Lake Lanier Fishing Report March 9 2018 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive
Weekly report from Captain Mack Farr.
We can’t put the winter clothes or the rain gear up! It looks like both will be used in the next few days. The frequent fronts and the following weather changes are the norm now. In spite of all of the rain, incoming water, and unwelcome cool downs, fishing has overall been pretty good. The surface temp is 52, and the lake level has dropped slightly to 1070.60 .40 below full pool.
The stripers are showing up in decent numbers and the patterns are the same as recent weeks. Planer boards and free lines have been overall the best producer, with most fish being taken over deep, open water areas. Fishing long free lines seems to be plus. Drop the baits back as far as 100 to 130 feet on the free lines and 40 to 80 behind the planers. Herring and medium shiners are the baits of choice. The smaller herring seem to be a little more effective. Adding a split shot to either the free lines and planer lines has been a plus. As mentioned last week, play with the weight and the amount of line out to see if you can tweak the bite.
Umbrella rigs are producing a few fish, and may be the best technique on days when the wind is an issue. Pull the rigs over humps and points. Target a 40 foot bottom with the rig 100 feet back. Contour trolling over a 25 to 30 foot bottom is also a good choice, especially in mid to upper lake creeks.
The night time bite is still on. Casting Bombers and McStiks at sand saddles, flat points or shallow humps has been producing well. Use the typical run and gun pattern to maximize this bite. Dock lights are always worth a look. The same baits as above will work. A small buck tail, (1/4 or 3/8 oz) is also very effective when casting to the lights.
BASS – (FLW REPORT)
Georgia’s Lake Lanier is touted as one of the best spotted bass fisheries in the country. It certainly showcased that Thursday on day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Lanier. Our lake is really starting to be recognized as the premiere spotted bass fishery in the nation. Even the Georgia High School School (GHSF) tournaments are bringing in impressive bags! Just over 17 lbs. won last Sunday’s event! These kids can straight up fish and we are proud of all of them! They are even coming out to donate their time to help the FLW team with all the activities during launch and weigh-ins.
Despite strong winds and colder temperatures yesterday, it took just less than 18 pounds to make the top 10. Two pro anglers cracked 20 pounds! How many of you thought these weights would be brought to the scales on day 1? Bradley Hallman leads the way with an epic 23-pound, 11-ounce bag of spots!! On Lake Lanier!!
On to the report…
Bass fishing has been very good.
As with the stripers, the patterns are the same for the bass. Docks are a very solid pattern. Key on docks that are around 15 feet deep. Docks in pockets or back in the creeks have been very strong. Some colors to try are the Roboworms in the Green Pumpkin Neon, Prizm Kraw, and Green Shiner. Zoom finesse and trick worms will also produce. Green Pumpkin Green and Green Pumpkin Purple are a couple of the colors that have been very good producers in recent days. The Roboworm worm Ned worm in Green Pumpkin Perch and Aaron’s Green Pumpkin patterns have effective on the docks or other 12 to 18 foot structures.
The Crankbait bite remains very good with the Rapala DT series (10 and 14), Strike King 5 or 6 XD, and the Cast Away Baits Shad Crank 1.5 all being excellent choices. Pa close attention to secondary points that harbor rocky areas. Do not forget about blowdowns or almost any good structure in 12 to 18 feet. Use a steady retrieve with lots of starts and stops to get the bite.
Crappie fishing is good and we have several patterns producing well. The standard Lanier dock shooting pattern is on! Concentrate on docks in 10 to 20 feet of water in the middle and backs of creeks. One footnote on the docks: sometimes a dock will produce best at a certain time of day based on shade. As the sun moves, so do the shadows and they may cause the fish to move or leave altogether. Monitor where the sweet spots are relative to Sun position, this may help maximize the shooting pattern.
Don’t neglect blown down trees as well. We have plenty of them and with the lake full they are in a wide variety of depths. Scanning the banks with your side imaging will show the trees and the fish, and the blow down pattern can be very strong moving into April.
In addition to docks, we have some fish roaming the backs of the creeks that are very susceptible to long line trolling. This pattern will often yield some bigger than average fish in addition to good numbers. Trolling can be effective in the rivers, up lake creeks, and the backs of the creeks on the lower end of the lake. Some of the favorite baits in recent days are the Bobby Garlands in the Blue Thunder, (especially in stained water) Vegas, and Shimmer Shad patterns. The Crappie Country Chennille Jigs in the #1,2,8, and 13 color patterns have also been producing well. Fishing is good all day, but am is slightly better!