plus as the Stripers are consistently showing up under the lights. I think a small jig, 1/4 or 3/8 oz is hard to beat, but swim baits and jerk baits are also effective. Pitching a live herring to the lights is also a very good approach.
Bass fishing has been good with the patterns basically the same as in recent days. I think the overall best technique is a Weedless Wonder Shakey Head on the docks. Typically, our dock bite is always strong in the pre spawn, getting stronger as we approach early April.
Docks in 10 to 20 feet are consistently producing numbers with some nice fish mixed in. These fish will respond to stable weather trends by moving shallower on a given dock or moving to docks towards the backs of the creeks. Fish fast and cover lots of docks, saturation is the key to the dock fishing.
Main lake brush in 10 to 20 feet remains a good pattern. Worms and jigs are good choices here, especially in the post frontal/blue bird sky days. If the weather offers a little more stability and there is cloud cover or wind, try the swim baits or a Fish Head Spin.
Our crank bait bite is still on, a Rapala DT 10 cast to rocky areas, over deep blowdowns, secondary points or in wind blown drains can be very effective especially early in the day. Vary your retrieve, but steady with an occasional pause should tigger the bite if the fish are there.
Crappie fishing is on, after all it is March! Like all of the over the other species, the weather has a big bearing on the bite. Thats not to say you can’t catch fish on the post frontal days, you’ll just have to adjust based on the weather. Keep in mind that the pressure changes, new water coming into a creek, or bright blue bird skies can affect the bite or cause the fish to move. Stay versatile, keep moving until you find them.
Longline trollers are reporting good catches pulling small curly tails in the creek backs or on flats in the upper parts of the rivers. On this technique, try different colors and baits, and pay close attention to the distance behind the boat you are trolling. Experiment with all of these variables until you find the most productive combinations. Longline trolling often produces some of the bigger Crappie taken from the lake each spring.
Docks are probably the best pattern, relatively shallow docks 5 to 20 feet, in the middle or backs of the creeks. Some of the more popular colors are the Bobby Garland Key Lime, Blue Thunder, The Jiffy Jig in the # 13, 20,5 and 43. On the Crappie Country Chenille Jigs the #2,4,7,and 11 patterns have been strong. If you can find fish shallow on the banks the above baits will get the bite as well as a minnow under a float. Match the color of the bait to the water/light conditions, going with darker colors in lowlight. An early start may be best, and will keep you out of the stronger winds that may persist later in the day.
See you on the lake!